What do you call that tiny sliver of real estate between a rock and a hard place? Small businesses owners are starting to call it home. Beginning in 2014, the government (rock) will require them to provide affordable health insurance for their employees while pushing for a higher minimum wage. Pushing in on the other side are the worker’s compensation carriers (hard place) who are raising its rates on many small businesses. How can a small business find any breathing room?

One of our long-time customers had an idea. He came to us. Kevin, the owner of a janitorial company in New Hampshire, called and said that his workers comp provider is trying to raise his rates by 25% percent. Kevin performs a litany of services for his clients and he uses our telephone time keeping system to track the time his hourly employees spend on each. One of his services offered is window cleaning. His workers comp provider noticed an increase in this “hazardous” activity over the past year and is trying to reward Kevin’s entrepreneurial zeal with a nice little rate bump.

Kevin wanted to know if he could pull a job report from our system that showed how much time his employees spent on window cleaning all of last year. You bet. Our report indicated that his total window cleaning hours last year accounted for 2% of his total labor hours. 2012 represented a 14.5% increase in window cleaning over 2011. Does either of these stats justify a 25% increase in his rate that means thousands of extra dollars out of his pocket? Armed with empirical data from our system, he is anxious to find out and so are we.

We have mentioned before that telephone timekeeping system can save a small business 2-6% in payroll by capturing accurate time. Now we are seeing that maintaining accurate and thorough records may save a small business thousands of dollars and protect the patch of ground it calls home.