1. Talent goes where it is made to feel welcome. Talent stays where it is treated well.
“Your people are your most valuable asset,” remains a fundamental truth in business. Avoid the race to the bottom that results from stocking your team with easy to acquire, low cost, low-value talent. Cross over to a world of smart, talented team members who want and deserve better. Today, benefits are table stakes in the war for talent. Don’t ignore one of the best tools for attracting and retaining talent: employee benefits.
2. It seems that there is an all-out assault on small business owners.
Small business owners are the economic engine of our economy. It seems like governments are increasingly looking to small business owners to drive tax revenue growth. Tax legislation on health and dental benefits allows for someone who is both an employee and a shareholder to participate in an employee benefit plan. The cost of employee benefits (including your own benefits costs) is a deductible business expense while the payment of your premium and the reimbursement of your health and dental expenses are not considered taxable income. As with any employee, your health and dental benefit premiums are tax-free as is any health expenditure reimbursed by your benefit plan. For business owners, there are very few deductible expenses that result in tax-free benefits. Take advantage of the preferred tax treatment of employee benefits as an employee of your own business.
3. You are smart and can avoid the common traps
Many benefit consultants or insurers will offer uber low entry rates with the idea that once you offer benefits to your team, they are hard to take away even as the cost rises, sometimes rapidly. Make sure your benefit plan is reasonably priced, modest in its features and designed to include cost control features. Consider a small premium co-pay, so your employees have some skin the game, avoid the lowest price and deal with a broker you trust.
4. You just never know.
You or one of your employees could die or incur a high cost out of country or prescription drug claim leading to severe financial hardship. One of our clients recently incurred a drug claim with an annual cost of about $350,000. Many employees have no life insurance so even a modest group life insurance benefit can make a big difference. Don’t forget that benefits offer real insurance and can provide a lifeline to your employees (and to you) in the event of a major health crisis or death.
5. Because it is 2018.
Evolving employment trends emphasize a company’s persona and public perceptions as to whether a business is a good place to work. By providing employee benefits, you add luster to your brand and perceptions about your business. The opposite being the “fat cat” business owner who only looks after themselves while turning a blind eye to the needs of employees. In an increasingly Millennial world, benefits make sense.
6. Be different.
Look around. Most successful businesses succeed by differentiating themselves. By offering a decent wage and a great starter benefit plan, you will be the envy of your peers and the place to work. Remember that talent goes where it is made to feel welcome, and talent stays where it is treated well. Even though many of your contemporaries may not offer benefits, it is time to break from the heard.
7. Just do it.
Running your own business means countless decisions day in and day out. It is often difficult to find the time to sift through the pros and cons of important business decisions like whether to offer an employee benefit plan. Many clinic owners simply postpone this decision. My advice… just do it. For the most straightforward recipe: find a great broker, decide if you can trust them, get them to design a plan with the right features and budget for your clinic. Start slow, start modestly and almost never take the lowest quote.
Providing comprehensive coverage for all your employees is affordable! Our group rates mean cost-effective coverage for everyone at your clinic. Learn about the benefits of benefits.
About the Author
Scott Beckett is an insurance broker with 31-years in the industry. Scott holds an MBA (1997) from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a Bachelor of Science (1984) in Statistics and Actuarial Science from the University of Western Ontario. In 2008, Scott founded Edgewater Financial Group Inc. Until 2008, Scott was Vice President of Living Benefits at a major national insurance wholesaling organization. Scott has held a variety of senior positions in insurance marketing and product development and sales. Scott is a member of the Conference for Advanced Life Underwriting (CALU) and is a current member of the CALU Long Term Care Insurance Working Group, and the Living Benefits Working Group and a past member of the Task Force on Female Membership Growth. Since 2012 Scott has Co-Chaired the Abilities & Beyond Dinner for March of Dimes Canada raising over $750,000 toward programs supporting March of Dimes Canada’s many programs. In 2016 Scott became sole Chair of this event. Scott is a founding board member of Beautiful World Canada, a charity funding and supporting the education of young women in Africa. He is a frequent author on the subject of Executive Benefits and Executive Compensation and a guest speaker at industry schools and continuing education events.