Entrepreneurs, business owners and managers across the country are fighting the overwhelming feeling of being buried under the responsibility of ever increasing regulation. Threats to the employer are greater than ever. While unions are pushing to maintain current pay and benefits and our government is quibbling to the point of inaction, maybe a good thing, employers are feeling like a lamb surrounded by lions.
The regulatory burden of regular mandatory reporting and collections of garnishments, income taxes, sales taxes, as well as retirement plans, health insurance plans and possibly associated savings accounts just scratches the surface of the mountainous responsibility faced by those in small business.
Employers are caught in the cross fire. At the risk of belaboring the topic here are some examples:
· An employee in a regulated business is disgruntled. They haven’t been performing well and the associated corrective action was upsetting. They feel that the associated reduction of hours is sinful so they call the regulatory agency that is to assure appropriate operations and with a slight twist of the truth and total anonymity the regulatory agency shows up and spends two days looking for the sin. Unfounded and misrepresented the agency goes back only to file a report that nothing was found to be a problem. But while they were there they did notice something else of concern.
Two days plus of state employee time, two days plus of business time, rumors caused by the investigation and all at taxpayer and the business’ expense.
· An employer needs good employees so they run an ad in the paper. A qualified employee comes in to make one of the two weekly application contacts required to maintain their unemployment. The manager on duty asks the applicant for an interview. The applicant explains they aren’t really interested in a job they are just making the contact to keep their unemployment. Maybe they will be back when it runs out. Then all employers are hit with higher unemployment rates.
There are endless examples of these kinds of stories across multiple industries. They may have to do with property or general liability insurance, they may have to do with local, state or federal building codes. They might have to do with federal regulations like FMLA, ERISSA, OSHA, COBRA, EPA, ADA, and so on. Every specific industry has a laundry list of regulatory agencies with oversight.
Some entrepreneurs struggle with this more than others because they own or manage business in multiple industries. Bill Burch is one of these entrepreneurs, but Burch did something different. He created a business to provide services to his own businesses which grew to do the same for other businesses. His firm’s name is Commercial Resources, Inc., nicknamed CRI. It is operated to help reduce the overall burden to the entrepreneur by providing the most efficient way for a small business owner to outsource areas of frustration that are almost impossible for a small business to become expert in. They do this and do it better and more cost effectively than anyone else. They also understand where other entrepreneurs are coming from, because they operate 18 entities themselves.
When asked how CRI provided economical and efficient services he said, “If you could look under the hood, you would see why.” The companies he owns and/or manages have the same needs most every other company needs. CRI by nature provides everything all of his companies need relative to bookkeeping, accounting, human resources, and marketing. The managers of each of the businesses drive the services just as business owners drive their services. When they take on a new client they are treated as good as or better than CRI treats themselves. They don’t change the machine. They simply do for them what Bill wants done for his companies, fast, efficient, back office support on demand and at a lower cost.
Back to the original point, the business owner or manager needs ways to offload the burden of regulation so they can do what they need to do to make money which is the reason most get into business in the first place.
Clearly businesses have other options. Accounting, marketing and professional employer organizations abound. Choosing a company aside, it is important to recognize the world we are doing business in isn’t the world our parents and mentors grew up in. It is vastly different with unheard of regulation and risk. Outsourcing is becoming a necessity and can make a very positive difference at that.