The Difference Between an Employee and Independent Contractor

The Difference Between an Employee and Independent Contractor

A company needs people to help it run properly aside from the business owners. An owner might decide to hire employees or work with independent contractors. There are benefits to using both employees and independent contractors. 

 

What is the Difference? 

 

There are differences in how employees and contractors work and how they get paid. The basic differences are: 

 

  •     Employee: Your company will withhold income tax, Social Security, and Medicare from wages paid to your employees. Your business must also make FICA tax payments. Employees are normally paid hourly, salary or commission. 
  •     Independent Contractor: Your company will not withhold federal or state income taxes for independent contractors. Your business is not required to make payments for FICA taxes. Independent contractors must pay their own income taxes, along with income tax on earnings.

 

If you are wondering which one is better, true answer is both. There are reasons to use independent contractors and great benefits to working with employees.

 

Pro and Cons – Employees

 

There are pros and cons to hiring and managing an employee within your company including: 

 

Pros

 

  •     Paying an employee, a salary or hourly wage, is often less expensive because there is job security.
  •     It is easier to assign tasks when you already have employees with the skills to complete them. 
  •     Employees often take pride in their full-time work because it is a large part of their life, so they put the needs of your company high on their priority list unlike a contractor.
  •     Since you spend more time with your employees it’s easier to get to know them and trust them with your business needs. 
  •     There is a lower turnover rate for employees so they get to know the ins and outs of your company and can help you grow. 

 

Cons

 

  •     You must supply the equipment and materials your employee uses to complete their work such as phones, computers, software. 
  •     Full time employees expect benefits such as health care, paid time off, sick days, raises and bonuses. 
  •     There is payroll paperwork and HR requirements that take legal knowledge as to not break any rules. 
  •     You must consistently provide an employee with work and pay even when business slows down and your company isn’t making as much money. 
  •     Employees require training and don’t always come fully equipped with the skills to complete the tasks you need done. 

 

Pro and Cons – Independent Contractors 

 

Although every company needs employees there are also benefits to expanding your team through independent contractors such as: 

Pros

 

  •     Your company can save money because you don’t have to provide any benefits to independent contractors such as health insurance or PTO. 
  •     It is easier to end your relationship with a contractor than it is with an employee. If business slows down you have more freedom in ending the business relationship. 
  •     You can hire a contractor with specialized skills that are specific to the task at hand if you do not have an employee with those skills. 
  •     Contractors don’t require much training since most independent contractors have a specific skill set and have years of experience. 
  •     No need to complete any legal paperwork for contractors, in most cases. 

 

Cons

 

  •     They don’t have a sense of company loyalty and will not help promote your brand. 
  •     There are no fixed rates so pricing can vary depending on the project, so it isn’t as easy to budget for as an employee salary.  
  •     You don’t have as much control over how a task is done. 
  •     There are higher turnover rates on contractors than there is with employees.
  •     You cannot determine a contractor’s work hours unlike an employee. 

 

Why You Should Use Both

 

There are pros and cons to both employees and independent contractors. While you may personally feel one is better than the other there are reasons both are important in building your company. For example, if you have 20-40 hours of work that needs to be done that varies in projects and tasks then it might be easier to have an employee to assure you have someone on the clock full-time/part-time. If you have a specialized project that takes less than 20 hours per week, it is beneficial to use an independent contractor and is important to know when to outsource

 

Your company should be built with a healthy mix of both employees and contractors depending on your current business needs. You can use the pros and cons from above to determine which type of worker makes more sense for the project at hand.  

 

I know it can be tough navigating the waters of Marketing and that’s why I have created my Monthly Success Guide just for you! 

What is your experience with hiring an employee vs hiring an independent contractor? Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

 

Knowing When To “Take 5”

Knowing When To “Take 5”

Small business owners are some of the most dedicated workers out there. They put in more hours than the average worker and they constantly have work on the brain. Many business owners either work from home full time or work from home after office hours and rarely take time to shut down from work mode. We commend the dedication but taking breaks is important for physical and mental health, as well as a key aspect in productivity and concentration.

