NFIB/Colorado Member Profile: Roger Hays of Premier Employer Services

Date: February 02, 2016

'We just cringe every time the Colorado legislative session begins.'

NFIB/Colorado Member Profile: Roger Hays of Premier Employer Services

Name: Roger Hays

Business: Premier Employer Services, a professional employer organization (PEO) that provides HR services for other businesses

Location: Centennial, Colorado

What’s the history of your business?

I worked at another PEO in Denver. Over time, I learned what an awesome industry it was and how it really helped businesses. I worked for another PEO, and in 2008, the owner sold it to a competitor. I didn’t want to work for a really big company. So I passed on the offer to stay and started this company.

It gets busier and busier every day. We just cringe every time the Colorado legislative session begins. It’s just more and more onerous every day. So it keeps us employed, but it really does put enormous pressures on small companies. We stay abreast of all the different rules and changes because it’s incredibly difficult for them.

Their focus should be doing whatever they do, whether it’s trucking, building homes. When the government makes them create a full-time job of keeping track of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules, they’re set up for failure. I really came to learn how difficult it is for small businesses to survive.

What kind of business climate does Colorado have?

It could be much better. It’s not completely repressed at the moment, but it’s growing at a slower pace than it should be. If we had a more pro-business governor or pro-business legislature, it would be better.

How does your business set itself apart from the competition?

What we do is combine technology with customer service. We provide very strong customer service with the most up-to-date technology and flexibility. A lot of the bigger guys don’t really talk to their customers. In order to set ourselves apart, we focus on the actual face-to-face customer service aspect of our industry.

We’ll go to their offices and directly handle whatever needs to get handled instead of saying, ‘Here’s a computer disk. Figure it out yourself.’ We’re not a 1-800 number or a hyperlink you look up.

Why did you join NFIB?

The second PEO I worked for, the guy who owned it was a big believer in NFIB. I saw firsthand what they did for small businesses and how important it was. When I started Premier Employer Services, one of the first things we did, in 2009, was join NFIB. For a small business, that’s pretty much a must. It’s worth every second of time to be a member.

What are some of your biggest challenges, and how are you dealing with them?

Keeping our technology up to speed and keeping up the costs with that. Obviously as a small business we need to comply with the same stuff our customers do, the Affordable Care Act, NLRB stuff. We’re always trying to find ways to streamline and stay in compliance.

Also, the access to cash is not great. So it’s hard to grow, hard to expand your business and stay in compliance. How do you find and retain great employees? That’s one of the great challenges for everybody. While we’re helping other businesses, we’re challenged with the same thing in-house as well.

What advice do you have for other small business owners?

Don’t give up. Sometimes as a small business owner, it looks really tough, but there’s a lot of people who can help along the way. The biggest thing for us, especially because we’re in the compliance industry, is to always do the right thing. It always pays off in the end.

Align yourself with somebody like NFIB who can really help you, who’s got your back, a place with resources you can ask for help.

What do you love most about running a small business?

I absolutely love working with other small business owners, helping them grow and succeed. I love it when one of my customers makes it on the local Denver Business Journal or gets highlighted by NFIB as successful and growing. I get a lot of satisfaction watching other companies be successful, and I take pride in the fact that we were there and helped them get to that point.

That was my addiction when I got into this, working with so many different small businesses. If a business is about making sandwiches or constructing apartment complexes, etc., they can focus on that. Not the headaches the government dumps on them. It takes so much time away from businesses.

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