Small business owners operating on a tight budget have to make difficult choices. You can never do everything you want to do to grow your company.
What decisions are you mulling over? Should you get an assistant to ease your 60-hour workweeks? Should you upgrade critical equipment? Expand your sales staff? Hire a developer to fix website issues you’ve been ignoring for two years?
The question: “Should I invest in labor management software?” may not be on your list.
It’s easy to understand why many small business owners can’t justify the expense of labor planning software. After all, you can run your business without time and attendance apps.
But you can’t run it efficiently. Some believe that if they work harder, they can grow their business without workforce management technology.
Do you think labor management software is only for large businesses?
The more limited your resources, the more important it is to use them wisely.
What resources are we talking about?
I would argue that time, money, and expertise are your most valuable resources. And they are all limited. You can’t squeeze more than 24 hours out of day no matter how hard you try to bend the space-time continuum.
Then there is money. Like time, there is never enough. If you are a small business owner, you are always in a cash-flow pinch. You’ve got to pay the lease, suppliers, taxes, and employees. It’s hard to rationalize buying labor management software when you barely have enough to cover payroll taxes.
Expertise is not as quantifiable as time or money but no less important. You are probably an expert at many things—and like any true entrepreneur—you can do them all at once! But most of us can’t do everything well.
Small business owners are usually experts on their product or service. But that doesn’t always help with employee management. For example, a contractor can know the ins and outs of the construction trade. But he has never been an employer. Then he starts a construction business and hires employees. His framing, electrical, and plumbing skills won’t help with Human Resources processes. This is one reason the road to business success is littered with so many casualties.
When it comes to employee management, the technology comes in the form of labor management software and apps.
Labor management software will help you accomplish more in the hours you spend running your business.
It will save you time.
It will save you money.
It will increase your expertise.
Labor planning software capably handles the things for which it is designed:
- Tracking employee hours
- Creating schedules
- Forecasting staffing needs
- Calculating PTO
- Maintaining compliance (Fair Labor Standards Act, ACA, local scheduling laws)
- Keeping detailed records
- Tracking job or client billing
Labor planning software uses algorithms to analyze business data and forecast staffing demands. It takes the guesswork out of employee scheduling for next week or even six months out.
Your time is better spent doing things that require a human brain. Real intelligence vs artificial intelligence. Creativity, critical thinking, and interacting with clients are more important uses for your time.
How will labor planning software help you run your business?
Labor Planning Saves Time
Labor planning software will save you a lot of time. Consider how much time you spend processing payroll. You probably spend at least five minutes on each time card. Unless there is a missed punch. Then you have to investigate and correct it. This could take ten more minutes. Labor planning software can do all the calculations in seconds. Plus, it doesn’t make mathematical errors. It also calculates accruals according to company policy.
How much time do you spend making sure that you are compliant with labor laws? Labor planning software takes care of that for you as well. You enter all the rules that apply to your business. These could include overtime, breaks and meals, Fair Work Week, and employee classification. Are you subject to a union contract? Labor planning software can handle that.
How much time do you spend creating employee schedules? How much time do you spend finding a replacement when someone doesn’t show up for their shift? Labor management simplifies all this plus it forecasts staffing demands.
Labor Planning Saves Money
If you are doing manual time and attendance, you are paying too much for labor. Time theft, human error, and manual processes are to blame. When you track employee time to the minute, you only pay your employees when they are working.
Time and attendance apps also help you minimize overtime. Automated alerts notify you or a manager when an employee is approaching overtime. You don’t have to keep everyone’s hours in your head. You outsource overtime policing to your labor planning software. You have more important things to do.
Scheduling tools optimize employee schedules. This yields the highest return for your labor dollar.
Time and attendance apps reduce administrative costs. With pen and paper time cards, you waste time troubleshooting inaccuracies. At some companies, a payroll manager enters data into the payroll system manually. When you (or your HR team) can submit payroll in minutes, you have time to pursue new business opportunities.
Labor Planning Increases Your Management Expertise
Labor planning software increases your management capabilities. It allows you to create just-right schedules in minutes. It provides analytics for data-driven decision making. It allows you to quickly solve shift coverage problems. Mobile time and attendance apps improve your oversight of remote employees. Labor planning software improves communication.
Time. Money. Expertise. Labor planning software increases each of your business resources.
To learn more about the benefits of labor planning software, visit the SwipeClock labor management.
By Liz Strikwerda