How to Advance Your Franchise by Outsourcing HR

Saving Time and Money Allows Better Focus on Your Business Growth

Although you may have been operating your franchise for some time, it’s possible that you haven’t considered outsourcing your HR functions – or you may only be outsourcing individual functions such as payroll.

You know it’s not practical (or cost effective) to get all the professional HR services you need by hiring specialists, but when you try to stay on top of these issues yourself, you can open yourself to liability, fines and sanctions; not to mention the loss of valuable time better spent growing your franchise.

You may think you don’t have an option – that a franchise owner needs to wear all the hats.  Many owners struggle to squeeze out good profit margins, are short staffed or are new to an ownership role.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything, particularly when your role as an employer introduces HR tasks to your daily to-do list.

Just think about it.  Do you feel basic HR processes like payroll, benefits selection/administration, workers’ compensation, employee relations, compliance and hiring account for more of your time and budget than you’d like?  Time and budget that might be more profitably spent on growing your franchise?  Do you worry that your franchise isn’t on top of these tasks to the extent you’d like?

Although HR outsourcing takes many forms, the most comprehensive is that of a Professional Employer Organization, or PEO.  A PEO is a “one stop shop” for HR functions, offering workers’ compensation, payroll, benefits and comprehensive HR assistance.  PEOs leverage their experienced people, their processes, technology and insurance products to take away the mystery of HR, minimize your liability and allow you to focus on your franchise operations.

How a PEO can benefit your franchise

We’ve outlined here the most important benefits PEOs offer to help you decide whether this is a viable option for you:

    1. Save time:  Your time is too valuable to spend it finding the right workers’ compensation coverage, processing payroll, filing reports and taxes, selecting and managing employee benefits and worrying about HR liability issues. Imagine how much more profitable (and enjoyable) your franchise would be if you were able to focus on your core business.
    1. Save money:  HR administration typically costs an average of 8.5 percent of your gross payroll. Contracting with the right PEO can reduce that by at least 50 percent, while giving you the benefit of working with HR experts. Through the economies of scale a PEO offers, you can lower the cost of benefits administration and workers’ compensation insurance, while realizing other efficiencies that will boost your bottom line.
    1. Grow your business:  Research published by the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations indicates that PEO clients have higher growth rates than other small businesses. That’s due in great measure to the fact that these business owners are able to focus their energy and efforts toward their business, their customers and their profitability.
    1. Reduce risk and liability:  Whether it’s avoiding hiring mistakes, minimizing unemployment costs, avoiding on the job injuries through a robust risk management program, ensuring that payroll reports and tax filings are timely and correct, understanding how to maximize employee performance or so many more HR concerns, outsourcing through a PEO provides knowledgeable specialists to consult with you, often at no additional cost, to help safeguard your business from liability.
    1. Attract and retain the best employees:  Smaller businesses like franchises often find it difficult to level the playing field and compete in hiring with larger businesses that are able to offer more comprehensive HR and employee benefits programs.  A PEO can provide you with a wide range of employee benefit options as well as online tools that allow your employees to have 24/7 access to their personal HR information, while giving you reports and information that help you manage your HR program.

However, not all PEOs are created equal, and not all offer the same services and pricing arrangements. As you consider your options, you may want to study the experience of other business owners.

Maybe it’s time to take a look at how a PEO can get you back to growing your franchise and losing some of those extra hats you’ve been wearing. After all, you didn’t buy your franchise to become an HR specialist!

Haley Crum Blanton, CSP, is Executive Vice President of FrankCrum, a national professionalemployer organization (PEO) and President, FrankCrum Staffing. A certified staffing professional, she has earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Eckerd College and a J.D. degree from Stetson University College of Law. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Women.

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