Up until this point, you should have seen a variety of different articles that I have crafted for you from health care and access to capital to taxes. From the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate to the numerous Small Business Policy Forum’s panel of experts these articles were written with you in mind, the business owner. I wanted to provide you with a wealth of information that you can benefit from in running your business. If you have missed any of the articles, click here:
In my last article, we will discuss the various aspects of portable benefits (includes healthcare, and retirement). We all know that small businesses have to get creative to acquire and maintain great talent. In order to do this, they must provide an assortment of benefits but should portable benefits be one of them?
Let’s look at this conversation two ways:
- Scenario One: As an employer, you are responsible for a lot of people from your employees to their families but what happens when your employee decides to leave the company? Should you be responsible for their portable benefits? If so, for how long? Or should they be responsible for their own?
- Scenario Two: Your business uses several freelancers and contractors, you depend heavily on their talent and the services that they provide. So what happens when they decide to leave the company? Yes, they are not your employee but should you be responsible for their portable benefits? If so, for how long? Or should they be responsible for their own? Are your answers the same as it would be if they were your employee?
Regardless, of the way that you answer either of these questions, understand that the workforce is shifting. Retirees and millennials are entering the workforce and most are opting to become freelance or contract workers. With this type of workforce, establishing a universal portable benefits system is ideal.
In today’s marketplace contractors and freelancers has a focus on not only getting paid but seeking to assure that their healthcare and retirement benefits are paid, current and available when needed. Having a universal system would also help those employees that decide to leave a company but later determine that they wish to become an independent contractor or freelance worker instead. A portable benefit system should not only provide options to suit several needs but be affordable.
During the Portable Benefits: Creating An Infrastructure for Entrepreneurs to Thrive panel myself and a few other industry experts discussed what portable benefits could mean to small business owners including freelance and contract workers. In all honesty, small business owners want to see that their employees get the best because they are the ones that are helping to make the company profitable.
According to panelist, John Scott, Retirement Savings Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts, “66% of full-time employees are offered portable benefits, 48% of the employers want to help their employees save for retirement, and 22% of employers lack an internal administrative resource that will allow them to start and maintain a portable benefits system.”
For the sake of argument, let’s focus on retirement. While there are a lot of choices out there, there are several types of plans available, let’s explore a few:
- Keogh Plan;
- Defined contribution
- Defined benefit
- Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Plan;
- 401(k) Plan;
- Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) Plan; and
- Other Types of Retirement Plans
For the sake of healthcare should the U.S. adopt a system that is universal for everyone as I discussed in ObamaCare vs the ACA? One thing that is prohibiting more small business owners from offering portable benefits is costs. From administrative setup and upkeep to contributions, should there be some type of subsidy programs in place to help offset these costs?
If so, should the programs be subsidized by the federal government? Or should this be a local or State financial responsibility? “Individuals that wish to do so, should be able to provide their own portable benefits and not be subjected to a specific employer but there must be multiple plans and options available, like a common or shared interest program,” Shilpa Phadke, Senior Director, Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress.
With some support, this will allow the new and emerging workforce the ability to take on the responsibility for their own future and not leave these critical pieces in the hands of others, especially since they are not an employee of the company. As a portable benefits plan is being created it should meet the needs of the freelancer or contract worker with minimum financial disruption during their Golden Years. As previously stated we business owners need to get creative in how we acquire and maintain the talent to run our businesses.
There are several ways that companies are becoming creative in their efforts to obtain the deliverables that they require. Below you will see several examples of which the first two companies offer full portable benefits, the third company offers partial portable benefits and the last offers no portable benefits but provides the revenue that freelancers and contractors can use to fund their portable benefits plan:
- Company 1: 26-hour work-week for full-time employees but these employees are paid for a 40-hour work-week. This helps to offset the childcare and costs that these employees may encounter otherwise. By implementing this small step, this small business owner has been able to increase their revenue and productivity while creating an asset for their employees.
