It’s rewarding to look back over three and a half decades of supporting employers as a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Some of us have been here since Day 1, and others have only a short history of experience here to ponder, but I think all of us share the sentiment that this place is special. I think that uniqueness comes from the fact that we exist to “serve” businesses to enable greater success and stability. In serving them we also grow and learn many incredible things. Here are just a few:
1. Building a reputation is the most important thing for any business.
When I started the business, I knew that I needed to do everything possible to build a good reputation. Integrity is the foundation of reputation, and we define integrity by doing the right things for the right reasons – even when no one is looking. I believe with all my heart that this is the most important aspect of business, because you can never rebuild your reputation once it is gone.
When business owners outsource payroll and HR work to us, we free up more time to grow their business while maintaining a positive reputation with their clients. Building trust and a good reputation is critical to working relationships with clients, and that work is never done. It happens one day at a time, one decision at a time, one action at a time.
2. Do what you do best and leave the rest to other experts.
People have strengths and weaknesses, and I am no exception. So I started by hiring the best people and then I got out of their way. Most of them I hired directly, but I also relied on outside experts for certain specialties. I’ve never outsourced anything that is core to the services we provide (such as customer service) for our clients. It’s vitally important to remain completely accountable to customers and employees.
In the spirit of outsourcing, I believe that small and medium businesses need the services and expertise of a PEO who can help keep up with the changing HR and payroll tax landscape. The regulatory climate has become very onerous, and the number of new regulations imposed on businesses each year is staggering. The “do it yourself model” of HR and payroll tax compliance simply doesn’t work these days. It’s not practical to hire all the help you need, and many business owners try to stay on top of it, but they open themselves up to fines and sanctions. Partnering with a PEO to outsource HR is an affordable way to leverage deep expertise in HR.
3. Bigger is not always better.
There has been a lot of consolidation in the PEO market space, and I too was presented with opportunities to team up with venture capitalists and potentially go public. It’s tempting to buy into a strategy for fast growth, and many companies participate and grew very large both in size and revenues, as well as in debt. That’s a strategy which is very popular in America today, and it can be a savvy choice when maximum profits are the motivation.
I wanted something much different. I wanted to be a family business. I wanted to resist pressure to take any short cuts that may not be in the best interest of clients, client employees or my own employees. I wanted to pay as I went, avoid debt, and build a company that my children could eventually participate in if they wanted. This has nonetheless led to FrankCrum being one of the largest privately-held PEO’s in the country. And perhaps even more importantly, the majority of our client companies have grown too, which fulfills the reason for our existence: To inspire businesses to be the best that they can be. Partnering with a PEO empowers your businesses to achieve steady, sustainable growth that helps you achieve profit goals without losing what makes your business great."