By Lexy Bouziotis, Special AFS Contributor
The pains of an extremely busy work schedule are all too familiar. No matter what, there seems to be a never-ending list of demands.
With the New Year right around the corner, aka, the busiest time of year for the fitness industry – it’s crucial to understand just how important time management is and how to run things within your gym as efficiently as possible. What are some of the things you can do to help yourself juggle your time better?
Outsourcing Full Service Payroll
A great start could be figuring out which in-house tasks can be easily and affordably outsourced – one area to consider outsourcing is payroll. For most small businesses, payroll is one of the more stressful tasks.
Time Saving Benefits
The one thing about payroll by hand is that it’s time consuming – on average, in-house payroll tasks take up 235 more hours than outsourcing the same duties. Managing these tasks on your own, or even hiring an employee to do them, is costly and eats up a lot of time. The amount of time and work it takes to prepare and administer payroll can vary from a few days to a whole week — so the decision to outsource payroll services will give you more time to focus on running your packed gym.
Speaking of, while a packed gym is a great problem to have, being overwhelmed with payroll duties is not. If you’re stressed about not having enough time to complete your payroll duties, let alone switch to a new payroll provider, don’t be – some companies, such as TransNational Payments, offer free account setup and support that is available every step of the setup process.
Better savings opportunities
A great money-saving feature to look for in a payroll service is unlimited payrolls where you simply pay a low monthly fee and then run as many payrolls as you wish. You may also consider looking for a payroll provider that offers tools, resources and add-on’s that are affordable such as Time & Attendance, HR software, 1099s and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
If you are currently outsourcing to a company that’s too expensive, or you’re just looking to switch payroll providers in general, it’s best to take advantage of the upcoming new year where you can start with a clean slate. What does this mean exactly? Well, since taxes start over January 1, this means less work for you as you will not need to transfer over any tax information from the previous months for each of your employees.
The demands of a small business budget are understandable so switching to a payroll provider that offers the benefit of entering tax, payroll and employee information into your payroll portal, for FREE, is a plus. Switching to a trusted and inexpensive payroll provider offers the ability to have all the tools and benefits of full-service processing without any of the extra hassles. Some providers even offer a free portal for each employee, allowing them access to paystubs and more.
Avoid Tax Responsibility
Did you know that 40% of small to mid-sized businesses incur IRS penalties related to incorrect payroll filings? Even worse, the average penalty is $845. This can be expensive and frustrating, which are two things that no person running a business needs! For many business owners, it’s a relief to outsource tax filing alone – not only for the time savings but to avoid IRS fines and all-too-common payroll mistakes.
Generally, tax filing services are what separates basic payroll solutions from Full Service Payroll. Full Service Payroll providers will file your federal, state and local taxes and typically handle W-2s, W-3s, 1099s and 1096s. If you choose Full Service Payroll, watch out for end-of-year and quarterly filing fees sometimes hidden by providers.
The one thing about payroll by hand is that it’s time consuming – on average, in-house payroll tasks take up 235 more hours than outsourcing the same duties.
Outsourcing IT Help Desk Support Services
An additional area to consider outsourcing at your fitness center might be your managed IT services, specifically your IT help desk support. Outsourcing your IT help desk support provides dependability that will leave you and your staff with more time to run your gym more efficiently. Many managed IT service companies, such as Vision96, offer a simplified budgeting system that includes proactive monitoring and predictable cost models to avoid unforeseen support expenses – creating notable savings.
Having your managed IT services outsourced is huge for a small business in the fitness industry as it grants the ability to operate smoothly in more valuable ways than just one. For instance, outsourcing cybersecurity services gives protection to a small business so when customers sign up for a membership at a gym, their data will be protected, along with the companies.
There are help desk support services for your gym like user administration and hardware & network troubleshooting that can help you run things more effectively while providing some peace-of-mind to know that while being busy with regular tasks, the company and its members are well taken care of.
Investing in Payment Processing Solutions
Another great way to run a gym more efficiently is to offer reliable and effortless payment options to your members. Not only will this save time at a gym, but it will help things run a lot smoother for customers. Gym membership payments, along with anything else that you might sell at your gym, will be accepted safely and conveniently. It’s beneficial to consider a company that is reputable and that operates according to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – this ensures safe storage and handling of all sensitive data for payment processing.
A payment gateway is one payment solution that could make sense for your gym, as it can be used as a method for allowing your business to accept recurring payments from your gym members. Recurring billing is a secure way for customers to pay their monthly membership fee without the hassle of you billing them monthly, therefore giving you extra time to spend elsewhere. Accepting recurring payments through a payment gateway is an advantage for customers, and for small business owners, as it enables a simplified payment process while increasing billing efficiency.
It’s crunch time with the new year right around the corner and the best time to get prepared is now. Luckily, this time of year is great to switch payroll providers as it’s a fresh start, with a clean slate – no need to worry about gathering tax information since taxes start over January 1. The busiest time of year doesn’t necessarily have to be the most stressful time of year, especially when choosing to outsource and invest in the right solutions.
Lexy Bouziotis is a digital content specialist at TransNational Payments, a merchant services provider for small- and medium-sized businesses. She promotes and creates content relevant to the payment industry. Lexy also writes content for social media and blogs to help businesses increase knowledge about products and services from TransNational Payments, such as Full Service Payroll, affordable payment processing services and gym management software for fitness professionals