- Company 2: One of my clients, offers several company benefits from wholesale catalog discounts; vacation, sick and family leave; and charity contributions matching to other types of personal flexibility. The interesting thing is that the majority of the benefits that this company offers if out of the company’s Profit and Loss (P&L). We all know that normally these costs are what the small business owners use to live off of but instead, this client passes these profits on to their employees.
- Company 3: Employees may not be provided a full portable benefits package but they are instead offered profit sharing and are co-owners of the company that they work for.
- Company 4: I work with several freelance and contract Since I am unable to provide them with portable benefits, I try to look for ways to provide them a long-term Return on Investment (ROI). One option is that I offer them revenue sharing on a project, that has a long-term, steady income flow. In this case, the workers obtain revenue for a number of years, which they can use to invest and fund their portable benefit accounts.
For those small businesses that offer an entrée of portable benefits including family leave should there be tax credits? It is difficult to determine how portable benefits should roll out for small businesses, freelancers or contract workers but it should exist. Here are some other discussions about portable benefits that may interest you:
- Test Driving Portable Benefits
- Portable Benefits for the Indie Workforce
- Portable Benefits for A Shifting Workforce
- Portable Benefits in the Future
- Who Is Eligible For Portable Benefits?
If you have any concerns about how portable benefits will affect you consider the following:
- Contact your local representative or your State’s Senator
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
- Consider an Op-Ed (Opinion-Editorial)
Once again I thank you for your support and the opportunity to serve you. Subscribe to The JEGroupZone to stay up to date on articles and information about initiatives, programs, and issues that will affect you and your small business. As always, if you have a concern or issue that you would like for me to cover or talk about on your behalf in the near future please feel free to contact me at Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup).
“Don’t just stand by, be a part of the conversation.” Vernita Naylor
When people become one, some people still maintain their independence and identity while others lose themselves in the process. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman is a funny novel about the life of, you guessed it, Britt-Marie. At one point she felt that her life was nothing without her husband, Kent. Kent was her world, until one day she had had enough and left him.
Britt-Marie did not realize that her quirky, unusual character would be difficult for her to function and navigate in her new life. While being a wife, to Kent, she was able to hide in the house, cook and clean while living through her husband and his friends. Now without him, she would have to create a life of her own.
One would have to wonder how did Britt-Marie get to this point of losing herself. She too had dreams but instead, she focused on the dreams that Kent possessed. She too wanted children but instead, she became a stepmother.
It is through an unusual twist of fate in the town of Borg, that Britt-Marie discovers that really deep down inside there is still hope, love and that maybe she would be able to live out some of those dreams. If you enjoy reading Fredrick Backman’s work from And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry to A Man Called Ove or new to his work, you will truly love this book.
Vernita Naylor (JEGroup) has been selected along with 49 other prominent business owners nationwide to speak in Washington, D.C. on policy issues pertaining to business owners. In today’s climate, it is important that business owners have a voice and that those voices are being heard. We have been invited to attend a Small Business Policy Forum where we will be sitting down with subject matter policy experts and legislative staff to engage in a conversation on policies surrounding tax reforms, Affordable Health Care (ACA), access to capital, hiring and other small business pain points. We need your financial support within the next two weeks to assure that our expenses for the Forum are met. Please visit our GoFundMe campaign and provide your support today.
As a Small Business Ambassador we have been contacted to speak on behalf of and have advocated for business owners on several occasions. Please join us for the continual fight to improve the conditions for small business owners throughout our Country. For an example of our work pertaining to small business efforts, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB2QXbmW6G8&index=4&list=WL (14:32/21:51)
If you are a business owner and you have a specific pain point pertaining to policy matters, please email us- Subject: Business Pain Point with a brief description of your concerns along with your name, company’s name, and the city and State that you are representing. We will make every effort to post the response to your question in our November blog, https://thejegroupzone.wordpress.com/about/.
We truly appreciate your financial support to help keep our economy thriving and the ability to implement policies that will continue to help small businesses with the ability to operate and serve you. Once again, on behalf of myself and the small business owners throughout the Country, we thank you in advance and appreciate your support. We couldn’t have done this type of work without you.
