Benefits Managers

It is fascinating just how much the world changes.  Day in and day out things change.  We may not see them as big or very relevant at that point. But they find a way into your life.  Looking back a little more than 7 years and our phones were just getting apps we could check email on wifi.  Now just see what you can do with your phones now.

Learn New Or Keep Old

As small business owners there is constant struggle for maintaining your benefits.  Do you keep your old ones because of the fear of having to start over?  Do you learn about new ones to keep up to date with the latest and greatest?  These seem to be very different ideas from each other.

Learning new things can be difficult, time consuming, and even distracting for you.  But it means that you are all the more involved in what is going on in your business.  Believe me the employees will notice when you are involved.

Keeping the old benefits will take much less time off your hands.  It will be more familiar for your employees as the open enrollment period comes about.

A Possible Alternative

For you there is an opportunity for an alternative solution.  This would be to meet in the middle.  This alternative would allow you to stay on top new and exciting opportunities/improvements to your benefits.  It would also allow you to see opportunities for developing what is familiar to you and your employees.  Many times carriers will update their policies and programs that go with the policies.  Unless asked about then the new improvements and additions will not be added or even talked about much of the time.

How To Get To Middle Ground

At this point you may be asking well how do I get to this middle ground.  How do you stay on top of the new yet keep ahold of the old. The simplest solution is to get a benefits manager.

What do you need to know about benefits managers?

First, is that a good benefits manager should be willing and able to do all the work for you.  You should not need to hire a new human resources person in order to add a benefit to your employees.  They should meet with the employees and help them understand all of their options.  As part of this the benefits manager should be a fiduciary to the employer and employee.

Second,  they should have a plan to keep you in the loop about your benefits.  You as an employer should expect at least three touches through out the year outside of daily account activity.  What to talk about with your benefits advisor is a whole nother topic that you will be able to learn about.

Third, they should always be willing to research and learn about something that you have heard about or have seen in your travels and business building.  Whether you hear it at a conference or in an email it is always good to open start a conversation with them.

Last, benefits advisors at this time should not ask for any additional compensation.  The advisors work directly with the carriers and businesses involved with your benefits.  This means they will be paid by other means opposed to your business.  As a side note a great majority have your best interests in mind.

Finding the middle ground can be difficult but find yourself an amazing benefit manager and you will not regret your decision.

My Learning About Benefits

Many years ago I was offered a job that included what I was told a generous benefit package.  Benefits is a broad word meant to let people know that they have opportunities to receive more for their work than just the pay that they receive.  For me at that time it just meant that there was a bunch of options to choose from.  These options would take away money that I was earning.  I was young, healthy, and naive as to what they really were to me.  As years have gone by and as I have studied benefits for years now I know that there are perfect options for businesses.

What I didn’t know

I didn’t know the terminology of the different parts of benefit packages.  From the basic health insurance to the complexity of choosing mutual funds for my retirement plan.

I didn’t know how the benefits could be used and how they could benefit me.  Again, all I saw was that these benefits would take money from my paycheck.

I didn’t know the resources I had that I could use to learn more about the benefits.  Most every company has places you can go or ways that you can get more information on the benefits.

What did I learn

Over the years I have come to learn the terminology for benefits.  It was mostly through trial and error that I have learned what i have.  I would also include some google mixed into my learning. I know now what a supplemental plan is for.  In learning I know that there can be easy choices for choosing insurances or for retirement.

I know much better how the benefit packages can help me and how to use them.

And I also know how to find resources and people to talk to about benefits that can guide me to use the benefits to their maximum potential.

I also know now that businesses don’t just put benefits in place to just say that they have them.  Rather that they want to cultivate and keep their employees.

What I do now

Now days I work with businesses to set up their benefit packages for their employees.  I also work with individuals to understand their financial situation. Helping individuals take advantage of every benefit offered.  Within the agreed amounts and keeping values in place.

I also take time to answer questions and teach about what I have learned. Within these articles you will begin to learn more about benefits and how you can use them.  Maybe even suggest a few to your own company.

In the end I have loved taking something that I knew very little about and changed it into a strength.  Through learning, research, and diligence I have become better.  Start your learning now by reading more articles.


3 Changes to Merchant Services To Watch For

In many industries changes happen at a steady pace. More recently the merchant services industry has had several big changes. One part is due to law changes. Another part is from technology advancing. Because of these changes businesses will be able to see 3 opportunities for themselves.

3 Opportunities

First, is that businesses can see more competitive rates. For example, the merchant services company I work with guarantees the lowest rates or they give you $1000. For big businesses, even 1/10th of a percent will mean thousands of dollars in savings that they can use in a variety of ways. Second, they will see that the transition and the ability to make changes are very easily made. This is done because merchant service businesses are eliminating the middleman.  And they are going directly to the card carriers. Small businesses have opportunities to change from one plan to the next easily. Companies love this flexibility as their company develops. Third, they should begin to see, specialization software based on the industry they are in. Sole-proprietors’ have an opportunity to customize processing software to their needs.  Your industry, whether a photographer, graphic designer, online seller, cosmetologist, esthetician etc. will benefit greatly from these changes. As you can see this information is very game changing for small business owners, sole proprietors, and also big businesses. Keep these in mind as you think about your merchant services. If anything sticks out that you have a question on please reach out to your current carrier or reach out to my team and we would be happy to answer them.

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Acts of Kindness Benefit Everyone

Do you really want to be happy? Everyone says yes, but the gateway to happiness makes some of us frown. The gateway to happiness, is giving to others. Think about this: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – The Dalai Lama

Some of us may feel that, if we give too much, our generosity, will be taken advantage of by others. This is true, and a few very selfish individuals can possibly perceive your good intentions as weakness.

However, people who seek to take advantage are in the minority. To quote Gandhi, “We must be the change, we wish to see in the world.” Think about it, change has to start somewhere, so why not start with you and me, right now?

You can donate anything randomly, without seeking reward, and anonymously, without telling anyone. This is good for you, the universe, and those who receive your acts of kindness. Every time you give, you will receive – even, if you are not looking for a reward.

Try it, and you will see, what some call, “karma,” the law of cause and effect. It works like this: For every action there is a reaction. Let’s make sure the reactions to our actions are good ones.

Danny Thomas said, “All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”

Share everything and you will achieve a legacy of kindness. Share nothing and people will, do their best, to forget you. When my life is over I will only leave memories, in the minds of others, and I want them all to be good ones.

So, how much should you give? It can start with, “heart felt”, kind words, a note, a card, or a flower. You will find that your gifts or donations won’t make you poor. As a result of this, you will see most people, naturally, return kindness to you.

You should also take the time to be polite to all of the people who perform services for you, every day. Many people do not bother to say hello to the maid, janitor, parking attendant, or service clerk.

Once you do, you may even learn their name, and you would be surprised how many of them will go out of their way to give you good service, just by addressing them by their first name.

If you establish sincerity and trust where ever you go, you will be loved by your fellow man. It is really that simple. As Mohammed said, “A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world.”

K & I Fleischel LLC