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Left to their own devices, PEOs don’t just grow. It takes deliberate and targeted effort, planning and executing growth strategies based on the individual PEO. This month’s feature provides insights into different ways of doing this:

  • Internal and external growth drivers. PEOs can optimize internal drivers, respond appropriately to external drivers, and focus on top-line and bottom-line profitability simultaneously to position themselves for growth.
  • Growth capital. Investors are ready with growth capital for PEOs with diverse client bases, high retention rates, and high-quality recurring revenue, among other things.
  • Acquisition. Asking and answering the right questions can help PEOs identify appropriate acquisition targets.
  • Expanding into new markets. One PEO accomplished this by finding markets with concentrations of prospects showing the qualities of its ideal client, combined with favorable economic conditions and demonstrated demand for PEO services.
  • The building blocks of growth. Educating internal employees, clients, and worksite employees, consistently providing top-notch service, and using referrals to help fuel the sales engine work together within the PEO’s organizational culture to form the foundation for organic growth.
  • Building leaders. This month’s PEO Innovator shows how it cultivates leaders to develop growth in new markets.
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Legal Currents

What’s an Employer to Do?

It has long been customary for U.S. employers to inquire of job applicants whether they have been convicted of crimes in the past; often, the inquiry appears on the employment application. Employers’ reasons for this inquiry have varied: workplace safety, product and facility security, cash-handling security, avoidance of negligent hiring claims, or simply a desire to assure honesty in their workforces. Recent years, however, have seen a significant increase in claims by rejected applicants that ...

Executive Office

Lessons Learned from Leaders in Other Industries

I thought of that quote from the intellectual Dr. Seuss when I first saw the proposed topic for the words to which you are now being exposed: What did I learn in other vocations that transferred to my work in the PEO industry? As I mulled that question, it dawned on me that my professional life, mostly devoted to sales and business development efforts, has largely been guided not by a deep understanding of specific disciplines or insight into business processes, but by simple nuggets of wisdom gleaned from former superiors and others who’ve had a significant professional impact on my life. These nuggets have guided how I look at issues and approach challenges that come along every day. Given that my time in the PEO industry has coincided with the most productive period of my adult life, I think it’s fair to say that what I learned from my work before entering the PEO space has had a significant impact on my work within the industry.

Human Resources

Increase Retention

Every day at businesses across the globe, something terrible happens that is out of bounds, taboo, and unspeakable (and I am not referring to harassment situations): Customers leave. Let’s face it, regardless of the priority given to delivering great service, the service offerings and value you offer, and your employees’ talent and skill, we all lose customers, but many of us don’t want to think about it or discuss it. This lack of communication is a crucial mistake that impacts the future of the organization’s growth and success.


Marketing During Growth Mode

Whether your PEO has been in business 30 days or 30 years, marketing is an essential component of growth. However, just as no two PEOs are exactly alike, there isn’t just one tried-and-true recipe for marketing success. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “…the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”1 While that may sound all-encompassing, it’s also true. What marketing—both internal and external—means for your PEO also will vary through the years and during the different stages of your company’s lifecycle.

Start-up Guide

Risk Management

PEOs provide a suite of employment-related services to small business clients as administrative co-employers. One of the valuable services PEOs provide to their clients is risk management support and the mitigation of clients’ workers’ compensation risk. Depending on the PEO’s workers’ compensation program structure, the PEO may accept some level of financial risk (via a deductible) or transfer 100 percent of the risk to a workers’ compensation carrier.


The Inside Word

For PEOs, Advancements in Technology May Actually be a Double-Edged Sword

Merriam-Webster’s defines a “double-edged sword” as something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. We all know how advancements in technology have steadily increased our ability to process payroll for thousands of worksite employees. In the infancy of our PEO operations, manual payroll processing was often the norm. I was discussing this fact with Bobbie Guerra Garcia, an employee of SWBC PEO who recently celebrated her 20th year work anniversary.

NAPEO Notebook

Engagement in the States, NAPEO Board Meeting, and CEO Forum Patrick J. Cleary

This has been another busy travel month for me, with a lot of NAPEO-related business and a little fun tossed in along the way. From the first of February to mid-March, I have logged almost 25,000 miles, including two cross-country trips. One of those was for my annual trek to Stanford University (mentioned in last month’s column). This month was the annual Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations (FAPEO) meeting in Tallahassee, our Texas Leadership Council Forum (LCF) in Austin, and the NAPEO Board of Directors meeting, back on the west coast in San Francisco.

Capitol Comment

NAPEO Board Approves 2018 Federal Legislative and Regulatory Agenda Thom Stohler

On March 6, the NAPEO Board of Directors approved a federal legislative and regulatory agenda for 2018. The agenda was developed by the NAPEO Federal Government Affairs Committee (FGAC) during a two-day in-person meeting in Washington, D.C., in late January/early February. NAPEO tax counsel Randy Hardock of Davis & Harman and healthcare counsel Seth Perretta and Malcolm Slee from The Groom Law Group briefed the group. Finally, the committee reviewed the progress on the agenda adopted in 2017. From these discussions, the FGAC adopted the 2018 agenda for legislative and regulatory priorities.

Legal Q&A

Joint-Employer Standard, Payroll Audit, Fiduciary Rule Farrah L. Fielder, Esq.

Q. In December, we heard about a new joint-employer liability standard, which took us back to a focus on the actual exercise of joint control over essential employment terms. Now we hear something happened to take it back. What gives? A. Several months after the Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors decision, which expressly overturned the 2015 Browning-Ferris decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an order...

PEOs in the Community

eEmployer Solutions, Inc. Chris Chaney

On August 25, 2017, the country watched in shock as Hurricane Harvey made landfall off the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm. Many NAPEO members felt the impact of the storm first-hand. Harvey knocked out power to San Antonio-based eEmployer Solutions, Inc.’s (eESI’s) Corpus Christi office for a day and left many Houston-based employees unable to drive to work due to lingering flood waters.

PEO Spotlight

Avitus Group: Steve Bentley Chris Chaney

Not all accidents are bad. That was certainly the case for Steve Bentley’s career in the PEO industry. He hadn’t planned to start his own business or enter the HR field, and he notes his first impressions of PEOs were not all that favorable, but sometimes in business things evolve in ways one least suspects. After some time working in the accounting field, Bentley went to work for Willis Chrans (now chair of Avitus Group) when he founded a back-office services firm, Better Business Systems, in 1996.

The Big Picture

Maximizing the Promise of Our New Economy Thomas J. Donohue

As the pace of economic change continues to accelerate, it is transforming the way we work and conduct business at a breathtaking pace. This change presents an extraordinary opportunity for growth and job creation. To seize it, however, we must prepare workers to compete and succeed in the new economy. This is why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched the New Economy Working Group on February 22 to begin exploring the challenges and opportunities of a modern workforce.


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