 

You might be thinking, “Well, I take multiple breaks a day. I go to the bathroom a few times, I grab a cup of coffee (sometimes 3) and I scroll through my social media pages.” These are not breaks! These activities do not allow your body to rest or allow you to break concentration from work and energize your mind to boost productivity.  When you take a break, you’re not shrugging off responsibilities; you’re taking care of yourself, so you’ll have the stamina to give your business your best self.

Ideas for Break Time

 

Taking a break doesn’t mean sitting in front of your laptop starring into space for a few minutes without touching your computer. When you take 5 (or more, you deserve it), you need to remove yourself from your work setting and do something that is completely for you. Below are a few examples of what you can do during the day to shut work mode down for a little while and enjoy yourself.

 

Go outside

Studies show that nature helps us to relax and refocus our minds. Make sure to get a little drop of nature in your life every day!

 

Go for a walk

Physically moving around throughout the day is important especially if you work from a desk and sit a lot.

 

Turn on music

Turn up your favorite song and maybe dance a little bit. It will feel good, we promise.

 

Read a book

Bring a good book with you to work and go sit outside and finish a chapter every day.

 

Listen to a podcast

Do you have a favorite podcast? Queue it up and maybe go for a walk while you’re listening.

 

Write in a journal

Journaling is a healthy habit. Bring your journal to work and give yourself time to write a few pages each day.

 

Eat a snack

This shouldn’t take place of your lunch. Bring healthy snacks like nuts, fruit and vegetables and sit somewhere away from your desk to eat.

 

Play with an animal

If you work from home and you have a pet, then take your pet for a walk or throw the ball around for a few minutes.

 

Stretch or workout

Physical activity is the best way to reenergize your body. Bring a yoga mat to work and get a quick workout in.

 

Draw or paint

Bring a sketch pad or canvas with you and give yourself time during the day to be creative, just for fun.

 

You can mix and match the ideas above or even do more than one at a time. The important thing is that you give your mind the time it needs to reset and reenergize itself by being active or creative. Then you can go back to work tasks with a fresh mind and great attitude.

When do I take my break?

 

There is no hard or fast rule for break taking. It doesn’t always need to be at 10 a.m. or after a certain number of work hours. It doesn’t always need to be 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Listen to your body; you can normally feel when your mind is starting to wander or when your back is starting to ache. In these moments get up and move around and have fun with one of the break ideas from above.

 

The important thing is that you take a break every day. Maybe you take 10 minutes in the morning and another 5 minutes in the afternoon. Find a schedule and a pace that is right for you. You will see a boost in productivity, and you will be happy you implemented a “take 5” routine in your work life.

 

In case you missed it, we go over how to know when to outsource certain tasks in business because it’s okay to NOT do it all! Check out our previous blog that goes into how to Know when to Outsource!

Knowing When to Outsource

Knowing When to Outsource

 

Outsourcing is a common practice in all aspects of life because one person can only do so much and only has so many hours in the day. As a homeowner you outsource tasks such as unclogging the toilet, fixing the garage door and deep cleaning the household. As a parent you outsource your child’s education to the local school, and you outsource childcare to babysitters when you have errands to run or you just need a break. Well, business is the same. You can’t do all of it yourself and you shouldn’t have to.

Outsourcing Business Needs

 

Business outsourcing is “the practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house department or employee handle them; functions can be outsourced to either a company or an individual (freelancing).” Outsourcing has become a major business trend over the last ten years for everything from payroll, accounting, and employee training to social media management, sales and customer service.

 

There are many simple day-to-day tasks that you might feel silly for outsourcing because you think you should be able to get them done yourself to save money. Or maybe there are bigger tasks that you just don’t trust anyone but yourself to handle. Letting go and trusting someone to help can be difficult but outsourcing is something that helps business owners of companies both big and small boost efficiency and productivity and sharpen focus. If you are wondering if outsourcing is right for you ask yourself these questions.

 

What does it cost to complete the task in-house?

