When Do Employees Start Googling For Payroll?

11/12/2017

Payroll mistakes are inevitable. However, when you receive your monthly payslip and realised that there is actually a mistake in your payslip – be it a wrong deduction or worse still, missing payment for that overtime hours which you have clocked in – what do you do then?

Surprisingly, instead of going back to the HR department, there is an increasing number of employees who try to a find a solution to the missing or wrong payment with a Google search?

The driving factor behind this trend is primarily due to the fact that most companies these days outsource their payroll. Most employees might argue that given their payroll is handled by an outsourced payroll provider, they can simply Google search their name and have them rectify the payroll mistake.

Well, it is not that easy.

Firstly, there are likely to be plenty of external payroll vendors with similar names or even the same name but are in fact two different companies based in two different countries. Give the wrong company a ring and the situation might get a little awkward and embarrassing.

Given that an employee actually tracks down the outsourced payroll vendor which the company engages, the payroll vendor might not be able to provide the solution. As much as an organisation is obliged to protect employees’ personal data, the payroll vendor is obliged to do the same. After all, there is really no point engaging a particular payroll vendor should the company’s personal payroll data be easily leaked to the public.

Moreover, under Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act, these payroll vendors have the right to not disclose any information to the employee over the phone or via email, regardless of the circumstances. Who knows, the person on the other end of the line could very well be a scammer himself, trying to get hold of your hard-earned wages.

What should the employee do then?

The first step should be to approach the payroll team within the organisation. After all, the team is likely to be made up of a bunch of payroll professionals who will certainly know where and how to rectify the payroll mistake. Additionally, they are likely to be the first point of contact with the outsourced payroll vendor and can easily resolve the payroll error.

However, if the company is relatively small and does not have a dedicated payroll team, then the next best step would be to approach the HR department. Likewise, they are likely to be able to get the payroll issue resolved with the external payroll vendor as well.

There are many reasons why payroll mistakes occur. However, if employees’ payslips perpetually contain errors, the company might consider engaging another payroll vendor instead. Moreover, employers or the HR department can play a part by communicating to employees. It can be in the form of guidance through a staff handbook, on the HR intranet or even at the bottom of the payslips, informing employees what are the steps should they find a mistake in their payslip. Simple guidance as such can go a long way in simplifying the payroll resolution process.

Related reading: 5 Top Tips for Onboarding New Hires

This a guest post by RenQun Huang of Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll.

Four Vital Components for a Successful SEO Link Building Campaign

08/12/2017

Organic traffic is often coveted as the unattainable elixir of the internet, reserved only for big name brands with large budgets to spend on digital marketing staff and content. While larger brands do have an advantage, you can achieve success even with a lower budget.

I have found that the following four components are necessary for a prolific link building campaign. If you adhere to them properly, you will be well on your way to increasing the traffic to your website.

1. Captivating Content

Arguably the most important component of a link building campaign, interesting content is a must. The best place to begin is by evaluating the top ranked content for your specific keyword on Google.

Analyze what aspects of the content made it noteworthy and appealing, including layout, visuals, data and statistics.

You can also use a content research tool like Buzzsumo to find content pieces that were heavily shared on social channels like Facebook or Twitter.

Another strategy that uncovers relevant topics with an audience is to search for your topic or niche on Quora. If you encounter questions that have a lot of engagement or are asked many times in different ways, you know you have stumbled upon a hot topic.

2. Innovative Outreach

To do outreach right, you first have to understand that you are attempting to connect with another human being sitting behind a computer screen.

Once you understand this basic principle, then you quickly realize that, like any other relationship, it all boils down to an exchange of value. What can you offer in return for a link to your website.

For example, you can offer access to your audience (blog readers or social media followers) or, of course, payment. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your target and think what they would find valuable.

3. Following Up

Your work doesn’t stop after your initial outreach attempt. In fact, most of your link building success will come from following up with potential targets multiple times.

At Market Boost we often see the most success after three, even four follow up emails.

Because internet marketers have flooded the market over time, website and business owners have become wary of any initial attempt for securing a link on their site.

