National Small Business Week has been rescheduled this year to September 22-24, and it a good time to become more innovative and improve on your business’s past successes. The Benefits Guide has shared tips for doing so over the years. Here is a summary of five key pieces of advice to improve your small business.
1. Provide a Great Group Health Plan
Business owners can pull ahead of the competition by offering a superior group health plan. With these plans, employers typically pay part of the monthly premiums, while employees cover the rest. This gives your staff a greater number of affordable health plan options than they would have access to on their own. Your business will also see tax benefits from offering these plans, since premium payments are deductible as business expenses.
If you are not sure whether your current health plan is meeting your employees’ needs, consider distributing a confidential health benefits survey. Ask about the premiums and deductibles, the size of the network and if there are any ancillary plans (like dental, life insurance or vision) that employees would like the option to enroll in. Include open-ended answers so employees can share concerns your questions might not address.
2. Create a Superior Benefits Package
A group health plan by itself is not enough — it should be part of a stellar benefits package. The overall package will help not only retain current employees but also attract potential job applicants. Even if the resources of a bigger company are out of your reach, you can still offer perks that will improve your staff’s quality of life.
Consider, for instance, a wellness program. This can range from a structured third-party program to simply offering fun wellness activities and resources like group exercise classes, healthy break room food options, gym membership discounts, in-house vaccinations or paid time off to see the doctor. From here you can add quality-of-life perks, such as flexible schedules that work around long commutes and home obligations.
3. Focus on Mental Health
Your employees are more productive and take fewer sick days when their mental health is supported.
There are a number of approaches to tackling mental health. You can start by ensuring that your health plan covers mental health and counseling. Also think about bringing in a third-party employee assistance program, which includes confidential counseling and help with issues like substance abuse. In addition, you might offer financial health classes, since money problems can be a major source of stress. Finally, take a look at how you structure paid time off — it can be worth giving employees the option to take a mental health day.
4. Build Your Social Media Strategy
While it is critical to focus on employee well-being and satisfaction, no business should forget about its customers. A strong social media presence can make a difference. It can decrease your overall marketing expenses, increase your exposure and bring in a new funnel for web traffic growth.
It is often good to start small, with just one or two platforms, and grow from there. Consider what your market demographic prefers — it might be LinkedIn for business professionals, for instance. Look for opportunities to livestream videos and give your audience a behind-the-scenes glimpse at your business.
You can also hire professionals to help with your social media growth. Working with a social media manager, professional photographer or marketing expert may be money well spent if it means your online presence gets results.
5. Keep Up With Current Trends
Businesses should strive to stay relevant. Tracking current trends can make your business more attractive to potential hires and customers alike.
Have you explored the ways automation can help your business thrive, whether through chatbots or a health plan that uses AI to be more efficient? What about taking advantage of the sharing economy or going paperless to show that your business is environmentally responsible?
While it is not possible to keep up with every trend, making an effort to keep up with — or even better, stay ahead of — a few trends can keep you on the cutting edge.
Read more: 4 Small Business Trends for 2019
To celebrate National Small Business Week, look at these tips for growing your business and see if there are any areas where you can improve. This exercise will help you assess the health of your business and come up with a plan for ensuring it only gets stronger.
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