 

Cost is important in business so of course you need to weigh your options financially. You might think that it is cheaper to keep tasks in-house but that is not always true. Many companies report that they have saved money by outsourcing certain business needs.

 

Do you currently have an employee who is trained on that task?

 

If not, you will need to hire and train someone, put them on the payroll and offer other benefits. Or you can outsource to someone who is already well trained in that area who can complete the project with no need for you to manage them and provide them with office space and supplies.

 

Do you or your employees have the time?

 

This should be a simple yes or no. If your employees are overloaded with their current projects, you don’t want to pile on more because that is when tasks fall through the cracks. This doesn’t mean the task should fall on you to complete either. It means you should look into finding someone outside of the company that has the time to get the work done in a way that takes minimal amount of effort on your part.

 

Is it your company’s expertise?

Now this is an important one. For example, if your company’s expertise is designing and making baby clothing then that is exactly what you should focus on doing. You are the expert in manufacturing high-quality clothes but maybe you aren’t well versed in marketing, brand building or social media ad campaigns. These are the tasks you should outsource. Stick to what you and your employees know how to do and what you are good at.

 

Taking the little tasks and projects off of your plate that you either don’t have the time for or the expertise for will free up time and mental energy for you to focus on what you are good at. Asking for help doesn’t mean you failed. It means you know your limits and your companies limits and you’re more willing to put the success of your business above your pride. Outsourcing is a growing trend and is the perfect way to meet your company’s goals without overworking yourself and your staff and compromising on quality of work. Ask yourself, what projects or tasks could I outsource today?

 

If you want to keep up with the latest business trends be sure to join our email list to be the first to know when we send our latest tips and tricks!

A Guide to Gaining Your Consumer’s Trust

A Guide to Gaining Your Consumer’s Trust

Trust is something that must be earned in every relationship whether it’s family, romance and even business! Consumers are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages a day through social media, television, the internet, billboards and more. On any given day they might see ads for three companies that are exactly like yours; the same products/services, the same price and the same accessibility. What is going to set your business apart from the others? Our simple suggestion, authenticity! 

 

Authenticity 

 

Authenticity is defined as “not false or copied; genuine; real.” It is to represent, “one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.” It can be scary to show your true self especially in business. People get hung up on presenting perfection, but perfection isn’t real, and your customers know that. You want to create a brand that stands for something, a brand that consumers are proud to support! Read below for a few tips on how to present a genuine brand to your consumers. 

 

Be Transparent 

 

The new age of consumers are smart, they can smell a deceitful marketing message from a mile away. Be transparent with the facts about your products and services because your potential customers have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips (Google). They can easily find the facts, so you want to be the person who provides those facts! Does your vitamin B12 supplement really help people lose weight? Or does it give people the energy they need to make it to the gym? Define the differences so customers know what to expect because if it doesn’t go the way you market your product, they will lose trust in your business. 

 

Connect with Customers 

 

Use your social media as a tool to connect with people not just make a sale. Be someone that consumers can relate to. Show the ins and outs of day to day business and not just the good stuff. Show the not so glamorous side of things. Be honest when mistakes are made and share the story of what you learned from these mistakes. It’s pretty simple, just be a human that other humans can connect with. They will gain trust in you and that is what creates returning customers and customer referrals. 

 

Share Brand Values

 

We’re not saying to get all political on your consumers (that’s a no-no) but you should have brand values and do things that enforce those values. For example, a brand value might be treating children with respect and speaking out against child abuse. Share petitions that help create harsher punishments for those who harm children. Run a campaign or start a Go Fund Me to help local children. Donate a portion of proceeds to back up the cause. Show consumers that you don’t just stand for a value, but you are going to put your money where your mouth is and make a change! 

 

Authenticity should be your guiding compass in business in order to gain the trust of consumers. Never force something in your personal life or in your business practices that doesn’t feel genuine because people will sense that and pull away. Own up to it when you make a mistake and give your customers a sincere apology. They will appreciate it, and this will make them comfortable continuing a relationship with your business because they know that if a mistake is made, you will go out of your way to make it right. 

