How to run your small business using Homebase’s suite of tools

Running a small business is no small feat. Ask any business owner, and they’ll tell you about the challenges they face and the tools they use to overcome them: like Homebase.

From time clock apps to employee satisfaction surveys, read on to learn more about how business owners are staying on top of their tasks, schedules, and payrolls, all while keeping employees happy, and their budgets and timelines on track. 

The 4 biggest challenges for small business owners

No matter the size or type of business you’re running, you’ve likely been met with your own set of challenges along the way. While some of these are unique to specific industries, others—like payroll, time tracking, and scheduling challenges—are commonly experienced across the spectrum of small businesses.

Here are just four that you might have dealt with in the past or are currently overcoming as you manage your small business. 

1. Processing payroll

Let’s not put it not lightly: payroll can be a pain. Especially when you don’t have the tools to keep everything organized and compliant with local labor laws.

So, what is payroll and why is it so tricky? Let’s start with outlining exactly what it is.

Payroll is the actual process of paying your employees. Sometimes, people refer to payroll as a list of paid employees or the total amount of money that needs to be paid to them for a set period of time, like a pay period. But overall, it’s all of the steps that are included in getting to the point of the employee receiving the money they’re owed.

The payroll process itself can be quite time consuming. It includes tracking your workers’ hours, calculating wages, withholding deductions for things like taxes, Social Security, and Medicare, and also includes the act of delivering the payment to workers. This can be done through cheque or direct deposit.

It’s a lot, especially when you add in the fact that it all needs to be done in a way that’s compliant with local labor laws.

Along with the multiple steps involved in the process, payroll can often come with a few common errors, especially if you’re doing it all manually.

For instance, you might have discrepancies in hours, which can be the case if you’re using paper time sheets or your employees are forgetting to clock in and out. This can lead to mistakes and subsequent frustration and confusion from everyone involved, plus it makes the taxes you and your staff are filing incorrect. 

2. Scheduling

Scheduling employees can be a challenge for small businesses, even if there are only a few schedules to be made. You’ve got to manage personal preferences, time off requests, and conflicts, not to mention the needs of your business and its customers.

Tack on the idea of manual scheduling, and well, things can get messy.

Manual scheduling means doing things on your own, without automation. And this doesn’t just include managing the times that you workers are clocking in and out, but also communication. Both the employee and the business owner need to be aware of shift changes, swaps, and any conflicts that may arise, but when a schedule is confined to a spreadsheet or pinned to the bulletin board, managing changes in real time can become almost impossible.

Other challenges that a business owner might face include scheduling shifts that are notoriously hard to fill. Common culprits? Night shifts, clopenings, , and that one shift that’s frequented by the customer who wants the “decaf-double-latte-with-just-a-teensie-weensie-bit-of-foam; oh and make it hot-but-not-too hot!” Yeah. That one.

While your employees might be flexible and willing to take on some extra shifts—even the ones that are less than desirable—doing so on a regular basis can cause burnout and a drop in workplace satisfaction. 

3. Keeping track of hours

Scheduling and keeping track of hours go hand-in-hand, especially when schedules continuously change based on swaps, covers, or any other unexpected or last-minute updates.

Without the tools to properly manage the time that your workers are putting in or taking off, it’s easy to lose sight of how much they’ve worked and more importantly, how much to pay them. This can lead to inaccurate pay, which can cost your business money and create tension or frustration with employees if their paychecks are wrong.

This problem can happen when the tools you’re using to track time aren’t synced up with other important programs and processes, like payroll.

4. Workplace satisfaction

Keeping your employees happy is an important job for all workplaces—big and small. When workers are feeling better about the tasks they’re completing, they do it better. And better yet, they do it with pride. What does that mean for you? Happier customers. More sales. Less turnover.

Did you know? Retail and restaurant industries have a turnover rate of about 62%. Industry analysts have done the math, and that means the cost of replacing an entry-level cashier is a staggering $2,286.

Homebase: your all-in-one small business software

Homebase is on a mission to make work easier for small businesses and hourly workers. For Homebase, easier means all-around better: better for owners trying to run their businesses and support their communities, and better for the 33 million hourly workers who live paycheck-to-paycheck and can’t afford to miss a shift.

To do this, Homebase is specifically designed for small businesses like yours. We’re not about the large corporate companies or for workers who spend their day sitting in front of a computer. There’s other software for that.

Instead, Homebase is for the shift worker and those who employ them: restaurants, retail, shops, and services. All of the above plus everything in between. Small businesses do a lot and need a lot, and Homebase supports it all, including payroll, scheduling, HR, employee satisfaction, and communication

Homebase Payroll 

What’s Homebase Payroll?

Homebase Payroll is a tool that automates your payroll process. No more pouring over hours worked, time off, coordinating social security numbers and voluntary deduction, or calculating breaks taken. All of the above, and then some, is covered by Homebase. 

