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As the son of immigrant small business owners, I have always been familiar with the pains of running a small business. Growing up, I knew my parents were in the jewelry business. Yet I noticed that so much of their day-to-day was spent not on diamond rings, watches, and gold, but on paperwork, mortgages, and payroll. As a result, I became familiar early on with the many challenges that entrepreneurs and workers face.
Consider this list: adhering to new payroll tax laws, administering benefits, dealing with workers’ comp claims, and securing general liability insurance. Were these the first things that popped into your mind when you first dreamt up your business idea? Or do these fall into the “I would rather be doing anything else right now” bucket? These responsibilities, coupled with the obvious challenges that COVID-19 has brought to small businesses, make it very difficult for companies to stay afloat, let alone thrive.
Let me keep it simple. In terms of a hierarchy of needs, every business needs to manage and pay its people and find a great place where it can do its work. The problem, of course, is that managing a lease, human resources, and payroll can be some of your biggest expenses and eat up significant chunks of time. Every hour you spend on these matters means less time for revenue-generating activities, further taking you away from focusing on your vision.
Our hope is to help you shoulder some of these burdens so you can focus on actually running your business. You may already know that WeWork’s flexible WeWork All Access and WeWork On Demand office products can help manage your workspace without the headache or costs of traditional commercial real estate. In a similar way, WeWork’s Business Solutions platform can help tackle problems related to operating your business. These are problems you may be seeing for the first time, but these are “no sweat” for our platform, which has seen countless businesses develop in its ecosystem.
You see, we understand what you need not only to grow and scale but also to avoid some of the hardships and issues you may not otherwise anticipate. With WeWork, you can now build your business out of a box: We can be a one-stop shop for your office space and operational needs.
We’re here for you now
For small businesses, you might not know where to get answers for your human resources (HR) questions. We provide resources and support that can help answer your questions for free. Through our partnership with VensureHR, WeWork now offers every member free email support and online resources for any HR- or payroll-related question you may have. Knowing you have help by your side makes life a lot easier when you’re filling out paperwork or aren’t quite familiar with best practices in managing HR concerns. Members also have discounted access to Vensure’s suite of professional services, including help with payroll, benefits, remote staffing, and more.
We’re here when things change
Businesses need to be agile and responsive to an ever-changing legislative and regulatory environment. Our platform and network allows you to be aware of real-time changes in business regulations and opportunities. For instance, when the new COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill was recently signed into effect, we hosted a webinar with our partners at Vensure that included both a discussion and a live Q&A about this new bill.
We also offered actionable and turnkey resources, including giving members access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan servicing assistance. Through partnerships with loan servicing companies ACAP and the Loan Source, we were able to offer members improved access and support for their PPP applications. Given our relationships and scale, we are a platform that is responsive to change and can provide new opportunities and time-sensitive resources for our members.
We listen to your needs
We understand the importance of being responsive to member feedback. In a recent survey, almost 50 percent of our members asked us about remote workforce solutions. That’s why we now offer remote staffing solutions through VensureHR that can help you grow and scale quickly, even with limited payroll resources.
Perhaps you are a five-person startup and need a remote administrative assistant to help manage your team’s calendars or perhaps a customer success manager who can handle inbound requests so you can focus your attention on the growth strategy of your business. Having access to a remote staffing partner makes it easy to hire the personnel you need.
Likewise, over 40 percent of our members have asked for a business insurance offering, which is why we will soon be announcing the launch of a new insurance partnership to help grow and empower businesses.
We will be with you in the future
Just like my parents understood, your needs as a business owner extend far beyond just an office or a shop. The pandemic, and our response to it, has fundamentally changed people’s views on what makes a compelling workplace—but it hasn’t changed what is necessary to keep a business open and thriving.
As the younger brother in my family, one of the things I most appreciated was being able to follow in the footsteps of my older brother. Whether it was learning calculus, getting hit for the first time while playing football, or taking the SATs, I tackled these challenges with less fear because my brother had already paved that path for me.
The journey for every business is no different: Every owner wants to make sure they don’t get lost in a web of paperwork or fall into regulatory booby traps. WeWork has built products and curated partnerships so that you can dream big and focus on your core business. When it comes to your aspirations, we want you to take the “road not taken.” But when you’re dealing with HR, compliance, and employment law, we want to show you the easy way.
Kane Kim is the head of business solutions as part of the Marketplace team at WeWork. He is responsible for implementing products and partnerships that empower WeWork’s startups and small and medium-sized businesses. Kim holds a JD from Columbia Law School and a BA from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to WeWork, Kim worked as an attorney at a leading global law firm and as an investment banking analyst.