Link

There are a lot of things to consider when outsourcing anything for your life or business but even more when outsourcing services such as HR and/or Payroll! This post sums up everything nicely 🙂

seventimessevenllc:

In July, 2011 while visiting online questions through a HOT new social media medium (Quora) a user asked the question “What are the benefits of outsourcing HR and payroll services?” Since this and what the differences are between a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) versus human…

What are the benefits of #Outsourcing #HR or #Payroll Services? Is a #PEO Professional Employer Organization the answer?

Link

seventimessevenllc:

As a person or business owner, you may often find yourself asking difficult questions and often coming up with little to know answers. Does this sound like you? If so, how do you know who to trust or how to evaluate a company and/or their credentials in order to decide if they can actually…

Seven Times Seven, LLC: Seven Times Seven- Tip of the Week! How do you decide on the Right Company and/or Professional to assist in a Buying or…

How do you decide on the Right Company and/or Professional to assist in a Buying or Outsourcing Decision?

As a person or business owner, you may often find yourself asking difficult questions and often coming up with little to know answers. Does this sound like you? If so, how do you know who to trust or how to evaluate a company and/or their credentials in order to decide if they can actually serve you and/or your business needs?
Regardless of the industry and/or business professional, that you may be dealing with most industries have standards that you can use to evaluate not only the staff but the entire business and industry, which may be as easy as performing a Google search. However, the fact is most people and businesses do not actually have the required time to invest and/or research a particular industry (even so called Googling), so they often call on third party facilitators to oversee a particular business or personal purchase decision. These people whom you rely on and  often referred to as consultants, brokers, advisers, etc maybe the solution that you are looking for or are they? The question still remains… and that is how do you really know whom you are dealing with?
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding on the right professional or company to help facilitate any buying decision. Can anyone be a doctor? The answer to this question is simply no, as there is schooling and there are requirements that all doctors must go through before they can actually advise you or prescribe a remedy. And yes, this includes doctors, other than those doctors you go to see for medical illnesses. Can anyone be an attorney? Again, the answer to this question is no and again there are many years of schooling and tests that a person must go through in order to represent you in court, help you start a business, or help you fight for justice. Can anyone be banker? Well, this is a tricky one. There are many good bankers out there that can help facilitate a loan or advise you on a good investment. However, if you want a well-respected and reputable banker (Financial Consultant) then more times then not you would be looking to deal with someone who yet again has had extensive training and/or education; otherwise, their advisements may end up costing you your life or business savings, just ask all those who trusted Bernie Madoff or ENRON with their money.
All too often, even after asking yourself or evaluating a business or professionals credentials or answering the aforementioned questions many people and/or organizations will still move forward with a purchase or outsourcing decision without understanding the real danger that these decisions may pose over the long-term. Much too often these decisions maybe influenced by price, friends, and/or other companies that have done business with these people or organizations in the past. However, rest assured that in this new age of digital communication, well respected businesses and people are here to help advise you on almost any personal or business purchase decision. 
For instance, here at Seven Times Seven, we advise people, organizations, and communities on some of the difficult decisions facing you and/or your business in regards to workers compensation, payroll, Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), wireless devices, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies, website development, and social media. Since we believe in helping our clients make sound buying decisions, we thought we would provide a few insights to our readers and followers, as to what you should be asking yourself before making any purchase decision in these respected segments. 
Workers Compensation, Payroll, and Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs)
Wireless Devices
  • Is the carrier regional, national, or worldwide?
  • Is the device(s) locked or unlocked? Can the device be unlocked if currently locked?
  • Is the device compatible with your other personal or business devices (i.e. computer, tablet, landline, etc?)
  • Will you be locked into a long-term agreement and if so what are the terms if you cannot honor the agreement?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Is the CRM solution (HOSTED) external to the company such as SalesForce, NetSuite, or Oracle, etc?
  • Is the CRM solution (ON-PREMISE) and runs at your home or place of business such as SugarCRM, Microsoft, Seibel, ACT, etc?
  • Is the CRM solution (HYBRID), which is a combination of hosted and on-premise solutions?
  • How will the CRM company or you protect your confidential data?
  • What are the back-up systems used and where are they located in case of an emergency?
  • Does or will the CRM solution you choose provide customer support?
Website Development and Social Media
  • Is the company and/or person reputable and how long have they been in the business?
  • How compatible is the platform you will be developing with other developmental mediums?
  • What are the true costs associated with maintenance, upgrades, new designs, etc?
  • Are the mediums that you want geared towards your personal or business goals and/or target markets?
  • How do you get questions answered (i.e. are there charges for tech support and if so are they hourly, weekly, or monthly fees?) 
  • Will the chosen mediums increase your Google search rankings and if so how will this be measured? 

