June 28, 2022

Retirement Plans That Can Minimize Complexity for Your Business

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Offering a retirement plan for your employees is great for employee satisfaction, but the plans can be complex. Make sure you go with the plan that works best for you and your company. Below you’ll find a few of the most simple retirement plans you can offer. 

A SEP-IRA

An SEP-IRA plan is also known as a Simplified Employee Pension plan. This plan allows an IRA to be established for every employee within the company, and gives you the freedom to decide how much to contribute every year. This option is incredibly simple for you as a business owner. There is little upkeep and the start up costs are low enough that it’s a great option for a small business. There is also a high limit with how much you can contribute to the plan every year. The maximum contribution for SEP-IRA accounts this year is 25% of your employees’ salary. This is the most popular option for businesses with only a few employees.

A Safe Harbor 401k

A safe harbor 401k plan is another great retirement plan option for businesses. This option is common because it allows you to offer a fixed contribution rate to your employees with little hassle. A safe harbor plan can ensure the plan passes non-discrimination tests. With this option, you’ll be able to set a specific percentage amount that you will match your employee’s contributions. For example, the most basic option for a safe harbor 401k plan allows you to match 100% of the first 3% of your employee’s elected deferral. Other options are available based on your business needs. This is a great option if you want your focus to be on motivating employees to save for retirement.

SIMPLE IRA

SIMPLE IRA stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. This plan allows both you as the employer and your employees to contribute to the retirement plan. This plan can be helpful because it doesn’t require the same startup costs or operating costs as other plan options. In order to qualify for this plan option, your business needs to have 100 or fewer employees. With this option, your employees are also vested from the beginning. Do some research into this plan and see if it would work best for your business.

Offering a retirement plan to your employees is a great way to keep employees long-term, and attract new employees. This shows your employees that you value them and their futures. However, do some research into different plan options to see which is the best option for you and your business.

Check out this article on boring but critical parts of running a business!

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Retirement Account Options Businesses Can Choose From

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To keep a competitive edge and attract the best talent to your business, it is important to offer the benefits that your employees want most. Retirement benefits are the second most desired benefit, falling just behind health care benefits. Choosing the best retirement plan for your business will depend on the number of employees and whether your business is a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or a corporation. Here are a few good options to consider.

A SEP-IRA

If you are self-employed, then a SEP-IRA is a great option. Even as a sole-proprietor, you as owner can receive the same benefits that would be offered to employees. The maximum contribution allowed per year is relatively high, sitting at 25% of your annual income or 61,000, whichever is less, in 2022. This creates a double benefit for sole proprietors, who get to make pre-tax contributions and claim any business-funded matching as a deduction. Bottom line, you can save more with a SEP-IRA. The SEP-IRA is also one of the simpler plans administratively, with minimal paperwork and no IRS reporting. However, if you have employees and you choose the SEP-IRA, you must contribute the same amount across the board into each employee’s account, including your own.

A 401(k)

If you want to provide a 401(k) plan for your business, there are several options. The three basic 401(k) plans are Standard profit sharing 401(k)’s, Simple 401(k)’s, and Safe Harbor profit sharing plans. Standard profit sharing 401(k) plans give employers the flexibility to choose their desired level of contributions, including the option to contribute nothing. The downside is that this plan is highly complex, with massive amounts of paperwork and required IRS equality testing. The Simple 401(k) plan is ideal for smaller businesses, with less than 100 employees. While this plan does not require IRS equality testing, it does enforce employer contributions. Finally, the Safe Harbor profit sharing plan was designed to eliminate the need for nondiscrimination testing by enforcing highly structured employer contributions. A safe harbor 401(k) helps you avoid onerous IRS rules.

SIMPLE IRA

While the SIMPLE IRA is easy to set up and maintain, the name is actually an acronym that stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. This plan provides free setup, allows for relatively high employee contributions through elective deferrals, and requires relatively low employer matching. The simple IRA is exempt from nondiscrimination testing and is easy to file. All of this means that the SIMPLE IRA is another great option for smaller businesses.

With great options and an abundance of support, offering a retirement plan at your business is simple. And because of the tax exemptions and credits available to businesses, it is an affordable benefit to provide.

Check out this article on how to inspire your employees to perform their best!

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How to Avoid Reputational Harm to Your Brand

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When you are running your own business, your reputation is one of the most important things that you have going for you. But your reputation can also be easy to ruin if you aren’t paying attention. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for so you can make sure that your brand reputation stays intact no matter what is going on with your business. 

Fix Issues Promptly 

Every business will face problems from time to time, but it is the way that you react to those issues that can hurt or help your reputation. One of the worst things you can do for the reputation of your brand is to ignore the problems that come up. The longer a problem is occurring with your brand, the more likely it is to lead to a negative impact on your reputation. That’s why you need to focus on resolving issues quickly so that your reputation is unharmed, and your business can move forward in a positive way. 

