Jeff Zelaya

5 Pain-Free Payroll Tips for Your Small Business

PayrollNearly 7.7 million U.S. business owners do payroll for their employees, according to the the U.S. Census Bureau. If you’re a small business owner just starting out, set up your payroll procedures correctly right from the beginning. Your payroll will go smoothly from that point forward, paving the way for future growth, and you won’t waste time struggling with payroll every month.

Here are 5 valuable payroll tips for your small business:

1) Correct Classification

Classify your employees correctly from the start, or you could face tax issues later. You may have a mixture of full- and part-time employees, onsite contractors, independent contractors working remotely and even offshore labor working for you. The way you classify each person determines how taxes and benefits are calculated.

The biggest risk is classifying someone as a contractor when he functions as an employee. If a person you hire does the same work as other employees, is managed and directed by you and receives some benefits from you, the IRS sees that person as an employee, even if you hired him as a contractor. Companies face penalties for not classifying workers correctly, so read IRS Publication 15 for details on each classification.

2) Automate the Routine

Research payroll services for your business, keeping in mind that certain tasks can be automated. Payroll tax calculations, payment of federal and state taxes, Social Security and Medicare deductions and local business taxes are all items that a payroll system should calculate and pay for you.

3) Outsource the Effort

Consider outsourcing your payroll duties; a contract payroll expert or a virtual assistant specializing in payroll can do all the work for you. If you use a cloud-based payroll system, you can give them access to the tools but remain in control of the system. The Small Business Administration gives several reasons why outsourcing your payroll is a benefit to your business, including:

  • IRS penalties are avoided, because payroll taxes are paid correctly and on time
  • Payroll experts are up on the latest tax codes and regulations
  • Tax calculations for employees living and working in different states are done correctly
  • Implementation of direct deposit reduces trips to the bank and paper processing

4) Alternative Compensation

Develop ways to compensate your employees with benefits that may be tax-exempt instead of straight wage increases. Subsidize health, dental and vision insurance for your employees. Provide a partially funded child care program. Purchase smartphones and tablets for employees to use on the job. Set up a matching retirement plan. Tax-free company benefits let the employee keep more of their money in their pocket, and it reduces your payroll complexity.

5) Expansion and Payroll

If you have plans to expand your company outside the U.S. or hire employees to work overseas, consult a tax attorney or payroll expert specializing in global payroll matters. These can quickly become complicated, and only people familiar with the laws of various countries should give you direction.

What are other payroll tips? Feel free to add your own in the comment section below:

Thank You To My Friends at Lion Fuse Digital Media

Lion Fuse LogoA big, HUGE THANK YOU to my friends at Lion Fuse for designing my new Vocus business card.

They did a great job with the design and layout. Many people have complimented me on my business cards and they seem to really like the rounded and pointed edges. This business card stands out from the rest because of the color, the shape and the clean layout.

If you are looking for someone to design your business cards, look no further than the team over at Lion Fuse for help. You can contact the team at – they do great graphic design, web design among other things.
Vocus Business Card - Jeff Zelaya Sales


Are business cards dead or

are they still a valuable networking tool?

Although social media and mobile phones have made networking much easier and seamless, I believe that business cards are still an essential for any professional. I don’t expect people to hold on to the business card forever or put them in a Rolodex but I do expect them to take the card to their computer, type my name in Google and then send me an invite to connect with me on LinkedIn and my other social networks.

If you truly are interested in networking with someone that you’ve met in person then getting connected on social media is the logical next step in this day and age. Once you’re connected with someone online, then the business card goes right into the trash.

Do you hold on to business cards?

For how long?

Do you think business cards will ever go away?


Social Media Speaker at the 2011 Mesoestetic USA Symposium

This past Sunday I presented at the 2011 Medical Aesthetics Symposium/ Mesoestetic USA Symposium in Miami, Florida.
I was very excited to share my knowledge of Social Media with doctors, dermatologists, business owners and medical professionals.