The follow ups demonstrate that you are not a spam bot, rather a real human being that took the time to send out a personalized email specifically for their website.

Also, today’s digital world has led to shortened attention spans and forgetfulness all around. Simply keeping yourself top of mind will increase the likelihood of a positive response.

4. Calibration

More often than not, you are going to run into stumbling blocks as you attempt to run a link building campaign. Your content might not be as interesting or relevant as you thought and your targets might find it unlinkable.

Or, perhaps your outreach email isn’t getting opened or receiving many responses. With so many moving parts, you are almost certainly going to have to modify certain aspects of your campaign to achieve success.

Though you might encounter frustration and disappointment after approaching your first batch of targets, you should only be encouraged to make adjustments where needed.

If link building were as easy as sending out an email to a website, then everyone would be doing it and the rewards wouldn’t be there. Oh, and another thing, be patient. Building links takes time.

This a guest post by Daniel Smilansky, CEO of Market Boost. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

Author Bio

Daniel Smilansky is the owner and founder of Market Boost, an SEO Link Building Agency. His passion lies in building scalable companies with robust systems and processes that offer inordinate value.

Aside from building businesses, Daniel is interested in nutrition, tennis, fútbol and extended backpacking treks.

Should you franchise your business?

Now that you’ve stabilised business operations, what’s next? One common growth strategy among small businesses is franchising. This is an arrangement where you, the franchisor, sell the right to run the business at a designated location or market to a franchisee. While some business owners regard franchising as a method to expand to new markets, there are also many risks involved.

Here, we lay out the pros and cons of franchising to help you decide whether franchising is for you:

Benefits of franchising

1. Access capital to expand your business

As one of the most common barriers to expansion faced by small businesses is the lack of access to capital, franchising is an alternative form of capital acquisition that allows entrepreneurs to expand their business. The franchisee is the one that provides the capital required to open and operate the unit, and thereby takes on the risk of debt and the cost of equity. As the franchisor, you contribute relatively little capital into adding each location.   

At the same time, you are able to minimise the risk of growth. Your risk is largely limited to the capital you invest in developing your franchise company, which is frequently a lower amount than the cost of opening an additional company-owned location.

2. Extend your reach & build your brand

The world’s top franchises – think 7-Eleven, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts – are household names with instant brand recognition. As an entrepreneur, your most valuable asset is your brand. However, when thinking about which markets or locations to expand into, there will inevitably be some markets where your returns might be marginal. You also may lack knowledge of how to make your brand appeal to a market that you are unfamiliar with.

This is exactly the kind of knowledge and expertise that your franchisee should have. Franchising thus allows you to open and operate successfully in markets that are not high on your priority list for development. By giving a franchisee the ability to represent your brand, you can strengthen your reach and brand awareness.

3. Access better & more motivated talent

A common challenge that entrepreneurs face is finding and retaining good managers. Hired managers are at the end of the day only employees who may or may not have a genuine commitment to their jobs. Your manager could leave the next day or get poached by a competitor.

When you franchise your business, your franchisee in effect becomes not only a manager but also an owner. This will ensure that your franchisee invests long-term commitment into the business. What this means is better operational quality as your franchisees take pride in maintaining the location that they own, as well as greater innovation as franchisees have a stake in the business and are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve their business.

Risks of franchising

1. Brand dilution

That’s right – one of the biggest advantages of franchising also carries one of the greatest risks. When you franchise, you are giving another entrepreneur the ability to represent the brand. Should your franchisee execute branding and marketing in a way that is inconsistent with your approach, this would give mixed signals to your customers and risk diluting, or even threatening, the strength of your brand.

It is thus important that you put in place clear guidelines for the use of all your brand assets. Ensure that your approval is sought before brand assets are used.

Related reading: 7 online marketing tips for your small business

2. Reduced control over how the business is run

As franchisees are independent businesses, you can’t dictate to your franchisees how they should run the business in the same way that you can with employees. You don’t have the same level of control over day-to-day operations and you are not responsible for hiring, training and monitoring employees. If an employee of the franchisee provides poor service to a customer, you may not have the right to fire the employee at will.

