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2TORIAL
Learn2 Choose Employee Benefits (continued)
Step 6: Shop around for the best options

Small business owners have long complained that they have a harder time finding affordable benefits for their employees, particularly insurance. Insurers have largely ignored the market because marketing costs are high and returns are low. When small businesses do find a plan, they often pay more than a large business would for the same products.

Fortunately, you have some options. The Internet is changing the dynamic by bringing small businesses into direct contact with insurance companies, thus decreasing marketing costs (e.g. agents' commissions) and letting insurers pass these savings on to clients.

You should also check out the Small Business Administration, trade magazines, and local resources for small businesses. They may be able to guide you to good deals from dependable suppliers, and can connect you to purchasing alliances with other small businesses so you can benefit from volume discounts. A few hours of research could net a great deal in annual savings.

For small businesses, it's hard enough to meet payroll at times, let alone consider fancy benefits packages. But you may be able to find low-cost alternatives. And before you eliminate any options, ask yourself how much a restless workforce will cost.



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2TORIAL STEPS
Introduction
Step 1: Assess the competition
Step 2: Provide the legal minimum
Step 3: Cover the basics
Step 4: Consider a more complete plan
Step 5: Check out inexpensive extras
Step 6: Shop around for the best options

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