Storage Business Owners Alliance
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Outsourcing Human Resources for a Self-Storage Business

Date: 3/4/2015
Author: Christy Hritz

 In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s important to allocate resources in the most efficient way possible. Wasting time and money can have a direct impact on your bottom line. One opportunity self-storage owners have to improve their resource distribution is to outsource. The question is, which services are the best to entrust to an outside provider?

Take human resources (HR), for example. You might say to yourself, “I can do this. No need to outsource.” And maybe you’re right. But with all the things a busy storage owner needs to do, is managing HR the best use of your time? Do you have time to keep up with changes like the new Affordable Care Act? Even people who spend all day working in HR are finding the new regulations very time-consuming. Business owners need to spend their time wisely—and on activities that only they can do.

A professional employer organization (PEO) enables you to outsource your HR, employee benefits, payroll and workers’ compensation. There are variations to the PEO model. For example, an administrative services organization acts as a payroll-processing agent, while an HR outsourcing organization provides customized HR services.

PEOs represent a broad range of industries, including self-storage. The average PEO client is a small business with approximately 20 employees. Regardless of your HR knowledge and expertise, you should explore the pros and cons of outsourcing your HR function. Decide for yourself what works best for your business. To get you started, here are the primary advantages and potential disadvantages to engaging a PEO.




PEOs are a one-stop shop. Because HR is the focus of a PEO, self-storage businesses can benefit from their expertise, especially in areas such as compliance and legal advice. PEOs can provide employee handbooks, job descriptions, policies and procedures, compensation surveys, and safety training. Additionally, while no one hopes to use it, they can provide guidance with discipline, including employee terminations.

PEOs have buying power. Many organizations take advantage of a PEO’s purchasing power in areas like workers’ compensation and health insurance. Prior to engaging a PEO, a company has to source insurance carriers, negotiate rates, reconcile statements, conduct open enrollment, and answer employee inquires about claims and services. Keep in mind, that’s for each type of insurance being offered—medical, dental, life, disability, etc. With a PEO, it’s all handled for you, including COBRA administration when an employee leaves.

PEOs offer cost savings. According to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO), companies using a PEO service save more than $313 per employee on administrative costs versus companies that don’t. A PEO allows you to focus on what you do best—run your business and take care of customers. By allocating resources the right way, you reduce costs and free up time to devote to revenue-generating activities, according to the Society of Human Resource Management.




You have to give up some control. If a self-storage owner is accustomed to having his hands in every little detail of his operation, transitioning to a PEO could be a challenge. For the partnership to be successful, he must remember why he hired the PEO in the first place