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Making Change

Or, How to Turn Whatever is Thrown At You Into Opportunity

One of the first things you notice about people in the PEO business is how they handle challenges. The last few years have been rough on all businesses, especially small ones: a weak economy, high unemployment, severe layoffs, shrinking workforces, whole industries struggling, low consumer confidence, stalled hiring, suppression of wages, indecision in business, lending restrictions, a gridlocked government, and a frail recovery. Yet, PEO people still tend to say things like, “We’re all going to find a way to be successful,” “We’ve figured out a way to create our own niche and deliver value,” and “There is so much opportunity.”

The inherent paradox of the PEO business is that when small businesses—the PEO’s lifeblood—struggle, that’s when they need PEOs the most. This paradox has existed since the very inception of the PEO industry. Throughout the industry’s lifetime, PEOs have adapted and thrived through changing economies, market cycles, and business environments. On the surface, how they do this is somewhat of a mystery.

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Departments

Operations

Globalization and the Future of Outsourcing

The world is growing considerably smaller. Pursuing customers, strategic partners, suppliers, and vendors outside the friendly confines of the United States is no longer just for large multi-national firms, but for us all. PEOs work with strategic partners (e.g., insurance carriers, software firms, and other service providers) and count on them to be an integral part of service delivery.

Healthcare

The Changing Healthcare Environment for PEOs

Should small employers continue to offer health benefits? Are public exchanges good options for coverage? Will exchanges change the way employers buy and enroll in benefits in the future? Will clients demand additional support from PEOs on benefits questions? These are simple questions with complex answers. PEOs will need to adapt to the new health insurance environment to remain competitive. In this article, I will seek to illustrate the complexity of the decision-making process by walking through an example of a small-employer looking to purchase benefits to begin in 2014.

Executive Office

Economic Indicators for Small Businesses

Small business is the heartbeat that drives the economic engine in this country. More than 99 percent of businesses in the United States are considered small business, which as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a company with fewer than 500 employees.


Columns

Statehouse Update

NAPEO’s 2014 State Government Affairs Action Plan Paul J. Richman

NAPEO, under its recently adopted 2014 State Government Affairs Action Plan, will continue to pursue a proactive and aggressive strategy to create legal and operational certainty for PEOs in the states.

Special Report

NAPEO Focus Group Gauges Small Business Attitudes Towards PEOs Kerry Carruthers

In an effort to bolster NAPEO’s own marketing efforts on behalf of the PEO industry and to help members fine-tune their own sales and marketing messages, the association recently partnered with nationally known pollster Bill McInturff and his company, Public Opinion Strategies (POS), to conduct a focus group to gauge the attitudes of small business owners towards PEOs.


Small Business Perspective

5 Lessons Learned from 'Best Places to Work' Dan Danner

When mega-corporations are singled out as great places to work, they typically have big money on the table. SAS handed out 100,000 hours of subsidized massages last year. Google has a seven-acre sports complex, complete with roller hockey rink, basketball courts, and horseshoe pits.

PEO Spotlight

New Aviation Niche PEO Takes Off Stephanie Oetjen

Joe Clifton noticed the similarity between his aviation clients and NAPEO members immediately. “Mainly, it’s a passion for aviation that people have. That’s why they go into aviation, so it’s not viewed as a job, but as a way of life and with that comes a willingness to help others,” Joe said.


NAPEO Notebook

A Busy Season at NAPEO Patrick J. Cleary

It’s been a busy month here at NAPEO, and I figured I’d use my column this month to update you on the goings-on.

NAPEO Advisor

USERRA and Promotions, Part-Time Accommodation William J. Schilling, Esq.

Q. I understand that under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), employees are entitled to automatic promotions that would have occurred during their absences. What about discretionary promotions?


The Inside Word

NAPEO’s Strategic Priorities for 2014 Mark C. Perlberg

As the famous quote from none other than Alice In Wonderland says, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” In business, and in NAPEO, avoiding that pitfall is a critical objective.

Global Insights

Intellectual Property Drives Our Economy Thomas J. Donohue

What do software, footwear, biotechnology, and publishing have in common? They are all industries that are steeped in intellectual property, or IP. Our economy is driven by the need to innovate, create, and develop new ways to serve consumers—and IP-intensive industries play an essential role.


Capitol Comment

Tax Reform Slips into Next Year Thom Stohler

At the beginning of 2013, there appeared to be a glimmer of bipartisan hope that tax reform would be the rare legislation that might make it through Congress. There is a bipartisan consensus that our current tax system is broken, that there are too many loopholes (now called tax expenditures), and that a simplified tax code with lower rates (and fewer deductions) could promote economic growth and deficit reduction.

 

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