Also, as you build your network of franchisees, it can take longer to introduce a new range of products and/or services or a new marketing strategy within a franchise network than in your own chain of company-owned stores. In an arrangement where franchisors collect a percentage of sales as a royalty while franchisees make money from the outlet’s profits, an initiative that boosts sales but not profit may face resistance from franchisees. For instance, offering customers promotional coupons, which would boost sales but not profits, benefits the franchisor but not necessarily the franchisee.

3. Disagreements with your franchisee

The franchise model is one that contains inherent tensions. While franchisees are independent businesses and your franchisee can make decisions on the day-to-day operations of the business, you as the franchisor may still retain control over certain decisions relating to your brand. Given that the franchisor and franchisee each have control over certain aspects of the business, business decisions that benefit the franchisor and franchisee unequally may become contentious and cause friction between both parties.

This is why it is important to have in place a Franchise Agreement that delineates the respective rights and obligations of the franchisor and franchisee in the franchise arrangement. Under a Franchise Agreement, the franchisor’s obligations would be training and providing assistance, while those of the franchisee will be focused on the operation of the business (e.g. the use of intellectual property rights).

Have you ever franchised out your business?

Share with us in the comments below!

Save Your Business An Hour A Day By Automating These 5 Tasks

05/12/2017

Most companies and employees might view automation as a job killer. On the other hand, it can be considered as a lifesaver for companies who are looking to streamline their business processes while saving both time and money.

Automating business processes need to necessarily mean an immediate major overhaul to processes. It could be several daily tasks that could help the company to save an hour a day. Here are some typical business processes whereby businesses can consider to automate.

Related reading: 6 simple ways to cut business costs

Accounting, invoices and taxes

Given the amount of manual calculations and paperwork, accounting tasks and invoicing is one of the most dreaded tasks faced by small business owners. With the help of automation, this tedious and time consuming task can be avoided.

There are numerous online invoicing services that automate accounting tasks ranging from recurring payments, tax filling and deduction, storing or receipts and even bank transfers. These online accounting services can help the business when it comes to balancing books and filing of taxes during the tax season.

Data Backup

Laptop crashes due to malware or hardware problems are fairly common within the workplace. Of course, it does not make sense for departments to print hard copies of the data and store them in a cupboard for the next 5 years. Neither will there be sufficient memory storage on any hardware to store years of company’s data.

Thankfully, with the introduction of the cloud, business data can now be automatically stored online. This means that even if there is the unfortunate situation of a hardware crash, the company’s data can still be easily recovered.

Tracking Employee’s Schedules

Timesheets and punch cards simply adds on to the mountain of paperwork that the HR department and line managers have. Moreover, punch cards and timesheets might be easily misplaced, resulting in employees not being compensated for the time they have worked. Instead, there are plenty of online tools available that can keep track of employees’ schedule. At the same time, employees can also easily view their line managers or availability should there be a need to arrange meetings or discussions.

Payroll

Payroll is another major issue which small businesses face. Given that most small business owners are unable to afford third party payroll vendors, many simply rely on manual Excel calculations to calculate the company’s payroll and cheques to disburse salary payments. However, such methods are typically highly prone to calculation mistakes.

Instead, there are several online payroll services that may not fully automate the company’s payroll but could take care of time consuming payroll tasks such as wage calculations and tax filings.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an essential tasks for small business owners in order to grow their brand awareness. However, it can be a time consuming responsibility to send individual emails to each and every client. Online tools such as Mailchimp and Drip can help business with marketing emails, from email launches to welcome messages and follow up emails.

There are many other ways in which small businesses can automate tasks to save on costs and time, while enhancing productivity at the same time.

This a guest post by RenQun Huang of Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll.

Zegal has launched in the UK

03/12/2017

We at Zegal are very excited to announce that today we launched in our 5th country – the UK!

Zegal – from zero to one to five

The idea for Zegal started in 2013 with the vision of a world where the business of law works for everyone. First launched in Hong Kong, and now available in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, Zegal offers a cloud-based legal software that allows SMEs to create and sign legal documents online, work with lawyers to handle legal matters and implement best practice business processes. Since our launch in 2013, we have grown our user base to more than 20,000 business users.

