It started with a girl on a mission to help her family with celiac disease enjoy a real bagel. Michelle MacDonald is that girl and the founder of Sweet Note Bakery, which created the first gluten-free and top-8-allergen-free New York style bagel. From solopreneur, Michelle has grown her company to four employees and there are no signs of slowing down.

Outsourcing human resources to a PEO was a no-brainer.

“HR is my background and even though I have all this knowledge it’s the last thing I want to worry about. I want to focus on my product, my company culture and on growing the bottom line.”

While Michelle has been expanding the business to service 17 states and 500 locations, CLEAR Employer Services has taken care of her employees, transitioning them from part-time to full-time, providing great benefits, answering their questions and accurately handling payroll.

“They are a true business partner, helping us get to the next level,” she explains. “The CLEAR team really cares about what they are doing and they always go above and beyond. They’re fast, they’re accountable and they feel just like an extension of our company.”

Her advice to other business owners is not to go it alone. “I’m a big proponent of outsourcing. Your people are so important, and with HR you can really get it wrong. No matter what industry you’re in, having a PEO can take the weight of being an employer off your shoulders. When you hire your first employee, hire a PEO.”

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