As a business owner, it's normal, and in fact, necessary-to wear many different hats when you're first starting out. But if you want a successful and profitable business in the long run, there comes a time when you need to have HR support. 

1. Employment Law

Employment legislation is constantly evolving and changing, and it is hard to keep up with the requirements. However, it is the role of your HR support to stay up to date so that they can provide credible, practical and compliant advice to your business.  All it takes is one mistake when hiring or terminating an employee, and you could get hit with a lawsuit. If you don’t know employment law, you could be putting yourself, your business and your reputation at risk.

2. Employee Files

Did you know you need to keep not just one but three files on each of your employees? You need to have an I-9 file, a medical file and an employment file for each member of your team. If you don’t fill out and keep these forms, files and information accurately and in the right place, you could face fines. HR professionals will know what files you need to store, when you need to update them, and where they should go.

3. Handbooks and Policies

Do you have an employee handbook? If not, you should. Even if you only have a few employees, you still need a manual or handbook to lay out the rules, regulations and expectations you have for your employees. Handbooks make it easier for employees to know exactly what’s expected of them, but they can also be used in case of employee disputes.

4.  Job Descriptions, Interviewing and Hiring

Many small businesses seem to like the idea of “open ended” job descriptions, but you’re better off telling your employees specifically what you expect of them. You can’t possibly hire the right person if you don’t know the specific job you want them to do.  Where do you advertise your openings?  What interview questions can you ask?  Do you conduct background checks?  Drug screens?  HR can help you sort it out, make great hires, and protect your business.

5.  Performance Management, Documentation, and Termination

Ignoring underperformance and having no written record of it kills your defense that the employee was disciplined, or fired for cause.  Have you ever wondered if you can terminate someone?  If you aren’t certain, or have not documented performance issues, policy violations or disciplinary action, the answer may be “not yet.”

A good HR professional is there to help you, not hinder you.  We don’t want to make your life difficult, but want to see the business succeed and help you avoid the landmines that are out there by virtue of being an employer.

Are you an HR or office manager that just recently got put in charge of “exploring benefits options?” Perhaps you’re a business owner in need of a plan for yourself and your employees a.s.a.p.!

Since benefits are often confusing for those just getting their feet wet, HR Shield has put together a cheat-sheet to navigate you through the main differences between an HMO and a PPO.

HMO: A health maintenance organization (HMO) plan requires that you have one primary care physician. Coordinating healthcare through one source (your physician’s office) helps to decrease the paperwork (for physicians, patients and insurance companies alike) and also helps to lower healthcare costs.

When you need a healthcare professional or services outside of your primary care physician’s expertise, a referral is required from your physician. So, for example, if you needed to visit a podiatrist for a bothersome foot, you’d need to first visit your physician. If he or she cannot help you themselves, they would then make a referral to another professional within the HMO plan’s designated network. If the referral made is to a professional outside of your network, this typically will not be covered by your plan. Therefore it is important to double check before visiting a new office, and try to always stay within your plan’s network.

The only time a referral is not needed is if you are a female visiting a gynecologist or OB/GYN within the network for routine or well-woman visits.

PPO: A preferred provider organization (PPO) plan gives you more flexibility. You can go to any health care professional (directly) without a referral from your primary care physician. In fact, having a primary care physician is not even necessary in a PPO.

While you can choose to stay inside or outside of your network based on your practice preferences, it’s imperative to know that staying within your network will result in smaller copays and full coverage. Going outside of your network can add up quickly with higher copays, and all services may not be covered, resulting in more out of pocket expenses.

It’s important to note that the above mentioned details only really begin to skim the surface of options available when looking to establish an employer group or individual plans for your employees. If you need assistance, or would like a benefits recommendation/referral, contact your HR Advisor at HR Shield. We have access to a wide range of resources to help meet your employees' needs and your company's budget.

You’re not Coca-Cola or Chevrolet; you’re a small business owner delivering equally important products or services to your community and probably competing in a tough local market. Any successful entrepreneur can tell you that the key to success involves having really good mentors, support where you need it, and a good accountant.

As a business owner, you need to invest every ounce of physical, mental and emotional energy you have into staying ahead of the competition and growing your bottom line. At HR Shield, we like to think we’re the “support where and when you need it;” our expert team at HR Shield provides the perfect alternative to outsourced HR services, supporting business owners and HR professionals by making sure you attract and retain the right employees, provide the right compensation and policies to ensure peak performance and maintain compliance to avoid costly fines and lawsuits.

But, let’s talk about accounting! A good accountant will also help you maintain compliance and avoid costly fines – with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Business owners can face various penalties for failures related to Federal, state and local tax matters, resulting in fines, forfeiture of property and in extreme cases, jail time! Any of these tax problems can devastate your business so it’s very important to have a good accountant who knows his/her stuff!

In addition to avoiding costly penalties for non-compliance, experienced small business accountants help small businesses thrive. The following advantages come alongside employing a great accountant:

  • Minimize tax liability
  • Assistance with growing a business
  • Assistance with cash flow forecasts
  • Access the right information at the right time
  • Accurate quarterly or monthly financial statements to help with bank or private funding
  • Forecasting of the businesses finances based on various scenarios
  • Advice on employment issues as well as health and safety issues within the workplace (Don’t forget, HR Shield also provides expert guidance in reducing your workplace risk)

Great small business accountants know what you're up against, and have the expertise to help you minimize headaches and maximize profits. If you need a referral for a small business accountant, please contact HR Shield today. We’d be happy to recommend someone!