The goal of every small business owner is to be a big business owner. But there is a price to be paid for that kind of success. Part of that price is saying goodbye to small problems, and hello to big ones. Size brings complexity. The bigger the business, the more complexity it will have. Things that were managed by one person and a bag of Doritos suddenly need a team of people and a lobster buffet.
Mistakes and their consequences are also magnified as businesses go from small to large. Things that were frowned upon when you were small, can get you imprisoned when your business is sufficiently large. Little mistakes have huge consequences. All of a sudden, you need a compliance department just to stay on the straight and narrow.
If your small business is on the upward trajectory, there are some things you want to prioritize right now, before those small problems become too big to manage. Here are three areas you want to shore up right now, while you still can:
There is nothing about payroll that should be taken casually, no matter how small your business is. As a small business, the best thing you can do with payroll is avoid it altogether. You do that by using third-party staffing services for everything. You just pay them a flat rate like any other vendor, and let them deal with the headaches.
Hiring your first employee opens a whole new can of worms. State and federal tax withholding is now your problem. Ironically, once you employ someone, you have to be concerned with something called unemployment as well. In addition, beyond taxes, there is the complexity of payment methods such as electronic payments, pay cards and online statements that need to be attended to.
That is why there are solutions like ADP electronic payment systems & services. They list the following challenges:
- Inadequate resources to implement paperless pay, including pay card, online statement and other payment options
- Managing change in many departments with different requirements
- Providing services to employees who may have different payment requirements
Every payroll challenge you can imagine gets magnified as the number of employees grows. Getting the right solutions in place while your business is small will keep it from becoming a problem in the future.
Health and Safety
You don’t have to be on a construction site before health and safety becomes a going concern that could dash your corporate business dreams before they are fully formed. It just takes one injury and lawsuit to let you know how vitally important health and safety compliance really is. Even a business office full of programmers and designers is not immune to these concerns.
What are your rules for dealing with spills, wet floors, food? Did you provide creamer for the coffee that was out of date? Did you bring in a box of doughnuts that should have been thrown out the day before? It is shocking how much liability you take on with little things. Multiply the liability times the number of employees you have. Now, you can better understand why you need a lawyer to look over and approve your health and safety policies.
How many handicap parking spaces do you have for your employees? When you are just getting started, you might not have any. But there are laws about that sort of thing that will not be ignored once you get to a certain size. Do you have accommodations for employees that are visually impaired? Do you have split keyboards for those with RSI?
You might just want to skim through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) just to make sure you are in compliance. Being out of compliance can cost your business a lot more than you can afford. Even if you do not hire anyone who is disabled, people in your company will inevitably become disabled. You might also have to answer to why you never hired anyone with a disability.
If you plan on your small business becoming a big business, you need to plan ahead right now. When it comes to payroll, safety,and accessibility, it is best to think big long before you get there.