How to Build an Affordable and Attractive Benefits Plan for your Small Business

Finding valuable employees isn’t an easy task and an even harder one if you’re a new or small business owner. You want to find people who will not only put the necessary value into their job but also represent your business well. Fortunately there is a pool of qualified great professionals out there waiting for their opportunity to gain your attention, but with so many competitors, the trick is keeping their attention.

For small business owners, there’s no use in trying to outdo big corporations when it comes to your employee benefits package because although we want to give our all, if we did that, we’d have no company left.

The key to creating the most attractive benefit plan possible is to know your limits while also maximizing on the value of what you can provide. For example, did you know that small business owners can help their employees find practically anything from the best yoga classes to the best auto insurance for the independent contractor?

Small businesses may not be able to offer every possible benefit, but that doesn’t mean the benefit plans have to be terrible. Find out how to make sure your benefits are both attractive and affordable to your employees.

Know Who You Attract

To be a good business owner you have to know your business inside and out, which includes knowing what kind of people your business attracts. Just like dating, every business has “a type,” so knowing who is likely to come work for you will make designing a benefit plan easier than shooting blind.

What are the common health issues folks in your line of business usually have? What are the most popular attractions in your area? Great benefits include anything that makes life easier or more enjoyable, and by offering perks for future care and local activities increases the quality of company culture and can also gather local support for your business.

If buying the mandatory employee benefits in bulk seems to be overwhelming your business’s budget, try exploring smaller multiple options that your employees can choose from. Having multiple options for health, dental, or even student loan repayment programs allows you to keep from overspending on benefits that don’t get utilized.

Think Creatively

The good thing about being a small business is that even though you may not have a corporate budget, you have the freedom to tailor your needs based on worthy talent.

Familiarize yourself with the needs of your community and pick the benefits that tailor to those needs in order to give your business compelling starting points against your competition. If your budget for benefits is small, look into annual and seasonal perks like events and bonuses that give your staff things to look forward to or assistance with things they need.

Helping provide extra money during birthdays or the holiday season for holiday turkeys or extra groceries, or child care are incentives that make employees feel valued which keeps them around longer. You don’t want to lose good talent simply because you couldn’t do the small things you could’ve that show you care about them and their family’s well being. 

Chances are if you’ve thought about starting your own business, you’re a creative person even if you don’t see yourself as such. After pricing out the necessary benefits like health, dental, and retirement plans, try to have things career seekers can actively value and enjoy that will make the positions you offer stand out.

Provide A Cell Phone

This is easy. Business accounts with mobile providers are extremely flexible and great for small businesses. Everyone needs a phone nowadays so why not offer discounts or even to provide mobile devices for your team.

The upside to this is you’ll have dependable communication with your team as well as be able to reap the benefits of having multiple lines. Cell phone carriers want your business so ask for everything, and you may be surprised at what you can get!.

Invest In Mental Health

Health plans are a basic standard when creating a benefit portfolio, but it’s not often someone has an extreme medical emergency so most employees don’t actually feel the perks of this benefit. One way to keep this necessary cost low while giving potential employees something extra to think about is offering something in your benefit package that caters to mental health. This can be something as simple as offering to provide or assist with anything from gym membership to EAP benefits to specified counseling costs. Tailor this to fit your business and your employee’s needs. Look into offering the benefits as individual or office perks depending on your budget.

With the rise in anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies are increasing the quality of their mental health benefits for their employees, which just goes to show that mental health care is always needed.

It’s been proven that happy workers are better workers so if you want to optimize the potential with each hire, you should invest in your employees’ mental health just as you invest in your own if not more.

What Options to Take Away

Maybe you’re here, and your business still has some growing before you can fully include more compelling qualities to your employee benefits packages. However, sometimes the best things in life really are free.

Keep your business attractive to talent by providing a positive safe atmosphere for your employees. Attitude goes a long way when deciding if, where, and who you’ll be working with. Make sure you offer an environment that is attractive to all potential talent.

Remember coffee only goes so far when people are showing up everyday to help grow your dream brand. Investing in them in a variety of ways will multiply the value that comes back to you.

It’s okay if you can’t afford all of the bells and whistles as long as the benefits you provide add to your employee’s benefit of life, and these things show that working for you is an experience unlike any other job offer.

 

 

Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. Danielle has grown up around entrepreneurs and is a small business owner herself. 

Should I get gap insurance if I have a car loan or lease?

Because car insurance can be expensive, most owners of new cars wonder if they need to add gap insurance to their monthly insurance expenses. To help you with the decision of buying gap insurance, we are going to outline when drivers need gap insurance and when drivers can do without adding gap insurance to their car insurance policies.

