Is your business growing? Do you feel like your workload has reached capacity? Are you ready to spend money to earn money? If you answered yes, then I think you might just be ready to hire a contractor!
Let's cover some of the basics before you decide to hire anybody!
What is an independent contractor?
An independent contractor is a person, business, or corporation that provides goods or services under a written contract or a verbal agreement. Unlike employees, independent contractors do not work regularly for an employer but work as required, when they may be subject to law of agency.
There's a couple key points in there that are extremely important to using an independent contractor. You do not want to cross the line to employee, until you are ready to have employees.
First things first, of course, you need to have everything in writing. When you have a contractor you must have a *cough, cough* contract.
This contract needs to clearly state:
- What they are hired for
- What terms they are working under
- What the timeline is
- Form and timeline of payment
- No-soliciting clause
Work Hours and Location
One of the biggest differentiators from an employee to a contractor is the work hours and location. As an employee, you can create a schedule for them to follow and require them to come to an office. As a contractor, they can work whenever and wherever they want. The only aspect you have a preference in is timeline and deadlines. But if they don't agree to your timeline, then you need to find a different contractor.
Payment and Pricing
Pricing will vary heavily when using independent contractors. And you don't have a huge say in pricing either. The contractor will provide you a quote for the service you are hiring for. If that quote doesn't fit your budget you can negotiate, but they are fully justified in saying 'no'. You can tell a contractor your budget upfront, but it comes down to their final decision.
Obviously there's freelancers and contractors everywhere. But you don't want to work with 'just anybody'. So what are the standards you are going to set in order to find the right contractors for you?
Consider the following:
- Experience level
- Style of work
These are all important aspects you must consider in order to work with people that will maintain your vision. But additionally, there are character traits that are important as well. Do you want to work with people who align with your values? Or who have the same passions as you? If you don't have a preference, that's fine too. But be very clear on what you're looking for when you start looking.
And as I always say, you might have to kiss a couple frogs. Keep your guard up and protect your business. If you start seeing red flags, nip it in the butt. The benefit of contractors is that it is on a contract-to-contract basis – so you aren't bound to anybody long term. But if you find someone good, then that could potentially be a more long-term relationship.
Your business is your baby, so protect it. But don't be scared to grow. You'll kiss a few frogs but that's what you have to do in order to grow. But remember, get everything in writing in order to protect you and your business and to ensure that everyone is on the same page.