As with any service offering there are a lot of questions that go into deciding what service you may ultimately decide on but if not asked prior more times than not you may find yourself using people, systems, or companies that are not part of your long-term goals. Albeit, many time we as consumers make purchasing decisions based on emotion, if you take the emotions out and ask yourself  a few simple questions, in the long-run you will be glad you did even if it turned out to be the wrong decision. The thing to remember is consider a person or businesses experience, credentials, education, and take the extra time needed to look under the hood before making any irrational purchase decision, as we are sure you will be glad that you did. Obviously, the questions stated are only a start, so if we can help you or your company come up with answers that you may have in regards to one of our consulting segments please do not hesitate to reach out or contact us via Phone, Email, Social Media, or connect with David Dandaneaudirectly. After all and as our motto goes, we help you manage your life and business, so you don’t have to manage your processes!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.


Focus on Controlling your Unemployment Claims!

In this day and age of chaos, regulations, and ever changing laws many business owners forget about some of the most important things they can do in their businesses that can help them save time, money, and headaches by properly managing (hiring & firing) the right employees. On the firing end of things and often referred to as “unemployment insurance” employers can have complete control over these claims if they place a higher emphasis on creating less turnover in their establishments especially since unemployment insurance is the ONLY payroll tax a company can actually control. So, how exactly can a business owner control these costs and minimize claims?
Perhaps the single most thing an employer can do to help control unemployment claims is to have a way to manage the Human Resource (HR) side of their business by having policies and procedures in place to properly terminate an employee. This may seem like an easy task but actually implementing an HR program or following the rules can be more daunting then you expect if you don’t return the unemployment report sent by the state within the deadline they provide, as these are often final deadlines and are hardly ever extended and… YES, that is even if you have a valid excuse! 
By choosing not to focus in on a process put in place by most states, “responding to unemployment report” for example, you may ask who else can help you in this process. The answer in simple, as Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) are companies that work hand in hand with business owners on correctly filing and/or returning an unemployment report of an employee that has been terminated. Since one of the main benefits of working with a PEO or deciding on a co-employment arrangement in a small business or any business is that this arrangement or a company without an HR program, now or most of the time has the benefit of having their own HR team to help guide, file, and respond to unemployment inquires.
 The fact is unemployment claims can cost you money and most of the time if not all the time many business owners just don’t have the time to deal or handle these claims properly. However, if you identify your need and understand that a PEO can help you minimize your exposure and claims, while putting money back in your pocket you are headed in the right direction. If you need help finding the right PEO arrangement with a good HR program in place, please feel free to reach out to us, as we have partnerships with some of the best PEOs that pride themselves on HR and handling employee related issues and unemployment claims. Remember as with all SEVEN of our consulting practices, it is our goal to help you focus on your business and not your processes and this is another great example of how we can help you do that in yet another valuable tip of the week brought to you by the team at Seven Times Seven!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.


Seven Times Seven- Tip of the Week! Make Sure YOU Make Time for Online & Social Media Activities!

