As your small business grows, you’ll need to hire employees. That’s definitely cause for celebration, but it also comes with its own challenges. How do you transition from a business of one to a team of two or more?
We’ve put together some advice on where to focus as you take on the role and responsibilities of employer.
Focus on the business, not ‘in the business’
When you first started running your business, you probably weren’t eagerly awaiting the day you’d get to dive into payroll and all the other tasks that go with it. And rightfully so, since doing so takes up a lot of time. That’s time that could be better spent on tasks that you’re uniquely qualified to do.
One of the biggest challenges business owners face is being that single person who is responsible for all aspects of the business, as well as its future. That gets much harder when you have to spend your time making sure the books are balanced and everyone has been paid on time.
Luckily, we’re living in a time when entrepreneurs have more time-saving options at their disposal than ever before, from schedule management to payroll automation. You don’t need to do everything yourself anymore, and you actually shouldn’t be trying to if you can find a better solution.
Think long-term and know time is money
Business owners are always looking for ways to optimize the return on any investment they make in their business. This thriftiness is often the difference between a profitable month, and one where they’re forced to take a look back at what could have been done better.
The downside is that focusing on cost savings means you might overlook opportunities to be way more efficient, even if the solution will cost money. Finding an effective solution for managing operations, like payroll, may require an initial investment, but it’s sure to save you money down the road.
Avoid penalties from incorrect payroll management
One in three businesses are penalized for mismanagement of payroll, according to Inc. Don’t be part of that 33 percent. Business owners spend up to two weeks of their year on purely administrative tasks related to back-office and payroll. Why not automate this process, and give yourself a vacation instead?
Provide a first-class employee experience
Paying your employees is the absolute bare minimum in terms of providing them with an experience that makes them feel valued. As an employer--and more importantly, a leader--you want to make sure you’re not cutting any corners for your team members when it comes to their livelihood.
First, while some employees may not have a problem with checks, many prefer a choice between check and direct deposit. So, make sure you have an easy and efficient system in place for direct deposit.
Second, employees expect to be paid correctly, and on time--every time. Period. Through automation, you can make sure that you deliver a consistent experience for your team, even if you’re on vacation, in the middle of crunch time, or just plain forgetful.
Finally, having an accessible record for your employees makes you look professional and creates a seamless experience for them when they want to check their pay stubs.
Give away your Legos
Once you’ve hired your first employee, you need to be open to trusting and collaborating with those you hire. If your company is scaling fast, your role as owner may change often and in fundamental ways. This means taking a hard and honest look at what the tasks are in the business that only you can do, and what are the areas of the business that can be done by your new team members.
Molly Graham, the COO of Quip, calls this process ”giving away your Legos.” You hired your new team members for a reason, and it’s not so they can sit back and watch you continue to do everything.
Bet on change
Employment and tax laws are subject to change, and when they do, will have an impact on how you manage your payroll operations.
If you’re using a payroll provider, make sure you choose one that’s consistently doing research and compliance testing, so you don’t have to spend your free time studying up on the tax code. Wave Payroll ensures accuracy and saves you valuable time. It’s an effortless way to pay employees, contractors, and yourself, and it’s built specifically for the needs of small business owners. And, when tax season rolls around, Wave can help generate and file important forms and documents.
Hiring your first employee is a major milestone. It means your business is doing well, and it also means you’re going to grow your skills as a leader. Make sure you’re set up for success, and be sure to enjoy the ride.