What does Homebase Payroll do?

Homebase Payroll takes away the need for calculators, paperwork, and any manual labor that comes with tracking hours. It also covers coordinating all the HR stuff that can be overwhelmingly difficult and time consuming.

Homebase simply converts your wages, hours, and minutes into your payroll summary report. Next, Homebase calculates those wages and sends out the employee paychecks or directly deposits the funds into their bank accounts as part of their annual salary or gross pay.

What are the key features of Homebase Payroll?

Homebase Payroll comes with a plethora of features that make cutting cheques (and everything that comes before that point) easy.

Key features include a complete hourly toolkit that brings together scheduling, time clocks and online timesheets, built-in messaging, team communication and roster. It also includes all of your employee payroll paperwork including paid-time-off policies & tracking.

Homebase Payroll also gives you the following:

  • Free payroll transfer service
  • Overtime and wage calculations
  • Multiple wage rates and blended overtime
  • Bonus and commission payments
  • Pre- and post-tax deductions
  • 2-day direct deposit for qualified companies
  • Printable checks
  • Automated payroll tax payments and filings
  • W-2s and 1099s
  • New hire reporting
  • QuickBooks Online accounting integrations

What are the benefits of Homebase Payroll software for small businesses?

Small businesses who use Homebase Payroll experience a number of benefits. Imagine a world with less stress and more time for the other things you need to focus on when running a business.

Small business owners don’t have to stress over federal or local labor laws that apply to hourly employees and their paychecks. Homebase accounts for all of those during the automated payroll calculation process. Business owners can say goodbye to manual data entry, too, since online payroll information is covered by Homebase. 

Homebase Time Clock

What is the Homebase Time Clock app?

Picture a time clock in the palm of your hands. That’s the Homebase Time Clock app. It gives your employees a modern, digital, and simple way to clock in and out of their shifts from almost any device, like their smartphone or a tablet. The app connects with your online timesheets or other tracking software to automatically calculate hours worked, then creates payroll reports and wages for your workers. 

What does the Homebase Time Clock app do?

The Homebase Time Clock app tracks when your employees are working, all while making payroll simple and seamless. Without the old-timey punch cards, everything is digitally synced. That makes it easy for workers to be nudged if they haven’t clocked out for a shift, or remind them to clock in if they haven’t done so already.

This app also helps to minimize time theft and control your labor costs by preventing common-but-costly occurrences like buddy punching. This is when employees clock in or out for one another to avoid losing wages. It can happen when workers are running late or missing a shift. To avoid missed wages or a reprimand, they may ask a teammate to clock in for them. Although it’s not always intentional, it does always come at a cost. 

What are the key features of Homebase Time Clock app?

Homebase’s Time Clock app lets you track hours, breaks, and overtime from your computer, iOS or Android devices, or POS systems. This lets you end each week with automated, accurate timesheets and makes processing payroll a breeze. The app converts hours, breaks, overtime, and time off into wages in just a few clicks, so you can pay your team and file taxes all in one place. (We’re cheering, too.)

Does your small business employ field teams? Homebase’s Time Clock app also works for them. Track hours for your field teams by verifying clock-in locations with GPS time clocks and geo-fencing. You can even snap photos to make sure the right worker is showing up, and assign unique PINs to avoid time theft and buddy punching.

Homebase Time Clock app supports communication, too. Send upcoming shift alerts to your workers to avoid missed shifts, and get late clock-in alerts so you can make sure your team is showing up on time.

What are the benefits of the Homebase Time Clock app for small businesses?

If you run a small business, you know how important it is to keep track of hours. One of the most common and obvious perks is knowing when and where your employees are during a shift, or while they’re clocking in and out.

Plus, tracking hours helps you stay on top of your labor budget, and also federal and local labor laws.

With the Homebase Time Clock app, your time tracking needs are fully covered, not to mention organized. Everything is in one place— the cloud—which means you can track employee data, like time and attendance, in real time. Plus, see the total hours worked by an employee from wherever you are on almost any device you’re using.

The Homebase Time Clock app even works offline, so if you’re finally taking that well-deserved vacation out in the middle of nowhere, your Homebase app will track data at all times.

Homebase Scheduling

What is Homebase Scheduling?

Homebase Scheduling is one easy app that lets you build, share, and optimize schedules. It means you can keep your team and your budgets on track. ​​

What does Homebase Scheduling do?

Simply put, Homebase Scheduling automates the process of scheduling, and it does it all online. Your staff schedules are stored on the cloud. This makes scheduling accessible to your staff from any device using the scheduling app in real time. 

Having your schedule online and in the cloud gives you flexibility to update the schedule from anywhere. And when it’s paired with Hombase’s Time Clock, you get a full picture of your labor costs and employee performance. Plus, you can even see which time slots have the highest sales, who’s worked those shifts, and then determine if you need to staff up during those times. 

