Deciding Whether to Hire
It is a two-sided coin when the work load is too much for one person to handle. Reassuring to have so much work on the horizon, but too much work for one person to manage can feel oppressive. At Covered, that one person is generally, me. A one woman/man workroom is a common theme, according to the Transparency Initiative recently created by Jeanelle Dech and Vita Vygovska. For me, the workload began to feel like a drag working against productivity and profitability, and the calendar looked deeper into the year than most wish to wait. Next logical step: hire.
At first, it seemed simple: find the right person, pay them well. At the mention of hiring, advice began pouring in. The overwhelming themes: liability and taxes. So, I made a few appointments with the pros who know: my lawyer, accountant, and insurance rep. Here are my takeaways – key words are ‘MY takeaways’. This is not meant to be legal advice for your business, just sharing my process in order to highlight where to look for guidance.
– Liability is a pretty big deal if anyone happens to be injured in the workroom. An umbrella policy in addition to my homeowner’s policy is a good start to protect myself. My insurance rep set this up.
Added protection against liability for me to consider is to become an LLC. My lawyer can set this up. This protects my personal assets (home, IRA, savings, investments, etc.) if an accident happens in my workroom. An investment worth considering. My accountant says this option is like wearing a belt and suspenders.
Paying an Employee
Independent Contractor v. Employee – investigate, tread lightly. My candidate did not wish to manage her own tax withholdings, so I am choosing to hire her as an employee. Which comes with a bit of paperwork and understanding of withholdings. Top of the list is workers' compensation.
Daunting, but my accountant was able to set me up with a payroll company who will manage all of the paperwork and filings involved with hiring 1-2 employees. This will cost me, but it is worth the investment to cover bases.
The bottom line for me is that I am not able to keep up with the workload alone without a deep wait list. Hiring someone to manage prep tasks alone has increased productivity, reduced stress, and expanded my business savvy. The process became much easier when I sought the advice of a lawyer, accountant, and insurance rep. I trust those who make it their business to know. Then I go with my gut. Wish me luck, and luck to all of you who are considering this path. Happy hiring!