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‘Tis the season!

Dec 2015

The year is drawing to a close, and many business owners and managers like myself are thinking about dusting off their business plans and taking a closer look. Did your day-to-day operations run smoothly? In what areas could money be cut from or added to your budget? Are your marketing and branding efforts maximized? Should you put a customer loyalty program in place? Do you need to update your tech? These are questions every business owner should take the time to consider as we head into 2016.

Here are some basic steps you can take to support these changes:

  • Get Compliant: Before you think about the business of your business, its useful to get all your legal ducks in a row. Is your business large enough that is must provide healthcare benefits? Do you know how make this complex determination? Our ACA Compliance Services can help. Does your company have all required Labor Law Postings displayed? With our Compliance Poster Service, you get an all-in-one State and Federal poster as well as updates whenever a relevant change occurs. Has your business updated its credit card processing technology to comply with new EMV standards? Don’t be left liable for fraudulent swipes, our sister company, Matchpoint Payment Solutions has affordable, updated options.
  • Give Thanks: Even if your business is successful and your income is pretty stable, don’t forget who got you there: Your customers! Now is the time to think about how you can give back to your loyal patrons. Here at Advantage we run seasonal Client Appreciation contests where we give away a relevant prize. Recent prizes were a massage gift certificate and lunch for a client’s office in honor of Thanksgiving. If you’re a retail outlet you can also consider creating a loyalty programs with a points system or built-in coupons.
  • Expand your business: Enjoying success in your business and looking to see where it can grow? Evaluate your budget and target areas of your company that are successful but underfunded in terms of money, effort, and attention. Try to be as mindful as possible about what areas are ripe with potential. Be realistic about what will be the best fit for your market, industry, and your team. What you dream of might not align with what your business could do best.
  • Streamline your expenses: Assess your operating expenses—do you use vendors to accomplish some tasks? Make sure you are getting the most for your dollar. Don’t be afraid to ask your your vendor about ways to save. You might be surprised at some of the opportunities they offer. Advantage offers a few cost-effective options including: Paperless Payroll which saves on delivery; our online Instant Payroll platform, that when used in conjunction with Paperless Payroll provides free online reporting; and Pay-As-You-Go Workers’ Compensation, offered through our partner Integrated Coverage Group, which helps you avoid that yearly audit often associated with costly fines.

Find and Retain Talent: Is your business finally in a position to expand its workforce? It can be hard to find the right person for your company’s unique needs. Before you put out a call for new talent, make sure you do all you can to offer benefits (healthcare, life insurance, 401(k)) that make your company stand out. Also, be sure you have an updated company handbook to make sure there are clear expectations that help set the tone for your company’s culture.

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