Supercuts, the Minneapolis-based hair salon retail chain, is making sure its employees in more than its 2,400 locations do not have a bad hair day. It recently tapped benefits and HR firm Decisely to give their franchisees the chance to offer competitive benefits without breaking the bank.

“The challenge is that small businesses are typically disadvantaged. They have less coverage; benefits are complicated to access and provide. What needs to be done is to aggregate small businesses all into a plan,” says Decisely’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Duncan. “This is what we do with Supercuts Franchisee Association.”

Talent in the hairstyling industry is in high demand as small and large businesses compete with one another to acquire and retain talent. It is easier for large chains to offer competitive benefits than it is for smaller ones, and according to Duncan, it is in a company’s own interest to offer benefits to its employees.

Bloomberg

Decisely partnered with the P&C provider EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consulting to provide the employee benefits and HR tools to the Supercut Franchisee Association’s board. After a presentation in Denver on April 30, the board decided to go with Decisely’s services.

Previously, benefits offered to Supercuts employees depended on each franchisee; the SFA does not offer benefits to employees directly. “What we try to do is aggregate all into a purchasing pool called a “trust,” so they get better purchases in benefits. It is like buying hairstyling products as a pool,” Duncan says.

“Our SFA members want to offer cost effective and high-quality benefits to their employees to help attract and retain the best stylists in the industry, but as mostly small businesses, we lose purchasing clout on our own. We hope that together, we will be able to help our store owners grow the value of their franchise and help their employees,” says Cheryl Robinson, an SFA board member.

Duncan defines Decisely as a “recruit-to-retire platform” and its services rely on technology. “We offer a turnkey to help create a Supercuts collective benefits purchasing site, an 800-number and a website to access benefits; we are building a benefits purchasing trust, a broader trust with all HR benefits,” he says. These include Associated Health Plan, benefits enrollment and administration, and HR services for members accessible on a cloud-based platform.

Decisely also offers options that include IRA and 401(k) solutions as part of their integrated programs directed towards small employers. “We offer small businesses an easy to access way for this. It is a collective sourcing strategy. We would like to think of ourselves as ‘Champions of small businesses,’” says Duncan.

The company, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, defines itself as “a benefits brokerage and HR services firm specializing in integrated technology solutions for small businesses.” It works with brokers to provide solutions to clients nationally, which include associations and franchises.

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