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small business and employee benefits

Smaller employers seem to struggle with offering comparable benefit packages to those that larger employers can provide to employees. An employee discount program is one benefit that has grown in popularity in recent years that can be cumbersome for smaller employers to manage.

Belmont alumnus Brian Roland and his brother launched a business called Perkline in 2006 that is a turn-key solution to help organizations and businesses, particularly smaller ones, offer corporate discounts to their employees.

“This is a great time for a company like Perkline to advance in the market because with a slow economy, companies of all sizes are looking for cost-effective ways to provide additional compensation and benefits to their employees. Now even small companies can offer a world class employee discount program for their employees. It isn’t just the Fortune 500 companies that have access to this kind of program anymore,” Perkline President and CEO Brian Roland said. “In addition, many companies are operating with a very lean staff right now. We manage the entire employee discount program so that corporate staff can focus on day-to-day business challenges.”

Perkline‘s national vendor network provides each participating organization and their employees with discounts from over 18,000 hotels, 9,000 florists, 5,500 car dealerships, over 6,000 restaurants, and 90,000 concerts & events in 50 countries. Perkline has partnerships with national retailers including Costco, Target.com, Brinks Home Security, PODS, LifeLock, Kaplan, DishNetwork, TiVO, Overstock.com, Brooks Brothers, Philips Consumer Electronics, and BlockBuster. The Perkline network also includes discounts to over 120 national attractions and theme parks.

What is particularly impressive is that the Roland brothers have been able to build this competitive business through bootstrapping. They provide quality service to over 45,000 members (and counting) with very little overhead, helping to keep this benefit affordable to small employers around the country.


keep the fridge stocked

It happens to all of us. We are running late in morning, afternoon evening. Clients are running late all day. It is pouring raining, snowing or insanely hot! Either way there is always something getting in the way of the much needed breakfast, lunch or snack. This leads to crabby docs and staff. However there is an easy solve to this problem keep the break room stocked. Here are a few suggestions and good brain food:

  1. Fruit – think apples they don’t expire as quickly
  2. Granola or Trail Mix
  3. Dried Fruit
  4. Peanut Butter (crackers, rice cakes, apples)
  5. Edamame
  6. Soup
  7. Instant Oatmeal
  8. Twizzlers
  9. Gummy Bears, Fishes, or Worms – Oh MY
  10. Nuts

To get the staff involved you can rotate the shopping duties so the buyer can add thier special treat to the list as well!

quick staff apprecation ideas

Appreciating staff is something that tends to follow at the bottom of the list until you start to sense low However providing little “treats” for your staff does not have to break the bank and certainly lets them know you care.  I am not talking about vacation time, 401 (K) plans, educational subsidies that is to be explored at another time.  I am talking about random daily acts of kindness.  Well not so random,  one thing to keep it off the bottom of your list to print off a calendar for the and randomly pick a few times per month for the whole year up front so you can be organized about it  – this works for wives and husbands too!  The next thing is to stock up on gifts.  My works in marketing and gets berated with tchotchkes all year she stores them in a basket and uses them as office bribs throughout the year – like I said she is in marketing. Anyway the point is to pick a day and peruse little shops for staff treats.  Here is a list of things to keep you in mind, but you can be as creative as you want to be with this exercise.

Here are a few quick staff appreciation ideas that will not break the bank.

  1. A small make-up mirrors – you can personalize it with a little note written on the mirror
  2. A pencil and pad note set – Target is a great place to find this
  3. Mini Candy Bars
  4. Home -made burn CD of music or poetry
  5. Small bags of mini marshmallows – especially in the winter
  6. Water bottles
  7. Popcorn balls
  8. Use all those empty bill bottles and fill them with mini -M &M’s with a little note and RX for humor
  9. $5 give card for a cup of coffee/tea
  10. A “get out of filing free” gift certificate.

Here are just a few things to get you started.

Good luck!