Media Company Financials: Managing Employee Benefit Costs



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Employee benefits is a key area of your magazine’s financials.

Let’s face it–sometimes the financials of a publishing organization can get kinda tricky.  You have to look at ways to reduce costs where you can and always try to become more efficient. We’ve been sharing Jim Zielinski’s 6-part Financial Series with you over the last several weeks to help you know where to start, where to look, how to save on costs.

You can also reduce costs through carefully evaluating employee benefits. No one wants to reduce employee benefits. This is more about finding ways to reduce the costs so your magazine’s operation becomes more profitable and stable for the long term. These cost-saving measures are not necessarily Jim’s recommendation for your niche magazine. These are just some of the options publishers have.

A successful magazine is what everyone wants!

Here are Jim Zielinski’s two areas to review within your organization to manage cost of benefits:

1.  Healthcare is BIG BIG BIG.  How many of you have more than 50 employees?  If so, you must provide healthcare to your full time employees as of January 1, 2014, or else you pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee to the Federal government.   Here’s some ADVICE – look at this legislation carefully. Be sure to get answers to your questions from professionals.  Check out Obamacare Facts for Small Businesses.  Companies should prepare and be ready with policies and procedures to deal with this.

For part-time employees, you don’t have a requirement to provide healthcare. You can use independent contractors more to avoid the rising costs of healthcare or have more part-time (less than 30 hours/week) employees. Now is also a good time to shop around and compare competing plans so you are prepared with the most cost-effective health insurance plan for your full time staff.

2.  Vacation pay and work hours:  You may offer paid vacation days or holidays, but employees are often receptive to additional unpaid days off at certain times of year. For example, many publishers gave employees extra time off around holidays, but often without pay, since not much happens the last week of the year. Here’s another example:  The Friday before Labor Day can be a non-paid holiday. Many publishers also may do so on July 5 (a Friday) in 2013 as a day without pay, because it’s pretty much a non-work day anyway.  You can also allow people take additional days off without pay if they are in non-essential positions.

These are generally okay ways to save some expenses if you want to or need to adjust how you manage your operation.
Evaluating employee benefits isn’t always easy, but it’s an important part to manage properly to ensure the ongoing success of your business.

Questions for Jim? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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19afd32 About Jim: Jim gave us a presentation for the 2013 Niche Magazine Conference and we learned that attendees definitely wanted us to post more cost-cutting ideas for niche magazine publishers.
Now: Jim Zielinski is founder of Zielinski Financial Advisors, LLC, an independent financial consultancy. The firm’s focus is on acquisitions, bank financing, profit and performance improvement, and preparing your company for sale.
Past Life: Jim worked in banking and equity investing at Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. and Bankers Trust Company for over 20 years.In 1997, Jim became CFO for Hanley Wood, LLC, a business to business media company, where he was an owner, director, and executive directing the financial affairs of the company until its sale in 2005. Jim is a member of the Board of Managers of Virgo Publishing, LLC, Athletic Business Publications, and MedTech Media.

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