Fa·cil·i·ta·tion – To facilitate is to make possible, to ease, to assist.

We provide strategic facilitation services to help you articulate a more realistic and exciting future or solve a specific organizational problem or question with client-centric events and processes.

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4 Ways Any Size of Business Can Benefit From an HR Consultant

If you have employees or are planning to hire them, your company can benefit from the services a human resources consulting service provides. No matter your company’s size, scope or number of years it’s been operating, there are tasks an HR consultant can help you manage.

  1. Provide HR Knowledge

If you have a new company and don’t have a human resources team in place yet, an HR consultant can help you get one running and offer services until your department is in place. You need to ensure, for example, that you have an employee benefits package and are compliant with current laws. Your consultant is prepared to help you organize your HR department.

If you have an established company, you may need to bring some of your human resources procedures up to date. HR consultants can brief your in-house staff on current laws, regulations and health and safety developments. You need to stay current on these details no matter your company’s size.

  1. Organize Your Payroll Setup

Payroll is an essential but often complex task. It isn’t something you can overlook — after all, paychecks and tax payments must be timely and accurate. According to PR Newswire, almost three-quarters of surveyed employees said they would have trouble meeting financial obligations if their paycheck were delayed a week.

Payroll is also a responsibility you shouldn’t cut corners on. It can be a lengthy process, and mistakes can be costly, resulting in fees and penalties.

If your current payroll system is problematic, an HR consultant can assist you in finding a more modern and suitable solution. There are many solutions available, including employee time tracking software that makes creating reports and scheduling a lot simpler, even on mobile devices. Having a functional payroll system is vital for allowing you to make timely and organized payouts.

  1. Assist With Hiring

If you have a new or growing company, you may need to hire employees quickly. HR consultants can assist you during a hiring spike. If you’re new to the process or haven’t interviewed in a while, they can help you ask interview questions that should give you the most helpful answers. Consultants can also walk you through the questions you are legally allowed to ask.

HR consultants are available to attend interviews with you, guiding you through the process and assisting with challenging areas such as reasonable accommodation and discrimination laws. Once the interview process is complete, consultants can review candidates and help you choose the best ones. Consultants can also offer salary advice.

  1. Conduct Employee Surveys

Whether you have one employee or many, it’s essential to keep a finger on the pulse of job satisfaction. Staff members may have ideas for improvement or areas of concern that they are reluctant to bring up. A neutral HR consultant can help with the survey process. Having an outside source conduct a survey or ask for feedback gives your employees the chance to speak up with the confidence of anonymity.

Consultants can help you design a survey based on your business and the areas you want to address. Once surveys are complete, these professionals can help you evaluate results and design action plans.

Companies of all ages and sizes can benefit from the work HR consultants do. When it comes to human resources, it pays to seek help in staying compliant and keeping your employees satisfied.

Lighthouse Consulting Group can help take your business to the next level. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.

3 Things That Can Help Your Small Business Thrive Now and After the Pandemic

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Three Things That Can Help Your Small Business Thrive Now and After the Pandemic

Businesses of all kinds have suffered through the COVID-19 pandemic. And small businesses deemed nonessential have perhaps suffered the most, as many of them have been the last to reopen. If you are a small business owner who finds yourself in such a situation, there are things you can do to give your business the best chance for not only surviving this pandemic but thriving long thereafter. Here are three examples courtesy of Lighthouse Consulting Group:

One.  Revisit Your Strategy.  A great place to start is with your business strategy. What adjustments can you make to accommodate the current and future situations?

Two.  Prioritize Your Physical Location. It’s true that a lot of business is moving online, but people still love to shop at brick-and-mortar stores. Take this opportunity to improve yours.

  • Consider any ways that you can improve curb appeal.
  • If the flooring in your store has seen better days, consider installing new carpet.
  • Work to drive traffic to your physical location with exclusive promotions and in-store discounts.
  • And if you haven’t adopted curbside pickup, make that an option as soon as possible.