Secure Your Data 

Perhaps the most horrible thing a modern business can experience is a data breach. Not only will this breach lead to problems for your company, it can also have a severe impact on your reputation as a brand. It is so important that you make sure your data is well protected from a potential breach. If you don’t invest in cybersecurity, your business could be vulnerable to IT threats. That means you may be in serious trouble, so it is important to invest in that protection and make it a part of your regular budget. 

Constantly Work on It 

Your brand can’t avoid a negative reputation if you leave it to its own devices. Instead, your brand and reputation should be something that you are constantly working on. This constant work will help you to catch problems early and build a stronger bond with your customer base. Make it a priority to keep your brand in check and ensure that you are working towards a positive brand image all the time. 

Protecting your reputation is an important part of running a business effectively. You have already worked hard on developing your reputation, so it isn’t worth it to give up on it when something negative happens. Make a continual effort to support your brand so you can continue growing and improving your business.

Read this next: Strategies That Can Save Your Business Time and Money

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Third Parties That Can Help Make Your Business Plan a Reality

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Starting a business is something that many people think they need to do entirely on their own. This attitude can prevent people from making an amazing business idea into the reality they hoped it could be. If you work with people willing and able to help, however, you will improve your chances of success and really add something great to the business world.

Lenders 

One area of starting a business where many new entrepreneurs need help from the outside is in securing funding for their business. A simple way to do this is to get a loan through a lender in order to cover some or all of your startup costs. Getting a small business loan can help you take care of early expenses and get your business off to a strong start. It’s important to shop around for lenders, however, as you want to get the best possible interest rate and access to the capital you need.

Lawyers

Some people forget that they may also need the help of lawyers to get their business started on the right foot. There are many legal aspects to starting a business that a lawyer can help you to do properly. A lawyer can help you avoid mistakes that can cripple your business and ruin it before it’s even really started. If you have legal help early on, however, you will be able to make business decisions that are legally sound and have protection in place that can keep your business running no matter what happens.

Contractors 

Sometimes you may need help with the functions of your business before you can afford to hire full time help. This is where using contractors in a limited way will help you to get things going in the early days of your business. You don’t want to rely too heavily on contractors, but they can be a great tool as well, especially in providing skills that you don’t otherwise have access to. If you are smart about hiring contractors, they can be a huge help in improving your business from the start.

Getting your business running takes skill and time, and it’s okay if it also takes outside help. In fact, it’s probably for the best! When you work with experts, you can get your business in a much better place than if you simply do everything yourself. And their help can allow you to focus your energy where you excel.

Read this next: How to Solidify Your Brand as a Customer Favorite

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How to Keep Your Company Event Safe

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When planning a corporate event, there are many things to plan ahead. You’re already mitigating issues with caterers, making sure the venue is ready, making sure invitations are where they are supposed to have gone! It can be easy to forget that as a company, you can be held liable if individuals leaving your event are driving drunk. Beyond the critical moral issues involved, and the danger to patrons and bystanders, drunk driving is a massive issue to companies all over the world. How can you help keep your company event safe?

Control Who Gets In

Your first line of defense is a good offense, after all, which means that while you might have an open bar, you needn’t have an open-door policy. According to The Midlothian Conference Center, invitations must be given as an RSVP-only event. Likewise, invitations should be checked at the door. This keeps gatecrashers from wandering in towards any alcohol they find, which can help you remain concerned only about your company’s employees. Employees should know standards in advance for bringing invitations to be checked.

Ensure Responsible Drinking

According to Rogers Beltran, a DUI comes with significant legal consequences, so arranging transportation is a must. There are plenty of corporate event options for transportation, depending on the size of your event. Chartering corporate bussing is a great option, of course! If your company is using a hotel facility for the event, it might be possible to reserve rooms at a discounted rate. This can encourage those who otherwise might want to drive home to take your version of a transportation service instead or to sleep in the hotel for the night.

Hire Professionals

Even if you have everything else arranged, one of your best options for preventing dangerous drinking behaviors can be to hire professional bartenders. Beyond knowing how to mix up beautiful and fancy drinks, an expert mixologist recognizes signs of inebriation long before an amateur. According to Convene, while the responsibility and liability do not lie firmly on their shoulders, they can be your first line of defense in knowing who needs to take a cab home and who needs to be cut off completely. They can spot underaged patrons and check IDs.

You haven’t gone through the stress, expense, and frustration of party planning to have it ruined by DUIs! Prepare ahead and hire professionals as your first line of defense. Call those cabs and protect your party and your company as well!

Read this next: How Creating a Positive Work Environment Can Make Your Employees Happier

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