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BIZGrowth Strategies, Fall 2013


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The latest edition of BIZGrowth Strategies features articles on Social Media, Data-Driven Marketing, The Marketplace Fairness Act, The Economic Value of Employee Wellbeing, The Temporary Employee Classification and Managing a Multi-generational Workplace.

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BIZGrowth Strategies, Fall 2013

  2. 2. In This Issue… To view the electronic versions of current and past issues of BIZGrowth Strategies, visit To register for our online version, visit You can also call us at 1-800-ASK-CBIZ (1-800-275-2249). @cbz CBIZ BIZ Tips Videos Management & Performance.......2 Social Media: A Powerful Tool to Grow Your Business Health Care Reform.....................3 The Temporary Employee Classification…Gone with the ACA Wind Marketing...................................4 Data-Driven Marketing Wellness.....................................5 The Economic Value of Employee Wellbeing Tax & Accounting........................6 The Marketplace Fairness Act: The Tax Man Cometh & He’s Heading for the Internet Human Resources.......................6 Managing a Multi-Generational Workplace (Especially Millennials) CBIZ in the News For complete articles: Fox Business The right and wrong ways to resolve tax issues August 5, 2013 Investors look to small business hiring gauges: EcoPulse July 17, 2013 US News & World Report What was so lavish about the IRS employee conference? June 12, 2013 2 | BIZGROWTH STRATEGIES – FALL 2013 CBIZ, INC. SOCIAL MEDIA: Management & Performance S ocial media can be a powerful tool for a business. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the slew of others can drive consumers to your website and into your brick-and-mortar business. It is inexpensive and can provide a real advantage over social media-challenged competitors. Effectively using social media to grow your business, however, isn’t intuitive. It requires a well-planned strategy and tech-savvy people to implement it. Shooting from the hip might work well for a practiced gunslinger, but when it comes to words that reflect on your company, post with care. Reputations are at stake: yours and your company’s. Once posted to a social media site, a photo, comment or story can’t be completely erased; so, it’s essential that everything you post is positive, pushing your business forward and presenting it in the best light. Each site you use tells a story and, together, the many sites weave a narrative of your company, its attitude toward customers and its standards. Here are some areas to think about when mapping out a social media strategy: Creating a Profile Focus on the “pro” in profile. When developing a profile, include nothing that isn’t professional or doesn’t elevate the professionalism of your company. Like small talk at a cocktail party, steer clear of hot- button topics, such as politics and religion. Be honest, brief and relevant. There is value in noting that you were president of your college fraternity, but listing that you medaled in the Beer-Chugging Olympics your junior year probably isn’t going to impress a potential client. Choosing Appropriate Content Anything not directly related to your business probably should be avoided. The idea driving the use of social media for your business is to inform current and potential customers or clients about your company and what it can do for them. This includes any information that presents you or your business in a positive way. Steer clear of negative posts; they tend to resurface at the most inopportune times: an annual review, a merger and so on. What picture do you want a Google search to paint? Exercise Some Self Restraint We can post to social media sites almost anywhere at any time. Overexposure, though, is as bad as not taking advantage of social media at all. The idea is to keep your followers up to date on the to Grow Your Business A POWERFUL TOOL (Continued on page 3)
  3. 3. latest news from your business, but every little thing isn’t news. Once followers become bored with posts, the ability to wow them is gone. What’s the point in posting if no one is following? Reply to Comments & Inquiries Once you embark on a social media strategy, you must keep up with it. Not only does content need to be current, but comments and questions from followers must be addressed. Not responding to followers in a timely manner can paint your business as indifferent to customer needs. Followers taking the time to comment or make an inquiry probably want to establish a dialog. Your response needs to be quick and relevant. What It Means to Your Business Social media can be a boon or bust for your business. Like any tool, its effectiveness depends on how you wield it. DISCLAIMER: This publication is distributed with the understanding that CBIZ is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice. To the extent anything herein could be construed as tax advice, such advice is not intended to be used and cannot be used to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or to promote, market, or recommend to another person any tax-related matter. This information is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or in the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information. CBIZ assumes no liability whatsoever in connection with the use of this information and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein. ROBERT CINI CBIZ MHM, LLC • Boca Raton, FL 561.922.6099 • CBIZ, INC. BIZGROWTH STRATEGIES – FALL 2013 | 3 (Continued on page 5) Management & Performance (Continued from page 2) Health Care Reform D oes your organization employ temporary employees who are not employed through a staffing agency or who are not true independent contractors? If so, you have some work to do. