The holidays are still weeks away but as a small business owner, you’ve probably been ramping up for the holiday season already. And even if you haven’t, you still have plenty of time if you start now. November is considered one of the busiest shopping periods of the year, and everything from National Entrepreneurship Month to Small Business Saturday makes this month a lucrative one. With the increase in sales and frenzied shoppers, it may be a good idea to reinforce your business with more support and resources to maximize your revenue.
But before you do, we have some tips to ensure your business is not only ready for the holidays but stays legal. The last thing you want to deal with on the holidays is a hefty fine from Uncle Sam for not staying compliant with the law. Here are three ways your business can get ready for the holiday season.
Hire seasonal employees.
You might want to have some extra hands on deck — just in case the holiday rush gets overwhelming. Most businesses hire seasonal employees to help with the extra workload and hours. It’s important that you draw up an Employee Contract so you can outline certain stipulations of being a seasonal employee at your business. Here are some things you should include:
Length of Employment
If you only need help for the holiday season, be sure to include this in the contract so you and your employee are both in understanding of the temporary employment.
Wage & Pay
Try to be as exact as possible. Also, you may want to consider including a clause about working on holidays. Would you provide a paid holiday? If they’re seasonal employees, it may not make sense to give paid holiday but it’s up to you and you can outline this in the Employee Contract.
A Non-Disclosure Agreement is a great way to protect your confidential or sensitive information. It ensures that when any employee leaves, nothing else leaves with them.
Make sure you stay compliant.
Federal law is generally on the side of business owners during the holiday season. As a business owner, you’re not required to pay your employees above any normal pay for working on a holiday. But what if your employee decides to take the holiday off? Are you required to pay them for the day? According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are only required to pay only for time worked.
Most employers provide holidays off for regular full-time employees and this is outlined in their mutually signed Employee Contract. If you’d like to provide Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Day off for your seasonal employees, make sure you that it’s in the Employee Contract so there’s no disagreement or confusion in the future.
Brush up on your HR knowledge.
As a small business owner, you probably wear many (many, many) hats. You’re the sales department, the marketing department, and the human resources (HR) department. With HR, there are some basic compliance laws you should be aware of if you’re handling it all by yourself. It may be a good idea to brush up on your HR knowledge before you hire seasonal employees, create Employee Contracts, or even offer your employees overtime.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we can help. We have an HR guide that’ll help you navigate through the basics of human resources and get your business ready and compliant for the holiday season.