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In my role as the CEO of a professional employer association, I speak with small business owners frequently. These discussions frequently revolve on tactics that will enable leaders to make sure that their businesses are more effective and profitable. Growth is important, of course, but it's more important that it be intelligent and sustainable.

I advise starting with professionalization when it comes to this kind of sustained growth. The processes and operations that were manageable with one or two people are much more difficult to manage with a larger team as firms grow from a startup or a small family endeavor to a more established company.

Adding staff is a key component of sustainable growth for many small business owners, whether it's to boost revenue, improve customer service, or accelerate delivery times. However, additional employees necessitate more time spent on HR-related tasks including benefit administration, payroll management, and safety and compliance issues.

As a company expands, its owners must make sure that they develop systems that will enable them to respond to an increasingly complicated HR infrastructure as well as increase their company's offerings of goods and services. Even if every organization has specific needs, I've identified four personnel management pillars that ought to be included in every strategy for long-term expansion:

Administration of payroll and payroll taxes: Have you hired anyone to work for you in your company? Congratulations! You are now a tax collector for the government. You are in charge of making sure that you pay your employees accurately and that the appropriate portion of federal, state, and local taxes is withheld. You could be subject to some severe fines if you make a mistake with this withholding or if you don't submit the payroll taxes on time.

Employee benefits: You need to offer a competitive benefits package if you want to draw in top candidates. The costs of administering retirement programs and health insurance are high, and the premiums frequently rise from year to year.

Safety and risk management: Risk management becomes even more crucial when your organization expands and you recruit more personnel. Make sure your workplace is as risk-free as possible and that you are protected from potential hazards.

HR conformity: Are you certain that all employment laws are being adhered to in full by your hiring procedures? What about your methods for paying employees? And your procedures for termination? Which internal regulations govern who is qualified for a promotion or pay increase? You could be in danger if you think twice before responding to any of these questions.

Many business owners are shocked to learn how complicated these areas can get with additional staff and how much their risks and obligations can rise as their company grows. These four categories are what I refer to as the "keys to sustainable growth for small businesses" because how well a company handles them can be the difference between success and failure.

Make sure you have access to the kind of knowledge necessary to manage these crucial HR areas. You'll need experienced professionals to evaluate time and payroll records, produce quarterly payroll-tax forms, and file W2s at the end of each year.

You need professional guidance to help you identify possible hazards in the workplace, develop a successful safety plan, and control the cost of your workers' compensation insurance. And you want to feel secure in the knowledge that your hiring methods are totally legal and that you are risk-free.

The good news for small business owners is that HR professionals can handle all four of these tasks. One alternative is to use a professional employer organization, which allows business owners to access strategic knowledge for a lot less money than hiring a full-time HR manager.

It takes individuals to achieve sustainable growth. You may manage them strategically by outsourcing to the professionals.

By James Robinson

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