Health Insurance Plans for Your Business

by VENDIREX on 07/05/2015 - 03:13 pm |

Tag: HR Software

Though the past couple of years have changed the landscape of health coverage forever, employees still consider health insurance to be the most important of all benefits offered by their employment prospects. Quality coverage is expected, and now more than ever a point of comparison. For employers, it is a cost of doing business that isn’t going away, so it’s best to choose wisely for yourself and your staff, especially if future growth is in your business plan.
Let’s take a look at the three major types of health care plans you can offer your employees. Most companies offer one of these options, however if you own a larger firm with lower end to higher end earners, you might want to offer a choice.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
HMOs are capable of controlling their costs, and therefore are the lowest in cost of any of the other types of coverage plans. That said, HMOs have less flexibility than other plans. You are required to select one primary care doctor who cares for most of your basic illnesses as well as health checkups. Referrals from this primary physician are necessary for you to see a specialist and enjoy the plan co-pays and deductibles. Health care providers, including hospitals, must be part of the HMO network. Not as popular with employees, this type of coverage entails them switching to different doctors and having to pay a primary co-pay prior to being able to see a specialist - incurring 2 co-pays.
Point of Service Plans (POS)
With a POS, a member selects their primary care doctor, but they are free to visit other providers without a referral with at least some of the costs covered by their plan. The out of network charges are going to be higher than in-network. These plans are well received by employees, as they have some of the cost savings enjoyed with an HMO but fewer limitations on the member’s choices of physicians.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
PPOs have become the most popular type of health care provided by employers. Again, the PPO is a specific group of doctors and hospitals (who agree to offer services at a reduced cost), but not nearly as limited as an HMO which can be restricted to just a handful of clinics. PPOs do allow you to see a provider out of their network, but at a greater co-pay and co-insurance rate to the patient. The program is designed to aim members toward particular providers who agree to discount their rates.

Why Choose a Hosted PBX Phone System?

by VENDIREX on 07/05/2015 - 03:11 pm |

Tags: Equipment Leasing, Tracking and Recruiting

One of the primary advantages of a hosted PBX phone system, over the traditional customer premise equipment, is the cost savings. Though the purchased PBX includes maintenance, Internet access, phone service (local and long distance) - hosted PBX will still cost you less, and in the end you are not left holding equipment which will be outdated by the end of the lease or useful life of a purchased product.
Pricing Points
Usually hosted PBX is based on monthly fees per line, which varies according to which features you decide upon, the amount of users, and the contract terms. Additionally, you will have start up and install costs. Generally your phone company will charge between $12-$30 per phone line. The hosted PBX provider’s fees will run another $10-$20 per line for standard services, which will drop as you add more employees or lines. There are also ‘all-in-one’ providers who include the phone lines in their prices.
Be aware as well that some virtual PBX services may offer super low monthly costs, $5-10/month per line - these don’t replace your phone system, they add VoIP features to your current system; it’s a cheap way to get added services but they don’t include all the advantages of a true hosted PBX system.
Apples to Apples
Create a spreadsheet, with the following costs listed down the left side. The vendor name can be across the top, and then use the vertical columns to list that vendor’s price for each of these items.
Dial tone service
Internet service
Local usage
Long distance usage
International usage,
Interoffice calling
Incoming tollā€free numbers
411, 911 access
Auto attendant
Customer support
Startup fee
Installation fee
Phone cost, each
Router, network switch
True hosted PBX?
Contract term & price
Month-to-Month price
Hosted PBX phone systems can provide the most cost effective solution if your business is looking for a full suite of modern features. And, there’s no need for a lot of dedicated hardware taking up valuable space in your storage or work room. The calls are routed directly from your provider’s data center, right to your office extension.