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the temporary employee classification does not exist. The ACA recognizes only four categories of employees: 1. Full-time (30 hours per week or 130 hours in any given month) 2. Seasonal 3. Variable Hour (hourly employees who may work more or less than 30 hours per week) 4. Part-Time (always working less than 130 hours per month) Why is this reclassification important? Beginning in 2015, if an employer with 50 or more full-time employees or equivalents does not offer health insurance benefits to 95 percent or more of its full-time employees and at least one full-time employee goes to an exchange and qualifies for premium assistance, then the employer’s annual penalty could be $2,000 per all full-time employees less the first 30 full-time employees. Thus, this penalty could be triggered if any of your temporary employees will be considered full-time. If your organization has temporary employees, follow these five steps to identify and reclassify these employees to eliminate the risk that they will trigger the $2,000-per-employee penalty. The Temporary Employee Classification… Gone with the ACA Wind
  4. 4. While “Big Data” is a hot topic in marketing to consumers, the revolution is slow in coming to the B2B (business-to-business) marketplace since the dynamic there is completely different. Transactions are typically larger in dollar value relative to consumer products, but far fewer in frequency. This means that there are not enough data points to serve as predictors of likely future purchases. However, all is not lost since data can still be used to answer important questions such as: What is the job title of the person who normally makes the buying decision? What size companies are you more successful selling to? What kinds of companies are more likely to buy from you? A system that collects just a few more key data points can also tell you which of your competitors you most often succeed or fail against, where your most successful leads are coming from and why you won or lost a sale (price, timing, relationship, etc.). Your sales team may already be collecting some of this data as a part of its sales management process and, if so, you should be using it to tailor your marketing approaches and programs, too. There is immediate value in being able to target your limited marketing dollars to that “sweet spot” where they are likely to do the most good. And, as you become more comfortable with what your customer data is telling you, you can also begin to explore how to tailor your products or services to reach those less likely buyers. In other words, starting with the question of “who” and moving to understand the “why”. While the concept of target marketing is not at all new, the ability to analyze real customer data now allows you to be more effective in designing and executing your marketing programs. Technology makes it possible to act based more on real data and less on general market research or gut feel. 4 | BIZGROWTH STRATEGIES – FALL 2013 CBIZ, INC. S uccessful marketers are increasingly using customer data to gain a competitive advantage. A data-driven marketing team understands who buys their organization’s products and services before they jump into expensive and time-consuming marketing campaigns. Marketing Data-Driven Marketing MARK DIXON CBIZ Benefits Insurance Services, Inc. Leawood, KS 913.234.1717 • Fortunately, the prevalence of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and POS (Point of Sale/ Service) systems in companies today means that marketers have a ready platform for uncovering and analyzing invaluable data that previously had only been available to the largest and most sophisticated organizations. In a retail or B2C (business-to-consumer) environment, the history of previous purchases is being used like never before to tailor marketing messages to the individual consumer. This move towards “Big Data” analytics means that offers these days are often being individualized. You’ve probably seen this when shopping online: “Customers like you who bought product X also bought product Y.” Sometimes it’s far less obvious, such as with retailers whose mailers vary from one house to the next based on demographics and past purchase data.
  5. 5. W ith health care reform a reality, top-performing employers understand that pursuing the objective of healthier, happier employees is even more important. To that end, they’re shifting their focus to fixing the environmental, cultural and lifestyle systems in the workplace that lead to struggling wellbeing, preventable health risks and modifiable CBIZ, INC. BIZGROWTH STRATEGIES – FALL 2013 | 5 Step 1: Identify your current temporary, non-benefit- eligible employees, such as interns, seasonal hires and temporary workers, who supplement your workforce or assist in the completion of a project. Step 2: Run reporting that displays their hours worked per month over the past 12 months. Flag any employees who averaged 30 hours during the total time period or within the first six or last six months. Flag any temporary employees who worked 130 hours or more in any given month. These flagged employees could be considered full-time under ACA. Step 3: Categorize your temporary employees into the four available ACA classifications and evaluate the impact of these changes. See the graphic below for the classification breakdown. Step 4: Based on your policy decisions, amend your handbook, policies and health-plan documents, THE FOUR ACA EMPLOYEE CLASSIFICATION CATEGORIES FULL-TIME: Extending health plan eligibility to temporary employees who are reclassified as full-time will prevent these employees from triggering the $2,000 penalty. Calculate their projected enrollment and impact to your budget. Is this cost increase acceptable? If not, can you make compliant policy changes to reclassify these employees as part-time? For example, can you compliantly limit their monthly hours to 125? SEASONAL: Seasonal employees can be excluded from your group health plan. The final ACA definition of seasonal is pending. For planning purposes, consider employees with strong seasonality and employment durations of less than 121 days as seasonal. For example, if