Business Planning

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Building the Business Team

Consider these points when hiring personnel or consultants

  • Interview professionals and make sure they understand your business plan and relate well with you. Prepare questions ahead of time.
  • The cost of personnel may be the greatest expense of the business.
  • Hiring, training and empowering your employees can create a cooperative team that will motivate and reward peak performance.

Hire your employees carefully

  • Review resumes and check references.
  • Consult your state business resources to find out what questions you can and cannot ask in an interview.
  • Always get a signed waiver from a potential employee allowing you to conduct a background check.
  • If your new employee isn't working out, then it's wise to let them go as soon as possible.
  • Business owners often say it is the employees they should have fired but didn't who cause them the most grief.

Give employees meaningful feedback

  • Some employees need more guidance than others to do a good job.
  • Always let employees know what is expected of them and let them know when they have done a job well.
  • Establish company rules, and be sure all employees understand these rules, and why they exist.
  • Encourage questions.

Provide employees a clear description of their job responsibilities

The best way to clarify a person's roles and responsibilities within a business is to create a job description. This can also serve as an outline for measuring job performance.

Creating a "Personnel Policy Manual" can also create better employees. The manual should include the business overview and mission statement, employment policies, conditions of work, wage compensation, benefits plan, training and development, travel and relocation stipend, absence policy, termination and retirement procedures, equal opportunity employment statements and procedural requirements.

Motivate Employees regularly

  • Attending meetings regularly being honest and compensating hardworking employees, are good ways to motivate employees.
  • Listening and reacting to employees often helps the business, and motivates employees.
  • You can compensate employees with salary, vacation time, sick time, holiday leave, insurance investment coverage and profit sharing.

Decide on business communication details early! It's important.

  • Schedule employee meetings, meet with lawyers, accountants and bankers on a regular basis, or be in contact through the phone or e-mail.
  • For business operations, use a tack board or create inboxes, e-mail accounts or a business operations journal.
  • Empower your employees by creating a safe environment for employee input.
  • To fulfill communication expectations, maintain personnal files as well as vendor and customer files.
  • Document confrontations, conversations, and actions taken.

Hiring Employees

You will need to fill our Form SS-4. This can be done online at the Internal Revenue website. (This website is also an excellent resource for information.)

You will also need a state employer identifier number. The state number will usually be the same as your federal employer identification number however you still need to register with the state to let them know you will be subject to employment taxes. Massachusetts requires all new businesses to file and pay their taxes online. For additional information, visit the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website.

You will need to register with the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance for state unemployment taxes. This is done with Form 1110-A available at the Massachusetts website.

Before any employee starts work for you, it is necessary to secure from them a completed W-4. New hires must be reported to Massachusetts within 14 days or a $25 penalty may be imposed upon the employer. Also it is necessary to have employees complete an I-9 to assure your potential employees are legally allowed to work in the U.S.

Also, before your hire your first employee, you must have workers compensation insurance. Your local insurance agent should be able to assist you.

The IRS and Massachusetts websites are a wonderful resource to guide you through the considerable number of forms and filing requirements.

Cost of payroll to the employer example:

FICA and Medicare: 7.65%
FUTA for the first $7000 of wages per employee is 0.8%
Mass unemployment: Depending on the kind of business and employee turnover could be 2% - 15% for the first $ 14,000 of wages per employee. Workers compensation insurance: Directly related to payroll and depends on nature of business ranging from 0.005% - 100%

Health Insurance

Research and compare programs.

Franklin County Chamber of Commerce
The Insurance Partnership, 1-800-399-8285
National Association for the Self Employed 1-800-232-6273
Trade Associations