It seems like each and every day we continue to preach about the importance of social media in our own practice and those we serve, as this is a great way to market services for little to no money! So, remember that you also need to remain dedicated, while investing your time wisely to reap any type of reward(s)… don’t think you can set your networks on auto-pilot and walk away because this could be no further from the truth. Research, engage, and listen to your audience regularly, while being consistent in your interactions to achieve greater success. Remember the more time you allot or the more you do online or with social media, the more likely people will be to trust your opinions and purchase or recommend you or your products or services to others. Perhaps, the old adage and our motto that everyone accomplishes more together should be what you or your company applies directly, so you and/or your online campaign will turn into a real success story. This is the first of our weekly tips for success and long-term growth that we will continue to provide. Please let us know what you think or how we can help and until next week… Keep Smiling

The New Era of Media brought to us Courtesy of Social Media!

In this new era of “Social Media” a question that is often proposed amongst friends, business professionals, and entrepreneurs is what if anything social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, EmpireAvenue, FourSquare, etc do to enhance their lives and/or brand?
Well if telling you Facebook has now taken over as the third largest country and the other social media platforms are continuing to redefine communication isn’t enough… then just take a look at who in your past (personal and professionally) you have reconnected with, some of the revolutions and events (Middle East and Occupy WallStreet movements), and other things in this landscape are continuing to change the world we now live in. Let’s face it, some if not all of these events should clue anyone in on the power and impact that these platforms can have on you, your friends, and/or the brand you (they) represent. Now the question becomes should you wait until everyone else joins suit or embrace these new advancements now?
We concur on the latter and encourage all of our friends, followers, and readers to also embrace the new online Web environment in order to take opportunity of the things that you or your company might not once had the chance to. By using these new social media sites, you cannot only leave footprints of your legacy but you can also create a legacy for your company that once was only provided to privileged individuals and businesses. Granted we can all see that there are many footprints already created and there is a fierce amount of competition. However, the truth is social media is in its infant stages as media was when it started in the silent film era and if harnessed correctly now can produce phenomenal results for you and/or your business later (planting seeds). Needless to say, if you want to leave a footprint (again either personally or professionally) then you have to be able to stand out and choose the most important medians.
Now the question is… how do you choose the right social media to relay your message(s)? One thing is certain and that is just because the Facebook nation is a country of its own you need to do more than have a personal Facebook page, build a Fan Page, or post comments on sites that often do not help you promote yourself or leave appropriate footprints behind online. Okay, we agree you need a Facebook presence and post comments but those in their self is not the answer to all you personal or business legacies. What sites are important to your personal and company legacy are also sites such as Twitter, YouTube, FourSqaure, and Empire Avenue. Why? Well, it’s simple with the algorithms that search engines such as Google & Bing use to help you get found by friends and businesses online, social media sites such as these use similar algorithms to help you and/or your business leave the footprints necessary to also be found or in other words… increase your search results. However, it is also important to remember that since social media is still in its infant stages, you should expect or anticipate interpreting the data more qualitatively versus quantitatively. There are a couple of reasons for this such as your willingness to invest in financial resources to help or your ability to use other software to find and connect with others you know or have known in the past. The one thing that is certain with almost all social media sites is that the more you communicate with others in these settings the more you can expect to have your message/messages relayed throughout other individual or business networks, hence increasing you or your businesses exposure. Despite the shortcomings or vagueness of social media one thing is certain with Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Empire Avenue, FourSqaure, etc and that is likes, friends, views, followers, connections, and investments in you or your company through these sites should provide you and/or your company with true quantitative results. That is if you or your business fan base increases you should benefit in some way financially, in increased exposure, or increased search ranking or even better… all of the above. Remember that in order to be found you have to provide information that in itself is easily found on multiple platforms, which social media sites can provide for you and/or your business.
In the end for those people and companies that choose to further monetize their social media networking, keep in mind that your keys to success will ultimately depend on your ability to analyze, interpret, and make decisions based off your qualitative data (posts) that your online network can provide you access to… not just what social media sites you belong to. We like to consider or look at this as a way that people regardless of their geography can work together to achieve more in this new era of social media communications or in the academic sense a mixed methods research analysis both quantitative and qualitative. Of course, we are a consulting company and work with our clients on all the social media sites mentioned in this paper and many more social media medians not mentioned (i.e. others will be discussed soon). Therefore, if you would like to have a personal conversation about how we can help you and/or your business understand this complex and dynamic operating environment, so you or your company can start leaving footprints, please feel free to send us an email or give us a call, as we would like to hear from you. Additionally, other opinions and posts are welcomed here, since understanding issues and finding solutions is a team effort. Until next time remember to keep smiling, networking, and creating connections that we all can benefit from in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.