What are the key features of Homebase Scheduling?

Homebase Scheduling lets you coordinate shifts easily and in real time. Key feature of this free app include: 

  • Optimization without the effort: Use templates or auto-scheduling based on your team’s latest availability, sales forecasts, and labor targets.
  • Communication in one place: Homebase will notify your team when you update the schedule through in-app, text, or email alerts.
  • Organization, for you and your workers: Keep your team on track with shift reminders and notes, and get alerts when they’re late or approaching overtime.
  • Flexibility to adapt on-the-go: Find coverage for open shifts—even those unexpected ones—and allow your team to pick up or trade shifts to better suit their personal preferences and schedules. 
  • Planning tools and HR support: Set rules for black-out dates, time-off requests, and keep track of your team’s changing availability. Need help doing it all? Homebase comes with expert HR support, like policy review.

What are the benefits of the Homebase employee scheduling app for small businesses?

Scheduling can be chaotic, or at least it used to be. With the Homebase employee scheduling app, you can save time each week. Unlike other scheduling apps, Homebase lets you make and save changes in real time and from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Plus, with Homebase’s free employee schedule maker, you can create schedules and immediately share them with your staff so they know when they’re working, and can coordinate any shift swaps if necessary. 

Homebase HR

What are Homebase HR tools?

Homebase HR tools are everything your small business needs to do business right in every way. It’s all accessed in the mobile app and gives you the guidance you need to stay compliant, manage your team, and keep them showing up (and showing up happy). 

What do Homebase HR tools do?

Homebase HR tools keep you organized and compliant, and your employees happy. When it comes to general HR tasks, like managing your team roster and their personal information, Homebase lets you ditch the spreadsheets and file cabinets. Instead, you can manage and secure employee information all online. Keep emergency contacts, payroll details, and more all safely in the cloud. Plus, sign and save employee documents there as well. You can even send automated welcome packets to new employees to help with onboarding.

Homebase HR tools also give you reprieve from all of the stress that comes along with the piles of (now non-existent) paperwork. From PTO policies to time-off approvals, you can streamline everything in Homebase, getting a complete overview of time off across your business.

Need help setting up time off policies? Homebase HR tools can guide you through it all, then work with the nitty gritty to set up your paid time-off policies to track accruals and balances for sick and vacation leave. You’ll also be able to gain control over PTO by setting black out dates, request limits, and advance notice policies, all while syncing it with payroll.

Now let’s talk about health: mental and physical.  Homebase HR tools help you protect your business and your employees with automated policies and records. This includes screenings, like for COVID symptoms, but also policies and records that track the happiness of your employees. This is done through workplace satisfaction surveys and employee performance reviews, which are all done and stored on in the app. 

What are the benefits of using Homebase’s HR tools for small businesses? 

Small businesses don’t always have the time or resources for HR. Nevertheless, it’s a critical part of running any business. With Homebase’s HR tools, small businesses can rest easy knowing they have the support and guidance they need, and resources from an extensive HR resources library, full of templates, guides, and training, all at their fingertips.

Manage your small business better with Homebase

Let’s be real: running a small business is a big job. And Homebase gets that.

This understanding is what we’re built for, or rather: who we’ve built for. Homebase supports everything that small businesses need to do, but don’t always have the time, tools or knowledge to do, or do right.

Sound familiar? If you’re struggling with payroll, scheduling, time tracking, or suffering from general HR woes, Homebase has you covered—and all in one app. Get started for free.  

Homebase tools FAQ

What is Homebase Payroll, and what does it do?

Homebase Payroll automates your payroll process. Small businesses don’t have to spend their hours pouring over things like hours worked or time off or coordinating social security numbers and voluntary deduction. Homebase Payroll does that for you—automatically. 

What is the Homebase Time Clock app, and what does it do?

The Homebase Time Clock app is a digital and modern way for employees to clock in and out of their shifts from almost any device. It connects with your online timesheets or other tracking software to automatically calculate hours worked. Then, it creates payroll reports and wages for your workers. This tracks overtime, scheduling changes, and stays on top of labor laws so you can remain compliant. 

What is Homebase Scheduling, and what does it do?

Homebase Scheduling is an app that lets you build, share, and optimize schedules for your small business. It automates the process of scheduling, storing it online and in the cloud, so your staff can access schedules in real time and from any device. 

What are Homebases’s HR tools for small businesses, and what do they do?

Every business needs to have HR, even without a dedicated HR professional on staff. And that’s where Homebase can help. Homebase HR tools give your small business the tools, resources, and guidance that businesses need in order to stay compliant, and to manage their team. That includes tracking time and time off, setting policies, monitoring employee satisfaction, and doing it all by federal and state labor laws.

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