 

Authentic marketing is the key to success in today’s world. By following these rules your following, your customer base and your business will grow from there. We know that creating an authentic brand is easier said than done that is why we are here to help you navigate the tough decisions and to create a brand that you and your customers can be proud of. If you want to keep up with the latest marketing trends be sure to join our email list to stay up to date and be the first to know when we send out our latest tips and tricks!

 

Small Business Spotlight: Kiah Twisselman, Coach Kiah and Burley & Barley

Small Business Spotlight: Kiah Twisselman, Coach Kiah and Burley & Barley

Hi there!

 

My name is Kiah Twisselman and I am a creative entrepreneur and life coach based out of San Luis Obispo, California. If you would have asked me what I was going to be when I was younger, I would have told you a teacher or a nurse. I knew that one day I wanted to help people, but I would have never guessed I’d be doing it with a paint brush and a computer.

 

I grew up on my family’s seventh generation rural California cattle ranch (www.temblormountainpacktrain.com) before heading north to attend college at the University of California, Davis. I took my first college chemistry class and quickly realized that medicine probably wasn’t the path for me. Thankfully, I chose an agriculture university and re-immersed myself into the industry, realizing my passion for ag never went away.

 

After a few changed majors, obtaining my college degree, and moving abroad to Germany for a year as part of a cultural ambassadorship program for young professionals, I landed my first “big kid” job the summer of 2015 at the Kentucky Beef Council as the Director of Consumer Affairs. It was the perfect job to blend my passion for agriculture and people into one, leading consumer communication campaigns on behalf of Kentucky’s 38,000 beef farmers.

 

From grilling steaks on the Capitol lawn with the Governor, to whipping up seasonal recipes on live morning television, hosting influencers on pasture-to-plate tours, and creating digital beef campaigns, working on behalf of the Beef Checkoff gave me so many opportunities to learn both personally and professionally. It was through my role with the Beef Council that I discovered more of my creative talents and realized the career opportunities that existed because of them.

 

In the summer of 2018, my boyfriend Brent and I started Burley & Barley (www.burleyandbarley.com), a creative and editorial business. Our business name was a tip of the hat to our agriculture roots, Brent having been raised on a burley tobacco and grain farm and myself on a cattle ranch where we also grew barley. It began as a side-hustle while we both worked full-time jobs, and was a creative outlet for us to to support small businesses in agriculture, like the ones we both grew up in, with branding and marketing.

 

Fast forward to February 2019, Brent landed a job in my home county in California as the Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau. We packed up our bags, headed west, and I started my full-time role as a “solopreneur” with Burley & Barley. Most of my clients are small businesses all across the country, primarily in agriculture, that I help with logo design, custom watercolor illustration, photography, social media consulting, writing and more. While I learn something new with every project, lately, watercolor illustration has been what lights my heart on fire the most! I only started watercolor painting a little over a year ago, and it has been so fun to lean into my creativity to bring my clients’ big ideas to life.

 

While navigating running my own business, I also embarked on my journey to better health. After battling with weight my entire life, I finally decided to make a commitment to myself to figure it out no matter what it took. I promised myself I wouldn’t commit to anything I wasn’t willing to do for the rest of my life – no fad diets, no “magic” pills, just simple food and exercise
(and plenty of beef!). In just one year, I lost over 100 pounds and finally found what was missing every time I tried losing weight before: self-love and a mindset for success.

What I never expected was how showing up for myself would allow me to show up even more for the people I love around me. After several requests and a bit of soul searching, I decided to make the leap and become a life coach and weight loss coach in addition to my creative business. I officially launched Coach Kiah (www.coachkiah.com) in August 2019 with a mission to empower others, especially women in rural America, to love themselves to health and happiness, too.

 

I might not be the teacher or nurse I imagined when I was younger, but I feel so fortunate to be creating my dream career from home and helping others along the way in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined.

 

Thanks so much to the K Rose team for the opportunity to share my story! You can find me on Instagram (@kiah_twisselman and @burleyandbarley) and over on Facebook (Coach Kiah and Burley & Barley). I would love to meet you!