Is Traditional Media on the Verge of Death?

{EAV_BLOG_VER:0ca07874e0ba5126}
Is Traditional Media on the verge of death or will it simply change? Are blogs and social media taking over the news? Well one thing is certain and that is CNN seems to be doing things right with their integration of iReporting. It’s the best of both worlds. It keeps the content fresh from users, so that CNN has a slight bit of YouTube quality as well and just as well there is user participation. And there is something to actually being on television or in print that changes things for people. The pillars of society are still there. Even Chris Brogan of Trust Agents mentions that he wrote the book instead of doing an e-book, because there is a certain amount of fame and establishment from traditional print publishing that you cannot get otherwise. Perhaps is it then that people who upload these videos to CNN, rather than to some place like YouTube, feel important and that makes them come back? Any Tom, Dick, and Harry can be found on YouTube’s mess (and that’s how we see it – as an unorganized mess that will go away unless they adapt)…. But alas: not everyone can be seen on CNN.

The best bloggers don’t seem to be ordinary. They have special skills of motivation, innovation, skilled wordsmithing, and even sometimes a Journalism Degree. (The book Putting the Public Back in Public Relations notes the TechCrunch site, which was joined by a major journalist). For every great blog which seems to stir, there are thousands if not millions which are mostly ignored. To say that basic bloggers will take over is absurd. However, we do think that the bloggers which are influential and superior would have been just as good or innovative with any available technology, with a few “lucky” exceptions.

In a recent analysis we read a newspaper from the 1800s about journalism and it was surprising how laid back the articles were. Some were even written by regular citizens. Some were half-Ad, half news. In the end, the Professionals took over. Though everyone having a newsprint in their hands were experiencing “New Technology” and regular people would put their words in there, it eventually came to be Modern Journalism as we know it.

Then the radio changed things. Early radio was very weird and weak and sometimes they would interview the dairy farmer down the road. We hear clips from the “great programs” from back in the day, thinking that they were all polished, but this is not true. A great many stations had just regular Joes at first. It eventually became NPR and the “drive home” radio and such. And now it’s becoming Satellite Radio.

We saw the same thing with television as well. Just as Radio was supposed to kill Print, television was supposed to kill radio. None of these things happened. And now… the web was supposed to kill them all (as spoken in some circles). We think that print and traditional journalism will survive as long as mankind. It gets rocky every time there is a new medium, but it’s in our nature to watch and pay attention to the “professionals” in all walks of life. People seem to think that we are moving so fast, but we still have parts of the planet that are unexplored, we visit the moon as often as we visit great uncles, we have yet to feed the planet and there are some parts of the population that live in the same way that humans lived 2,000 years ago and with no technology, no bottled (or even clean) water, no rubber comfort shoes (or any at all) and yes… believe it or not…no Blogs. When people claim the death of print they aren’t taking in the real world and perhaps all it is, is that we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. Let’s face it, with the way things move we will all be talking our Blogs to each other soon enough, which technically will replace the web, YES?

This is our first blog post but one of importance since we are looking for answers that our readers may have on the lively hood of media; therefore, if you could take a minute or two and provide us with agreements or disagreements, we would love to continue this conversation. Otherwise, we will look forward to reporting our views and conversing with others in person and in the new virtual world we all live in. Until then, KEEP SMILING!

David Dandaneau is a Consultant at [SevenTimesSeven]. He specializes in helping business owners “manage their business and not their processes!” For more connect with him via Twitter @ddandaneau or any of the other social platforms you may find him on.