From payroll and benefits packages to hiring new employees, administrative tasks can bog down your schedule and slow the growth of your self-storage business. See how you can optimize your operation and remove overwhelming tasks from your plate by outsourcing your human resources.

January 14, 2017

6 Min Read
Simplifying Your Self-Storage Business With HR Outsourcing

By Jeniece Carter-Henson

When you first started your self-storage business, did you think you'd have to learn about cash-flow analyses, health-care compliance or financial projections? If you didn't, you probably found yourself in murky waters, trying to keep your business afloat as unexpected issues rose to the surface. Even if you did plan for the high volume of administrative tasks that come with operating your own business, you're likely fatigued from doing work that, in another line of business, would be shared between the human-resources (HR) and accounting departments.

As an entrepreneur, you're willing to take risks; but as a business person, you understand that delegating tasks is a sure way to get ahead in the game. From payroll and benefits packages to hiring new employees, administrative tasks can bog down your schedule and slow the growth of your business. Outsourcing key HR functions can get you back on track and improve day-to-day operation in ways you might not have considered. Read on to see how you can optimize your business by taking some of these overwhelming tasks off your plate.

Hiring New Staff, Handling Turnover

Hiring new staff members, training them and dealing with turnover might cost you more than you think. Aside from the actual money and time spent on creating job listings, reviewing resumes, conducting interviews and implementing training, there are other costs that are harder to define. Julie Kantor, president and CEO of consulting firm Twomentor LLC, noted in an article for “The Huffington Post” that a company’s productivity, morale and quality of service are all affected by employee turnover.

Consider this example: The owner of Company X spends an hour writing a job description and another hour posting it to various job boards. He receives a hundred applications and spends several afternoons combing through them and paring down the list. His next week is filled with phone calls, scheduling interviews and conducting a few preliminary chats over the phone. Next, he interviews five people in person, which consumes half a working day.

After he makes a hire, the following steps are equally tedious, time-consuming and costly: setting up payroll, filing tax documents, instating benefits, paying for training hours and fielding questions from other employees. A month later, the employee leaves the company for another opportunity and the process begins again. Not a fun situation.

Now consider this example: The owner of Company Y outsources these tasks to an HR firm. She’s free to manage the business and work on her plans for expansion. Meanwhile, the outsourcing company uses its professional networks to find the perfect candidate for the job; implements the employee into the company’s platforms for payroll, taxes and benefits; and provides first-in-class support to ensure better retention. Which scenario would you prefer?

Payroll Administration and Compliancy

Regulations are always changing when it comes to payroll and tax compliance, with the latest update being the new overtime rule. The Department of Labor recently released updates to overtime regulations, increasing the salary threshold for an employee to receive overtime from $455 to $913 a week. The Economic Policy Institute predicted these changes will affect approximately 12.5 million Americans. This rule is scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1, but employers need to start preparing for the changes sooner rather than later.

It’s up to business owners to ensure they fully understand the new definitions of overtime and thoroughly research the rules behind the new guidelines. For example, your company may need to change job duties and descriptions for evolving positions, a task that could come with some serious gray areas and room for legal backlash. Those who aren’t prepared may face repercussions. “Fortune” spoke with Richard Alfred, an attorney at law firm Seyfarth Shaw, who predicted lawsuits regarding overtime were going to spike to about 9,000 this year, an 8 percent increase over the actions brought against employers in 2015.

Through integrated technologies and certified payroll teams, HR-outsourcing companies can provide accurate, timely and compliant process. While they stay on top of the ever-changing regulations, you can have peace of mind on your payroll processing and tax administration.

Expanding the Business

As your enterprise becomes more successful and profitable, you'll probably want to expand to other locations. But if you move into another state, your tax situation becomes more complicated.

Nellie Akalp, CEO of incorporation-filing service CorpNet, wrote in an article for “Small Business Trends” that you must file foreign corporation paperwork before you can open a branch in another state. The exact process and qualifications vary, but in general, this amounts to providing detailed information about your company, similar to the articles of incorporation you had to file in your home state. On top of that, you'll likely need to file a Certificate of Good Standing, which states that your business has an active status in that state. These, in turn, may be dependent on the paperwork you file annually at home.

An HR-outsourcing company can do this work for you. That means you'll be free to visit potential new properties, meet with investors, and continue to manage the operation of your current self-storage facilities.

Business-Specific Challenges

While it might be true that many businesses face the same challenges, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to handling administrative tasks. The advice you find online might be too general, or you might find yourself in a novel situation without the knowhow or resources to react properly.

In essence, it's hard to plan for the unexpected, and it's bad for business to constantly be reacting to problems. So how do you find the middle ground? The simplest solution is to let a team of professionals take care of the unexpected issues for you. When you hire an HR-outsourcing company, you're not getting a one-size-fits-all solution, you're getting a customized service from people familiar with your specific enterprise.

One of the biggest challenges facing small businesses in 2016 is navigating the Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate. The launch of the act in 2014 for large businesses was notoriously problematic, and now that its effects are being felt in the small-business world, there are even more misunderstandings. The cost of not complying with these new regulations is substantial. In fact, the penalty for one qualified employee receiving federally subsidized insurance can be as much as $2,160, according to Cigna. Although you can appeal the fines, the initial damage can be quite severe.

As a self-storage owner, you probably don't have the time to become an expert on health-care laws. That's where HR outsourcing can really save the day. Instead of spending your nights searching government documents for information, let a team of professionals navigate the twists and turns for you.

NOTE: The information contained in this article is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.

Jeniece Carter-Henson is vice president of strategic business development for AlphaStaff, a national human-resources (HR) outsourcing company. Since 2011, she has lead the expansion of the company’s self-storage division, dedicated specifically to entrepreneurs within the industry. With 20-plus years of experience in HR outsourcing and professional employer organizations, as well as 15 years of experience in executive sales leadership, she’s has assisted many facility owners in minimizing legal risk and optimizing their business. For more information, visit

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