Buying a Business Phone System

by VENDIREX on 07/05/2015 - 03:07 pm |

Tag: Help Desk Software

Of course, one of the most vital elements to any existing company is its phone system. It should be an easy installation when the right business phone system is chosen; one which matches your office building’s structure with the necessary connectivity of your entire staff.
With email, texts, and Skype or other Internet-based communication tools in constant use these days, don’t discount the importance of the telephone. It is still the primary source of first contacts from new customers, as well as the best way for clients to reach you from their cell phones. Remember to make it easy for your callers, by either picking up the calls in person, or making sure your dial directory is short, sweet and accurate.
Always choose a system which has room to grow as inexpensively as possible; i.e. is expansion affordable and easy to install? Two of the factors which will determine the correct size of the system for your current business are:

Number of Trunks - aka the total phone lines required to handle your customers’ incoming calls, as well as employees’ outgoing calls.

Extensions - you will need an extension for every desk in your office, and one for each equipment device such as modems, scanners, fax machines, credit card machines (i.e. everything which uses a phone line to operate).

Make a list of the makes and model numbers of all equipment in the office which you will be including in the phone network (see Capacity #2). Be prepared to give this list to the dealer you are working with (or group of potential vendors), and be certain they provide systems which are compatible with what you already have onsite.
Features to Include
Examine the way your phone system will be used, and limit your feature choices to those which will improve the office workflow. Aim for user-friendly and intuitive features, as most employees will not spend much time learning the technicalities, and therefore the value of these add ons could be lost.

Auto Attendant - your recorded message answers the phone, giving the caller instructions for reaching the intended person or department. If the traffic isn’t heavy, you may want to have your staff answer instead - callers can definitely lose patience with robo-menus at times.
Conferencing equipment - think about how frequently more than one person (in office or outside) is required to be on the phone at the same time.
Music on Hold - you will simply plug in your own source of music.
Dial Directory - assists your callers to find the person they need; by name, extension or by use of a directory. Remember these are only as useful as the data given - if names have to be ‘spelled’ out on the caller’s keypad, this leads to errors and wasted time. Preferably, you would provide the full name verbally with a 1-2 number extension for them to key in.

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Choosing Your Business Structure

by VENDIREX on 07/05/2015 - 03:05 pm |

Tags: Brand Management, Maintenance Management

When deciding upon which type of entity is best for your business, the way the Internal Revenue Service determines its taxation is the generally the most important factor. Legal considerations are also a part of the puzzle, and therefore an attorney should be at least consulted in most cases.
There are five basic business incorporations from which to choose, and here are the major elements of each:  
Sole Proprietor - This is an individual who owns and operates an unincorporated business on their own. You will file a 1040 tax return, showing your profit/loss on Schedule C, and determining your Self-employment tax due on Schedule SE. Estimated taxes (form 1040-ES) are usually required once you have filed an annual return with monies owed to the IRS.
Partnerships - An entity established between two or more individuals in order to operate a trade or business. All members will have a designated percentage in which they are invested in the concern; contributing cash, labor or property and sharing in the profit/loss of the company. A 1065 is filed annually, passing through the income and expenses, any gains or loss to the individuals (via a 1065 K-1 form) who will each file their own 1040 tax return. Tax liability belongs to the individual partners, not the partnership itself.
Corporations - Individual shareholders exchange cash and/or property for capital stock. The corporation is the taxable entity and it distributes profits to its shareholders. These profits are then taxable to the shareholders as dividends; effectively creating a double tax. Shareholders cannot deduct any losses; income and loss is realized by the corporation itself. Estimated taxes are paid with the 1120-W, and the corporation files an annual Form 1120
“S” Corporations - These are entities which have elected to pass income/loss, deductions and credits through to its shareholders (via an 1120S Schedule K-1), who in turn will file their personal return on a 1040. The shareholders are assessed at their individual income tax rates, allowing S corporations to avoid the double taxes of a standard corporation. The S corporation is liable for gains and passive income. These corporations must be domestic; cannot have shareholders which are themselves are partnerships, corporations or non-resident aliens; made up of no more than one hundred shareholders; may only issue 1 class of stock; cannot be an ineligible corporation, such as insurance firms, specific financial institutions, and domestic corporations with international sales.
Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) - Governed by state laws, regulations can vary considerably, and the annual income report Form 1065 is filed with the state in which is does business, with the income and tax liability passing through to its members via a Form 1065 Schedule K-1. The members file their own taxes using a 1040. Members of the LLC may include persons, corporations, other LLCs ...

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