Recently, I was sworn in as a Park, Historical, and Recreation Commissioner. Anyone that knows me understands that I have always not only advocated for the needs and the rights of others but have made a difference in a variety of arenas from the foster care system and public lands to education. Join me in keeping our parks safe, maintaining the historical value of our buildings, sites, and structures and assuring that funding is available for our parks, historical and recreational integrity.
Thank you for letting me serve you.
I wanted to save Google for last because their presence was felt and known throughout our three days in Washington, D.C. so welcome to Series 7. I was shocked to learn that they had a Google Washington, D.C. office and it was beautifully set up. On Day 2 we ended the day with a Google hosted Awards Program and Reception. This was such a great treat because not only were we able to get a chance to visit one of their many offices but we got a chance to celebrate the success of three businesses as they received the 2015 Small Business Award. Please join us in celebrating with Virginia McAllister, Iron Horse Architects who received the Technological Innovation Award; Chancee Lundy and Veronica Davis, Nspiregreen who received the Community Development Award and Beverly Hanstrom, Colorado Medical Waste who received the Sustainability Award. Congratulations ladies for helping to make this world a better, greener and sustainable place to live. If you want to read more about these ladies click here. Afterwards the party was on with great networking, music and excellent food. What a great way to end a business day.
At the end of Day 3 we attended a Google Technology Training. The training “Let’s Put Our Cities On The Map” is designed to help business owners maximize their online presence with insider tips and best practices for online marketing. Here’s an overview about the training and how the program works visit https://www.gybo.com/business. On the business page you will see either “Check My Business” or see a search box with “Does Your Business Info Show Up On Google?” enter your business name and city. Your entry will determine if you already have a business presence on Google Maps. If so your information will populate quickly like Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) did then you will have the ability to edit the information if needed.
If your business does not currently exist on Google Maps you will see “Your Business Isn’t On The Map” then you will have the ability to add your business name and city. Once you have taken these steps you are on your way to enhancing your online presence using Google. In some cities you may have the opportunity to attend a Google Hosted Event designed to help you leverage your business online, create a free website and much more. If you are a business owner and interested in learning how Google can help you grow your business there are a wide array of tools and/or resources available visit Google Apps for Work.
If you are one of the Business Capacity Building Partners such as SCORE, SBDC or one of the Chambers of Commerce there is a program designed for you visit https://www.gybo.com/partners. As a part of this effort your organization will be considered a Google Official City Partner where you will have the ability to help businesses within your area to scale up and maximize their online presence with free resources and hosted workshops using Google tools. As business owners there are a lot of tools and resources available to help us in our businesses ask for a referral in your network or social group.
Once again thanks to John Arensmeyer, the Small Business Majority team and Google for such a great wealth of information, networking and the opportunity to be chosen as one of the Top 100 Small Pioneering Businesses Nationwide. This is our last series of the Small Business Leadership Summit and if you missed any of the Summit Series you still have time to catch up: Small Business Leadership Summit Mixer (Series 1), Access to Capital (Series 2), Technology and Minority Entrepreneurship (Series 3), Taxes and the Economy (Series 4), Chat with Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) (Series 5) and Summit at The White House (Series 6). If you have any comments and/or questions about the Small Business Leadership Summit 7-Part Series please contact us at email@example.com.
Connect with us @JEGroupBiz on Twitter, or Jabez Enterprise Group on LinkedIn or Facebook to see what we are doing next or to see your post. For economic development for your business’ growth pick up your copy of Get the Cheese, Avoid the Traps: An Interactive Guide to Government Contracting today in paperback or on Kindle.
If you need a consultant to help take you to the next level in your business or need some training on supplier certification programs, building supplier-buyer-prime relationships or on government contracting call us at 1-800-865-0701 or email firstname.lastname@example.org remember these services are designed to help you with your ideal corporate or government partners.
We appreciate you taking the time to connect with us and look forward to connecting with you again soon.
All photos courtesy of Vernita Naylor, Jabez Enterprise Group (JEGroup) Unless Otherwise Noted.