There are a lot of big decisions you have to make when you get your startup off the ground. One of the biggest is who you’re going to turn to when you need help.
Without thinking, many startups assume hiring employees is the way to go. It’s true that full- and part-time employees have a few benefits, but it’s important to know that isn’t your only option.
As a matter of fact, many startups find that independent contractors are much better than traditional employees! Here’s why.
Flexible Payment Options
Your employees aren’t working for you for free! They need to get paid, and paying them can be confusing and time consuming.
A lot goes into putting an employee on payroll. They have to fill out paperwork and you have to fill out paperwork. Chances are, the whole process will require another employee just to keep track of it all.
There’s a lot more flexibility when paying independent contractors. It may only require handing them a check or sending them cash with a money transfer service. All you have to do is document your involvement in the transaction, and that’s it!
You’ll Save Money
When you choose to hire an independent contractor instead of an employee, you’ll undoubtedly save money, and you’ll save money in a wide variety of ways including:
- Taxes: Understanding taxes is a nightmare. Understanding employment taxes is even more difficult, and it’s undeniably more depressing. When you hire an independent contractor, you aren’t responsible for paying for a portion of their taxes.
- Benefits: Hiring an employee means providing them with benefits. However, independent contractors don’t require health insurance, paid time off, or other benefits.
- Office space: Hiring employees usually means finding a place for them to work. Independent contractors don’t have to come into the office, which means you can reduce your office space or skip the physical location altogether.
You Have Flexibility When Staffing Projects
When you have employees and you’re starting a new project, you have to fit the project to the employees that you already have. That might mean putting in extra hours if you don’t have enough people working on the project, or it might mean being disappointed because the team simply doesn’t have the skills necessary to complete it.
Independent contractors provide you with much more flexibility. You can hire the perfect person for every single project that comes up, and you don’t have to worry about what to do when the project ends. Their contract is up so they will simply move on to another client.
Reduced Exposure to Lawsuits
Every business should do whatever they can to prevent lawsuits. It’s a good idea to hire a business lawyer and conduct lawsuit vulnerability audits, but one of the best ways to avoid a potential lawsuit is to hire independent contractors.
As an employer, you have to be very careful about discriminating on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, and more. Employees have the right to form a union and they must be protected from wrongful termination. Even though you have the best intention of following these laws, it’s easy for even the most experienced businesses to slip up.
You don’t have to worry about details like these when you hire an independent contractor. They aren’t technically an employee of yours, which means they aren’t protected under the same laws.
Don’t feel bad about that though. Contractors like it that way! Independent contractors aren’t dependent on a single project for their income, so if they don’t like how they’re being treated, it’s easy for them to turn the other way.
You may try to make your expectations clear with your employees, but chances are, things will get lost in translation. That’s especially the case when it comes to the duration of the project and how much time and attention is expected.
When you hire a contractor, it’s absolutely essential that you outline every detail of the project ahead of time. That means both you and they are a lot less likely to run into snags along the way. It also means you’re more likely to complete your project on time!
Hiring full- or part-time employees is always an option, but don’t think for one second they’re your only option! The next time you need a little help, consider an independent contractor. With the benefits that are listed above, you’ll learn that you love working with independent contractors and you’ll want to hire them again and again for future projects!