In 2020, Florida voters supported a ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next six years. Currently, the minimum wage in Florida is $8.56 an hour. The newly approved amendment raises the minimum wage to $10 an hour next year, with an increase of an additional dollar a year, reaching $15 an hour in 2026.
How should you prepare for these changes as a small business owner? Here are a few things to consider.
Hire the right employees.
Between advertising open positions and training new staff, it costs a lot to replace an employee. You can mitigate this loss by hiring the right people. Look for applicants with a good track record of performance and attendance. Take recommendations and references seriously, and choose people who fit into the company culture.
It’s important to keep good employees, too. The best way to do this is to develop relationships with staff and provide paths for growth and advancement. People who feel valued are more likely to stick around.
This is one way to ensure you have more money coming in to cover the increased wages you have to pay out. Customers may get upset, but keep in mind that your competitors are dealing with the same situation and will likely be forced to raise their prices, too.
Take a careful look at your budget and figure out a way to hire people and keep staff that you can afford long term. This may involve keeping fewer people on staff and expanding their responsibilities for hiring temporary help for busy seasons.
If you don’t utilize one already, invest in a payroll program that tracks employee hours easily and integrates with your point of sale system. Use this data to make sure you aren’t over staffing. Do you really need two employees to open if sales don’t really pick up until lunchtime? Would it make more sense to have fewer shifts during the week and ramp up staffing on the weekends? Good management software can help you work all this out.
When it comes to things like minimum wage laws, it’s essential to make sure you’re in compliance. If you need help managing these upcoming changes, talk to your accountant and lawyer to make sure you’re doing everything you have to do to adapt.
Any opinions are those of Thomas Fleishel and not necessarily those of Raymond James.