How to Compete as a Small Business Payroll Provider
Roughly 85% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that utilize small business payroll services are satisfied with the features and level of service they currently enjoy. That’s a substantial number. Few other industries enjoy such high levels of satisfaction across the board. Even more importantly, an 85% satisfaction rate makes it awfully tough to compete as a service provider.
Statistics also suggest that SMBs tend to settle on payroll services by either sticking with a legacy system or adding payroll as an extended service from a current vendor. Simply put, fewer than half of SMBs actually go looking for a new small business payroll provider once they have found a vendor they are satisfied with. This makes competition even more challenging.
So how do new providers compete? By figuring out what can make payroll better for their clients. A number of ideas come to mind, including:
- mobile capabilities
- easy employee access
- web-based company access
- customization capabilities.
Let’s be honest; we now live in a world that is driven by mobility. There are billions of smartphones in use all around the world, owned by users who rely on them for virtually everything. If a new payroll service company wants to separate itself from the competition, it will find a way to capitalize on mobility.
It is no coincidence that SMBs looking for new features from their payroll providers are asking for mobile apps with greater frequency. They want mobile apps that make payroll easier for both managers and employees. If they can do what they need to do with just a smartphone, interaction with payroll becomes a lot simpler and more efficient.
Easy Employee Access
Today’s employers want their workers to be engaged as much is possible. Giving them easy access to payroll information is one way to do that. But the key operating word here is ‘easy’. Employees have no interest in making an appointment with the HR department and sitting down for 30 minutes to discuss payroll questions. They want to be able to look up information quickly on their own and then, only if they have a serious problem, take it to the HR department.
Web-Based Company Access
Payroll administrators and accounting staff want easy access as well. The best way to give them this access is to use a web-based solution that provides real-time data with just a click of a mouse. For example, an online payroll service utilizing a cloud-based solution makes it possible for clients to interact with the system without ever having to make a phone call or wait for an e-mail response. Web-based solutions are always available, in real time, for the convenience of clients.
Lastly, SMBs want payroll solutions that are customizable to their individual businesses. One thing they are quickly learning is that the legacy systems of a decade ago are no longer capable of meeting the needs of modern business. So if a new small business payroll service wants to compete, they must offer customizable solutions that give clients a reason to abandon legacy systems.
Along those same lines, some payroll companies are now offering additional services that include workers’ comp insurance packages and 401(k) plans. These additional services add a level of customization that could be the tipping point in winning over new customers.
The arena of small business payroll is changing rapidly. Still, 85% of SMBs are satisfied with their current payroll providers. If new players want to compete for these customers, they have to find ways to make their services better.