We will also answer all the questions you may have about gap insurance, such as “Does gap insurance cover death?”, or “Is it worth it to have gap insurance on an older car?”

What Gap Insurance Covers

So how does gap insurance protect drivers’ financial interests? If you total your car or your car is stolen, gap insurance will pay the difference between what your insurance company pays you and what is left on your lease or loan.

Most people know that your new car starts losing value the instant you drive off the lot, so it makes sense that if you total your car, the value your insurer pays you will be much less than the value on the original loan or lease.

For example, if your insurance company pays you $10,000 for your totaled car but you still owe $13,000 on your loan (the original value), gap insurance will pay the $3,000 difference so you can close your lease or loan.

For gap coverage to cover an accident, the car must be deemed a total loss by the insurance company. If it is not a total loss, then your other insurance coverages (such as liability or collision coverage) will pay for repairs. Gap insurance will not pay for deaths, disabilities, or lost wages after a car accident.

Since the last thing you want is to pay off a loan or lease on a car that is now in a junkyard, gap insurance is a worthwhile investment for new car owners to add to their insurance policies. You don’t want to skip buying a gap insurance policy and later have the missing coverage be one of the top reasons you’re falling short on your financial goals.

When Drivers Need Gap Insurance

Now that you know what gap insurance covers, it is fairly straightforward as to when drivers need to carry it. If you meet any of the criteria below, you should consider purchasing gap coverage:

  • The car is less than three years old
  • You are the original owner of the car
  • You won’t be able to afford the financial fallout of an accident without gap insurance

If wrecking your new car in the first few years would create a heavy financial burden, you absolutely need to get gap coverage. You don’t want to be paying off $3,000 in loans for a totaled car because your insurer only covered $10,000 of the $13,000.

Gap insurance can be especially important to have since you will need money to invest in a new vehicle if your first car is totaled or stolen.

When Drivers Can Skip on Gap Insurance

If you are debating whether or not to purchase gap insurance, here’s a tip. Drivers can skip on gap insurance without financial repercussions in the following instances:

  • The car is more than three years old
  • The car is not loaned or leased (you own the vehicle outright)

Most insurers will not sell gap insurance on any car that is older than two to three years, as it is not worth it. Why? Most loans or leases are paid off in a few years, so there isn’t a huge difference between what is left on your loan/lease and the depreciated value of your car.

Where to Buy Gap Insurance

While most people think that gap insurance is optional, it isn’t always. Sometimes, your lender or leaser at the dealership will require you to buy gap insurance, as it protects their assets.

If this is the case, it is important that you avoid buying insurance from the dealership. But why is that?

Gap insurance from a dealership is always more expensive than gap insurance from your own insurer. Unless your dealership forces you to buy gap insurance from them, it is wise to sign up for gap insurance on your own policy, as it will be much cheaper.

If you don’t want to get gap insurance at your own insurer, you also have the option of getting gap insurance at a different insurance company. However, it is always best to stick to one insurer for coverage.

How to Save on Gap Insurance

If you are on the fence about buying gap insurance because of the added expense, don’t stress. Gap insurance is an add-on coverage, which means that it typically only costs a few extra dollars a month.

There are also plenty of ways to decrease costs on gap insurance which then reduces the cost of your monthly bills. The two best ways to save on gap insurance (as well as any car insurance coverage) are shopping for insurance rate quotes and getting discounts.

Compare Insurance Rates

The first trick, insurance rate shopping, is a great way to make sure you have the cheapest rates. After all, insurance companies are always competing with each other to steal customers, and one of the ways they do this is by offering sign-up deals and cheaper rates.

By checking for new rates every year, you can make sure you are with the best company.

Check for Insurance Discounts

Checking for new car discounts at your insurer is also a great way to save a few bucks. New cars often have better safety technology, which can earn you multiple safety feature discounts.

You can also earn discounts for your safe driving, combining policies, and more. So talk to your insurer about discounts and savings that you might be missing out on.

Be Prepared with Gap Insurance

If you have a new car that is loaned or leased, it is vital that you spend a few extra dollars to get gap insurance. Gap insurance will protect your financial investments no matter what happens.

Nobody can ever predict a car crash or when a thief will strike, so it’s important to purchase gap insurance during the first few years of ownership.

Otherwise, you may find yourself frantically researching ways to manage financial emergencies without going into debt or how eating less meat can increase savings so you can pay off loans after a car crash.

 

 


Rachel Bodine is an insurance expert who writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com.

Where to Go for a Car Loan

The language of loans can sound a lot like foreign dialogue that can feel like it takes years to understand. How do you calculate the best interest rates or know if you can get a car on finance with insurance included? Most of us don’t really know where to start, but knowing the right tips and the right bank will have you riding off into the sunset in no time.

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