With health care reform, new technologies and rising costs, there are many challenges businesses face day in and day out. In a world where they have to move as quickly and efficiently as possible, it’s often wise to outsource some responsibilities or bring in consultants. That enables you, the business owner, to stay focused on the daily task at hand.
I was thinking of going to the cloud with our company email. What are the advantages of going with Microsoft Hosted Exchange?
First off, the cost to go hosted with your email is very affordable. As a matter of fact, in most cases, you will likely save money transferring this service off-site. A hosted Exchange account can be accessed via Microsoft Outlook on Windows, Microsoft Entourage on the Mac, and from any leading Web browser, including Apple Safari. In addition to various desktop and browser-based platforms, a hosted Exchange account can also be accessed using Windows Mobile, as well as BlackBerry devices and iPhones. Another key benefit of hosted Exchange is that users who create content in Exchange will see it automatically synchronize across all of their access devices.
What is the biggest challenge small- to mid-size companies face on the near horizon?
Recognizing and taking advantage of the larger and larger role technology will play in everyday business. The companies that most quickly and effectively put to use modern tools of efficiency will enjoy a tremendous advantage over those who do not. Small businesses have to realize they are no longer competing solely on a local or regional level. More and more industries are being dominated by national and even global players expanding their reach to traditionally micro spaces. The question one must ask is, ‘Should I try to look more or less like my competitors? Should I try to implement the heretofore cost-prohibitive technologies that most of them have been utilizing for years?’ The cost of technology implementation and the pace of new affordable innovation is like nothing we’ve seen before, allowing small business to go from the minors to the majors faster and more affordably than ever. Looking to the experts in the technology field for advice will help any business get to where they would like to be quickly.
What is the advantage of hiring a consultant to handle human resource services?
There are many: to stay abreast of the ever increasing and changing employment laws on the federal, state and local level and to avoid penalties by not being compliant with employment regulation; to stay legal in all company policies and procedures; to treat employees fairly and equally to avoid lawsuits; to ensure proper training for all those involved in managing employees and to make sure your company hires the most qualified person for the job to avoid having to replace an employee, which can cost the company money.
Christine M. Schaefer
CEM HR Strategies, LLC
Should companies consider outsourcing their hiring and staffing needs?
Employers are quickly realizing the advantages of outsourcing some or all of their recruitment process. Focusing on your core capability and growing your company is always the top focus. For companies without an HR professional on their management team, they may find it costly to hire on their own. Not having all the tools at hand to recruit can also be costly. Companies like Protocall are specialists in recruiting. Recruitment process outsourcing is a business outsourcing strategy that adds efficiency and cost-savings to a company to keep its fixed costs in check, while increasing productivity and decreasing time spent in the hiring process. Outsourcing your recruitment process isn’t a one-time thing; recruitment process outsourcing provides long-term staffing solutions that will benefit your company for years to come.
The Protocall Group
What is business continuity and disaster recovery?
After Superstorm Sandy, businesses trying to avoid downtime and loss of revenue are ready to embrace planning and preparation for the next, unexpected disruptive event. Where do they start? Business continuity and disaster recovery are not the same. As a business owner, director or practice manager, you want to ensure downtime doesn’t cripple your company or practice. Business continuity examines how you operate, identifies critical business processes, and outlines how you will keep those running if a disaster happens. Disaster recovery planning looks at the technology infrastructure, the information technology and communications assets your organization uses and decides the best way to keep them operational after an event. Disaster recovery is part of an overall business continuity program.
What is the most important thing to consider when relocating your office and moving your phone system?
By far, the most important thing to remember with regard to your phone system when relocating your office is to start early. Smooth and uneventful telephone system moves require planning to start six to eight weeks prior to the planned move-in date. Depending upon where you are moving to and depending upon the type of telephone service you have, your present phone numbers may not be available in your new location. The use of SIP trunks and/or hosted phone systems can reduce the risk of some of these problems, but they still need to be considered. Such situations are not unusual and, if encountered, would require additional advanced planning to minimize business disruption and missed calls. Construction and fit-out of your new space must also consider your communications needs so that adequate and appropriately rated communications cabling is installed for your various systems, including telephone systems. So, consult early with a professional and save in the long run.
What information should your employee benefit broker be sharing with you regarding your requirements and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is complex and often confusing for business owners. Although there are still many unanswered questions on health care reform, 2014 will bring about new concepts that each business must address: Am I a “large” employer?; What is a full-time and equivalent employee?; What is an exchange?; What is “Pay or Play”?; What are the new taxes/fees?; What is the maximum waiting period? A well-informed employer is better equipped to make smarter decisions. A broker should provide education and communication to clients on a proactive and timely basis to comply with the regulations and deadlines.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 2, Issue 4 (April, 2013).
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