For Zegal CEO, Daniel Walker, and Head of New Business – UK, Chris Sykes, our launch in the UK is a homecoming. Both Daniel and Chris are former English solicitors who found that the small and medium sized business segment received little to zero attention despite making up 85% of most national markets.

Zegal CEO Daniel Walker together with co-founder and Head of New Business – UK, Chris Sykes, at the Legal Geek Conference in London

 

Now, with more than 4 years of experience in serving small and medium sized businesses, we have crystallised our philosophy with our new brand Zegal and are excited to go global. To learn more, check out our blog post here.

Ever since moving back to his hometown of Manchester a couple of months ago, Chris has gotten busy meeting with law firms and potential clients to spread the word about Legal Tech. We have found that businesses in the UK are highly receptive to cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. Legal professionals are increasingly using technology solutions in their daily lives. This is a market that no legal tech company can ignore. This is a market that we’re excited to bring our cloud legal software to.

Our cloud legal software helps businesses manage their legal needs more seamlessly and efficiently

As a small business with limited resources and tight finances, you inevitably face a host of challenges when it comes to running your business. On top of managing the operational side of things so that you can deliver your goods and services to your clients on a timely basis, you also have to manage your accounts for optimal cash flow, submit applications to protect your intellectual property, and review legal documents that impact your business interests.

By using Zegal’s cloud legal software to create, e-sign, manage and store your legals you can help your business improve its efficiency, accuracy and compliance. Here are some of the features you will enjoy as a Zegal user:

1. Access the more than 200 legal documents available in Zegal’s cloud legal software

With our sizeable library of legal documents, you will be able to find the essential legal documents that you will need in the course of running your business, from Employment Contracts for hiring new employees to a Trade Mark License Agreement for when you want to expand into new markets effectively by lending your licensee your company’s established name and reputation.

Our document builder uses a simple Q&A interface that makes drafting your legal documents a straightforward and fuss-free process. When you amend a clause, the technology automatically ensures that corresponding numbers will match, numbers run correctly, and new rules are triggered to either set compatible clauses or prompt you for even more data that you might have missed out.

We provide on-boarding and training and assistance through our Help Centre and Live Chat so that you can navigate our web app easily right from the get-go.

2. Store, share, collaborate, manage, and e-sign of all of your business legal documents in the cloud

With the Zegal app, you can:

  • Store your legal documents in a centralised place within our cloud legal software to streamline the process of managing your legal documents; 
  • Grant access to members of your team who would need to deal with legal documentation, while still retaining the ability to pull up and review your business documents when necessary;
  • Invite your business partners to collaborate on and e-sign legal documents within our app.

3. Manage your workflows seamlessly with integrations

Organising all the legal documents you need to run your business is simple with Zegal’s integrations with Google Drive, One Drive  and Dropbox. It’s just one of the many ways we have improved our product to help you get what you need done, hassle free.

Our integration with cloud-based accounting software Xero allows you to link your Xero account to Dragon Law and easily generate invoices from certain documents, thereby saving you time and reducing data entry.

Pricing plans for every stage of your business

Since starting Zegal, we have expanded the range of plans that we offer to cater to a greater range of businesses at various stages of maturity and with different levels of legal needs. Our Startup Plan provides targeted support for startups with limited financial resources that nevertheless want to get their legal fundamentals right and hit the ground running. Our Premium Plan is for companies that want legal advice from a dedicated UK law firm in addition to our full suite of legal documents.

Check out our pricing page for a succinct overview of what each plan offers and decide what best suits your business.

Start a 15-day Free Trial

*no credit card required

Existing users: Easily purchase the UK jurisdiction add-on for your account

For existing Zegal clients doing business in the UK, you can easily scale your business into the UK with the support of Zegal’s document library.

As an existing Zegal customer, you can purchase the UK jurisdiction add-on for your account in one click!

Get in touch to find out how Zegal can assist your business

Based in London or Manchester? To learn more about how Zegal can assist your business, schedule time for a cup of tea with our Head of New Business – UK, Chris Sykes, at chris.sykes@zegal.com

Schedule a meeting with Chris

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