Celebrating the big moments of small businesses

LAST REVIEWED Sep 10 2021 7 MIN READ

By The Human Interest Team

It’s no secret: we admire the work of small business owners. Every day we are inspired by the persistence and brilliance of our customers, from consultants to contractors, restaurateurs to retailers. This last year, in particular, we’ve seen small business owners use their ingenuity to navigate lockdowns, pivot to new models, manage costs, and keep their employees, customers, and families safe. Being a small business owner through the past year has been challenging.

Our goal is to make one aspect of running a small business easier: retirement planning. Our retirement plans are designed specifically for small organizations–from sole proprietors to growing companies with hundreds of employees. We’ve thought carefully about how to support owners of these businesses through key stages of their journey.

Below are some ways that Human Interest helps elevate small businesses.

Starting your business

According to the Census Bureau, applications for new businesses surged in 2020. Entrepreneurship is alive and well. But that doesn’t mean the decision to hang out your own shingle is easy. New owners often sacrifice a stable income, take on debt, or put their own homes on the line. The return, they hope, will be a valuable business that represents a nest egg to see them through retirement. But the proverb about putting all your eggs in one basket is true.

Studies show that 12 million business owners nearing retirement entered the market looking to sell their business. However, many worry they might not be able to sell for the asking price, forcing business owners to sell at a discount or close and find employment elsewhere.

We believe no owner should have to choose between starting their business or saving for their retirement. That’s why we make sure our retirement plans are affordable for businesses of all sizes.

We do this by automating the administrative processes involved in managing a 401(k) plan and passing the resulting savings to our customers in the form of low and transparent fees, as well as by offering lower-cost investments. In fact, last year we went even further and eliminated all 401(k) transaction fees (over 20 in total) from our plans, further cementing our plans’ position as among the most affordable in the industry.

Hiring your team

That moment you hire your first employee is like no other. It’s exciting (you’re growing!) but also frightening (now you’re responsible for someone else’s livelihood…). And as you add to your team you need to address their needs. Attracting and retaining talent as a small business is not for the fainthearted. You’re competing against larger companies with fancy benefits and deep pockets. Naturally, you want–and need–to offer your staff the same financial security. Our approach is to offer flexibility.

For example, you could begin by offering employees access to a 401(k) with no employer match. 54% of our customers do this and it allows them to offer staff the opportunity to save, at a lower cost to the business. As you grow, your ability to offer a match may change, too. With our plans you can easily add or increase the match you offer at any time (or decrease it if needed).

Another option might be to offer a vesting schedule, which allows longer-serving employees to receive a match. The point is, we know that your needs will change as your team grows, and we’re there to make it as easy as possible to adapt. We even help you communicate with your employees about the plan, and we include features to encourage them to participate, like auto-enrollment and easy onboarding.

Handling growing pains

Growth is great, but it also means inevitable long hours and plenty of headaches. Most small business owners are so busy during the day on their core business that the administrative work is left to evenings and weekends. Tax returns, PPP applications, invoicing, credit card reconciliations, contracts–many of them happen outside the 9 to 5. That’s a key reason why many small businesses delay a 401(k) plan.

We empathize with late nights and dark circles under the eyes. That’s why we resolved to make our plans so simple they can be set up in 15 minutes. Our plans automatically sync with over 100+ payroll providers, handle most compliance requirements, and produce reports so you can see performance and participation at a glance. We even make it easy to choose your investments, for example, by offering a professionally curated line-up of 30 low-cost index funds that focus on long-term growth.

Saluting small businesses

Whether you’re just starting out or already have an established venture, owning a small business is a bit like a rollercoaster—there are highs and lows, moments of exhilaration, and anxiety.

This month, as many small businesses turn their attention to recovery, we want to acknowledge their journeys. We’ll be sharing stories of small business owners’ challenging moments and how they rose to them–both here and on Facebook. Join us throughout the month in saluting the achievements of small business owners.

We believe that everyone deserves access to a secure financial future, which is why we make it easy to provide a 401(k) to your employees. Human Interest offers a low-cost 401(k) with automated administration, built-in investment advising, and integration with leading payroll providers.

Disclosures

Disclosures

LAST UPDATED 03/09/2021General disclosures Human Interest is a turnkey provider of employee retirement plan services to small and medium-sized businesses. Investment advisory services are provided to employee benefit plan clients by Human Interest Advisors LLC, an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser and a wholly owned subsidiary of Human Interest Inc. SEC Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.  Human Interest does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. The content on our website has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult with tax, legal and accounting advisors before hiring any providers for your plan. For information about Human Interest’s pricing, please see refer to our Pricing Page.AccoladesHuman Interest received the titles of "Best Places to Work" and "Best Startup Employer" according to third-parties, the San Francisco Business Times (as of 04/24/2020) and Forbes (as of 04/09/2020 and 03/09/2021), respectively using the following methodology:
  • San Francisco Business Times: All Best Places to Work winners are determined exclusively on the basis of their employees' responses to the Best Places to Work Survey. Employee responses from the 30 standard survey questions, along with the number of employees that respond to the survey, are calculated to determine the company’s overall score and ranking.
  • Forbes: 2020 -- Forbes and Statista selected America’s Best Startup Employers from 10,000 companies based on an innovative methodology evaluating employer excellence in three ways: 1) Employee Satisfaction: extensive research was conducted on ‘Average Length of Employment’, ‘Employee Ratings’, and ‘Quantity of Ratings’, 2) Employer Reputation: a measurement of social media success; company specific information was algorithmically extracted from social media channels such as news sites, micro-blogs, blogs and social networks, and 3) Company Growth: extensive metric calculations were evaluated including ‘Website Traffic’, ‘Job Openings’, ‘Headcount Information’, and ‘Funding Information’.
  • Forbes: 2021 -- To determine the list, Statista identified 2,500 American businesses that had been founded between 2011 and 2018 and employ at least 50 people. All companies considered had been started from scratch and not spun out of existing enterprises. Statista evaluated each organization based on three criteria, the first being employer reputation. The firm reviewed articles, blogs and social media posts pertaining to each employer, searching for specific phrases, such as “corporate culture,” “diversity” and “employee engagement.” Statista then assessed employee satisfaction, evaluating online reviews, as well as growth, examining the organizations’ website traffic and headcounts over a two-year period. The final list ranks the 500 employers that boast the best employer reputations, employee satisfaction and growth.