Three.  Find Funding and Ways to Save. Money is also a key part of running a business. Fortunately, there are various resources available to small businesses and strategies for cutting costs.

  • Research all of your financial assistance options, including grants, loans and government programs.
  • Revisit your budget to see where you can cut costs.
  • If you need to reformalize your business as an LLC to protect your assets and gain tax benefits, use a formation service, but read reviews

While this is a difficult time for businesses across the country, you can set your business up to thrive in the short-term and long-term. Also, remember to show your physical location some TLC, and see what funding options out there could help your business get back on its feet.

 

How to Find Freelancers to Boost Your Small Business

Hiring employees, especially full-time employees, is a big investment for any company to make. And many small businesses need help getting certain tasks done but the help they need doesn’t warrant the efforts or costs of hiring a full-time employee.

Another option, which is proving to work well for a lot of small companies, is to hire freelance professionals. When you work with freelancers, you only pay them for the hours they work or for each project they complete. And you’re not responsible for providing them with office space, health benefits, and so on. From virtual assistants to web designers, there are freelancers for pretty much every kind of business task. Here is some advice on how to find and hire good freelancers, as well as common types of freelancers that can help your company succeed.

Finding Candidates

If you have a network of trusted professionals who use freelancers, start by asking them for references. This can save you some time searching and vetting candidates. The next best option is to hit online job boards like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, many of which are free or inexpensive to use. These sites make it easy to find qualified candidates for your needs.

Hiring Candidates

Rarely will the first candidate you see online be the right one for the job. So, spend some time sifting through potential candidates, and set up an interview with any candidate you’re interested in. Also, give each candidate a paid test project before discussing any future work. Even if you find freelancers through the recommendations of professionals in your network, it’s essential to conduct interviews and see how they fit in with the work your company does.

Paying Freelancers

If you want to keep working with the talent you hire, you’ll need to make sure your freelancers are paid promptly for their services. If you find candidates through online staffing sites, you may be able to pay your freelancers through these platforms. If not, there are several secure online payment portals that you can use for this task.

You may need to give special consideration to how you pay foreign independent contractors as the fees of some payment software options are cost-prohibitive. Fortunately, there are solutions available. For example, if you’re hiring freelancers from India, Remitly allows you to send payment in as little as four hours when you use your debit card. Best of all, there are no fees if you send over $1,000.

Virtual Assistant

One of the best types of freelancers you can hire is a virtual assistant. This is because qualified virtual assistants can perform a wide variety of tasks, from managing appointments to returning phone calls. And the best part is that these assistants can do all these things remotely, and your company will still come across as more professional to clients and customers.

Some virtual assistants can even handle bookkeeping tasks such as invoicing. However, if your assistant already has enough things to do, or if you want to save a little money, you can streamline your invoicing process by investing in quality software to save you time and money in the long run while leaving you more room to hire freelancers for other projects.

Web Designer

There’s no doubt about it: You definitely need a great website. And while you may save money in the short-term by building your own site through a free web platform like Wix or Weebly, chances are slim that you will be able to create a unique, professional website this way. Plus, web design is just like any other field in the sense that it takes time to learn. Save your company time and money by bringing in a freelance web designer to build your site.

Social Media Manager

No matter what kind of business you run, marketing is critical to your success, and social media is critical to marketing these days. Hire a freelance social media manager to boost your online marketing. A good social media manager will know what and when to post on your social media accounts, as well as other ways to engage customers and drive them to your website.

The freelance economy is booming these days, as more and more businesses are realizing the benefits of working with freelancers. Search your network of professionals and online job boards to find potential candidates, and be sure to conduct interviews and give test projects. The types of freelancers listed here are generally good hires for any kind of business, but you will need to consider your specific needs to determine exactly what type of freelancers you should hire.

Does your business need a new direction? Lighthouse Consulting Group can help you implement effective and thoughtful strategies that can get you back on track. To learn more, call 401-247-0313.  

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