you hire interns only in the summer and for 90 days or less, they will likely be classified as seasonal. However, if you hire interns throughout the year, the position is not dependent on seasonality. Any seasonal employees should be tracked similarly to variable hour employees. VARIABLE HOUR: For hourly employees who may or may not work 30 hours per week, you can track their hours for up to 12 months before establishing their eligibility. PART-TIME: If you are able to classify temporary employees as part-time (never working 130 hours or more in a given month), these employees will not impact the $2,000 “no coverage” 2015 employer penalty. Wellness EMPLOYEE WELLBEING THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF (Continued on page 7) costs. This is a major paradigm shift in thinking about the economic value of health and overall wellbeing. There has been a fair amount of validated research in recent years, demonstrating the effectiveness of successfully implemented wellbeing programs. While Health Care Reform (Continued from page 3) including insurance contracts, and communicate these changes to employees. Step 5: When hiring new employees, ensure they are placed in one of these four categories and administered accordingly. Take caution in your reclassification efforts, and please note that there may be other legal implications to your current temporary employee definition and administration. Portions reprinted with permission. Copyright ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, April 2013, Washington, DC. ZACK PACE CBIZ, Inc. • Columbia, MD 443.259.3240 • CO-AUTHOR: Rebecca Barnes-Hogg of YOLO Insights
  6. 6. The Tax Man Cometh He’s Heading for the Internet THE MARKETPLACE FAIRNESS ACT: W hether your brick-and-mortar business sells goods online or you are solely an Internet retailer, you must get up to speed on the Marketplace Fairness Act – a piece of legislation which passed the Senate in early May and is currently under hot debate in the House of Representatives. It requires all “remote sellers”, including online stores, earning $1 million in revenue or more to collect taxes for every state where they have customers. If the Marketplace Fairness Act becomes law it will mean thousands of dollars in new revenue for each state because they will now be collecting sales tax from Internet shoppers who once avoided the additional fee by ordering online. The bill would force online shoppers to pay sales tax for the state to which they are having their items shipped. Currently, most online shoppers are subject to a self- reported Use Tax, which is typically the same rate of tax. The new law will require every state to provide remote sellers with free software that calculates all taxes due. Under the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), adopted by a total of 24 states, only five software providers are ‘certified’ to provide such a program. States that choose not to join the SSUTA will be provided an alternative process within the act. This option will contain five mandates which must be followed and implemented into the state’s tax plan before enforcement of the law. Additionally, these states as well as those listed under the SSUTA must wait a period of 180 days before collection, starting the first day of the financial quarter after enactment. The Small Seller Exception As we await a final decision from the House on the Marketplace Fairness Act, or S. 743, it is important to understand its significance for employers as well as individuals. A noteworthy piece to the legislation is Section 2(c) also known as the “Small Seller Exception”, exempting remote sellers who earn less than $1 million in gross annual receipts. Independent vendors who use third-party sites, such as Etsy or Amazon, may view the $1 million cut-off negatively because in order to use these sites they must pay transaction fees. Right now these fees are not being incorporated in the annual calculation. Revisions Several lawmakers and companies have publicly voiced their opinion on the Marketplace Fairness Act. Tax Accounting 6 | BIZGROWTH STRATEGIES – FALL 2013 CBIZ, INC. Some discussions around the act include making revisions to the current law before any further action is taken. The Small Seller Exception may be just a small note included in one of the six sections of the act; however, it arguably has created the most debate among small- to mid-size business owners. One major concern is the administrative burden this tax would place on small businesses. Opponents to this rule, including eBay, argue that the exemption level is too low and propose $10 million should be the cut-off value. If you’re an online business, based on your state’s membership in the SSUTA, your future tax collection process is dependent on the Marketplace Fairness Act. Though much is left up to debate, including several revisions that could affect its enforcement, the time to prepare for a change in sales tax law is now. If passed in its current state, you must be prepared to take action in as little as six months to meet these new filing requirements. Connect with a tax professional now to prepare properly. ANNA HOWELL CBIZ MHM, LLC • Memphis, TN 901.685.5575 • T o paraphrase Joel Stein’s cover story in TIME magazine earlier this year, Millennials are entitled and materialistic narcissists addicted to technology. Whether one believes this statement or not, the fact is that Millennials (generally defined as individuals born between 1980 and 2000) are a force to be reckoned with due to population; there are approximately 80 million in the U.S. alone. While demographic studies vary somewhat, the general consensus is that Millennials will make up at least half of the U.S. workforce within the next 20 years. Human Resources Managing a Multi- Generational Workplace (Especially Millennials) (Continued on page 7)
