6 ways to protect your business when hiring employees
The reason most people decide to start a small business is passion. Whether that’s a love of flowers, walking dogs or cooking, small business owners want to infuse that passion in their lives and share it with the community.
They often are experts in their field first, and then most encounter all of the details running a business requires. So, many times, the lengthy legal and financial details of running a business can be a challenge, says Rich Green, a senior marketing manager with Intuit.
“You didn’t probably start that flower shop because you can’t wait to manage people, but because you love flowers, customers and delighting them,” Green says.
That’s why Intuit helps more than 1 million small businesses, he says. Intuit provides services to educate small business owners and then arm them with solutions to best run their shops.
One big turning point for many businesses is the decision to hire employees.
Before you make the leap to decide to hire staff, Green offers six ways to protect your business and make sure it’s the right choice.
1. Make sure it’s the right time to hire. Hiring a staff is a big decision that you should not rush into, Green says. Pick up the free guide, “Hiring Your First Employee,” by Rhonda Abrams, which you can get for free from Intuit. And ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you need employees right now, or can you postpone?
- Are you turning away business because you are overbooked? Losing opportunities is a good indicator that you may need more staff.
- Are you unable to send invoices and get paid for your work because you are so quickly onto the next project?
- Are you feeling suffocated by the paperwork and taxes?
- Do you have any time to think about how to make your business better?
- Are you ready to go from having full control to delegating — sharing your passion and releasing it to someone else?
2. If the timing is right, determine how much and what kind of help you need. Review Intuit’s checklists and comparisons to help you decide whether to hire a full-timer, part-timer, contract worker or intern. Make sure you understand fully what this means about payroll and the different implications each choice will mean for your business.
3. Determine what you want the worker to do. Check out Intuit’s worksheets on candidate evaluation to help you decide what skills, education, customer service skills and experience you need. Also consider how many hours of work per week those tasks will take.
“It’s better to have a plan up front,” Green says. “It’s important to do some research.”
4. Decide how much you can afford to pay. Go through the Intuit worksheets to help you estimate how much you can afford to help you estimate how much money you will have available each month for wages, benefits, insurance, equipment and other things you need to provide. Return to your books and business plan. How much will this new employee increase your monthly income?
“Make sure you set yourself up for success,” Green says.
5. Create a job description. Intuit offer tips, videos and articles on how to write an effective job posting. There is a real art to it, and how you phrase it can help you find the right match for the job — someone who can share your passion and get excited. This will help you feel more comfortable about bringing them on board. Check out Intuit’s sample job applications, too.
“We want you to feel good about the decision to hire, have all of your ducks in a row,” Green says.
6. Decide how you want to handle payroll. There are many different options.Intuit provides key information you should know.
- Do it manually and maintain full control.
- Hire an accountant and have less control but less work.
- Do it yourself with the help of payroll software, where calculations are automated.
- Sign up for a full-service payroll company to handle everything for you and make sure it’s all correct.
- Opt for hybrids of various options.
Make sure you understand your options, and their pluses and minuses, to select the right payroll solution for your business.
“A lot of times you don’t know what you don’t know,” Green says. “We try to educate people on all of the different options they have at their disposal.”
Intuit offers easy payroll software that can guarantee proper calculations in line with the most recent government regulations. Stay on top of other regulations, too, such as posting labor law rules and offering benefits and workers’ compensation. Beware: The state and federal laws change often, and it’s your responsibility to stay on top of it — or hire help that will.
“Our overall mission is simplifying the business of life,” Green says. “To take away some of those worries and frustrations so you can focus on the passion that got you into this business to begin with.”