  7. 7. CBIZ, INC. BIZGROWTH STRATEGIES – FALL 2013 | 7 the vast majority of them have focused on large- and medium-sized companies, smaller businesses can still draw credible knowledge from these studies to apply to their business. Further, workforce wellbeing and engagement is still important even if the business’ medical plan is fully-insured, has a pooled group premium or is utilizing exchanges because there are other compelling reasons related to the productivity, performance and competitiveness of the business that are important. Employers who are struggling with increasing health care costs and attenuating employee productivity concerns simply cannot afford NOT to improve the wellbeing and performance of their workforce. With the reasons for wellbeing programs so compelling, the issue is not whether to offer a wellness program but how best to implement it so as to fully engage employees to gain clear, measurable outcomes and a real return on this serious business investment. Surveys tell us that the biggest challenge to maintaining affordable coverage is employees’ poor health habits, followed by high-cost catastrophic cases and underuse of preventive services. Clearly, there are preventive and mitigation opportunities to address these challenges. Such programs have goals to: • increase employee education and awareness of health risks • engage the workforce in active, healthy lifestyles • reduce moderate and high risk prevalence in the population, specifically weight, stress, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and tobacco use • reduce medical claims expense, as well as absences, disability and worker’s comp injuries The ‘real’ answer to these problems is to focus on improving employee wellbeing, energy and engagement. Performance will follow. Leading evidence suggests we need to go upstream to fix the system leading to the defects. Businesses can begin to manage the wellbeing of their workforce with the following actions: 1. Designate a wellbeing leader. 2. Endorse a mission of wellbeing. 3. Enlist the help of an expert wellness consultant. 4. Create a team of wellbeing champions. 5. Develop a multi-year strategic plan. 6. Utilize data analytics to drive focus and course. 7. Implement a host of related tactical and practical interventions designed to engage everyone. Senior leadership can ignite a strategic business initiative of wellbeing which ultimately will deliver a return of value. That strategy develops a workforce culture where employees are engaged, accountable self-leaders who are supported in their pursuit of health, wellbeing and life accomplishment. Wellness (Continued from page 5) GINA PAYNE CBIZ Benefits Insurance Services, Inc. Leawood, KS 913.234.1064 • Eventually, this generation will be called upon to take leadership roles, and it is critical they are prepared. The economic recession has delayed the workforce transition somewhat, as many Baby Boomers elect to work beyond intended retirement dates. Nonetheless, Baby Boomers will eventually retire, leaving jobs to be filled by succeeding generations. With this in mind, organizations should consider possible succession plans now and establish the necessary initiatives to develop and retain high-performing young workers. So what actions ought to be taken to effectively manage generational differences in the workplace? Recognize and appreciate workplace diversity. Obviously, acknowledging and encouraging diversity extends well beyond age, but the approach remains the same. Organizations may establish various worker groups to develop practices or evaluate proposed policy that impact employees. The goal of grouping employees with diverse backgrounds, experience and job roles is to generate creative thinking. Additionally, Millennials benefit from exposure to employees in different levels and functions. On the other hand, affinity groups tend to engender loyalty. By offering young, new workers the opportunity to work with other similarly-situated workers, they are more likely to bond with colleagues and, accordingly, the organization as a whole. Provide growth opportunities. The stereotypical mindset of Millennials is that they expect to be the leaders of tomorrow, literally. While such a timeline is not realistic, it is important to communicate potential career paths and what skills and behaviors are needed to advance. Accordingly, professional development opportunities should be made available to Millennials to assist them in growing within the organization. Human Resources (Continued from page 6) (Continued on page 8)
  8. 8. PRIYA J. KAPILA CBIZ Human Capital Services • St. Louis, MO 314.995.5558 • our business is growing yours ©Copyright2013.CBIZ,Inc.NYSEListed:CBZ.Allrightsreserved.•CBIZ-020,Rev.57 Human Resources (Continued from page 7) 8 | BIZGROWTH STRATEGIES – FALL 2013 CBIZ, INC. Play up individual skills. While explaining conventional career paths is important to convey the ability for upward progression, so too is permitting employees to “find their own way”. Millennials may seek less traditional job changes in order to remain challenged. Staff should be encouraged to express their interests as it relates to their job and the organization and, to the extent it is feasible, allowed flexibility in work assignments. Develop or modify performance management processes. Popular opinion suggests that Millennials have grown to expect immediate gratification. As a result, it is important to establish performance management procedures that are meaningful to the workforce; for young workers, this often means frequent performance reviews and rewards. The size of the award tends to matter less than the feedback itself, so inexpensive recognition initiatives may be added throughout the year. An organization may provide for 360-degree spot recognition as well, wherein customers, supervisors or peers can reward workers for specific efforts. Clearly, it is essential to maintain a cooperative multi-generational workforce within an organization. The good news is that basic modifications to training, professional development and performance management processes can yield very positive benefits with regard to attracting, motivating and retaining Millennials and others.