What to Know About Hiring an Independent Contractor

What to Know About Hiring an Independent Contractor

What to Know About Hiring an Independent Contractor

As with any endeavor, there are pros and cons to each option of either hiring an employee or independent contractor. With an independent contractor, the major pro may be the fact that you’re saving yourself money. Stephen Fishman, J.D. on NOLO covers this and many more pros and cons in his article here.

When weighing the positives and negatives, you must also consider the circumstance. Ask yourselves some questions, like:
  • Do you need an employee or just temporary work?
  • If you need something more long-term, do they need to be available set hours or in a specific location, or is it more flexible tasks to be completed?
  • Can you learn to trust someone who may only see you via webcam?

These are just a few examples of good aspects to ponder. If you are aware of your needs, there are also ways to safeguard your information (like passwords) so as not to worry about those getting in the wrong hands. LastPass proves a great resource for protecting your passwords, but still allowing access to certain places (like social media accounts, etc.) if you are hesitant about sharing that information.

Another bonus of hiring an independent contractor is the fact that you don’t necessarily need to fill an employee’s plate with tasks that they do not specialize in and hope that they provide quality work on all fronts. You can find someone who is an expert in that niche, for example, graphic design – and delegate your work in them. Although you may find someone you are loyal to and fills your needs well without looking for numerous independent contractors, you’ll still be saving money for only paying for the projects worked on rather than someone being available 8-10 hours a day and adding in any benefits on top of the hourly pay.

Additionally, when hiring an independent contractor, you are not paying overhead expenses including taxes, medical insurance, benefits, pension, 401K, etc. If you are running your company online, you also are not paying for a location for an employee to come to work.

Do you have any questions I could help answer on this topic? Or a pro or con you’d like to contribute?

I’d love to hear from you.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss hiring me for a project or a more long-term working relationship OR schedule a discovery call to discuss options as well. Have a happy weekend!

Support: Important System for Success

Support: Important System for Success

*Image credited to my daughter and my friend’s daughter who caught my heart when they visited for the day in March.*

Support: Important System for Success

“Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” ~ Misty Copeland

Do you have any personal experiences to back up this quote? I sure do. Without following these words, TKO Assisting wouldn’t exist. My family and friends are so supportive and share in my excitement as I move along the road to success. Not only do I have those wonderful times, but I am teaching my children through my actions that if you are strong, fearless, and believe, then your dreams CAN be a reality.

The road to success is not a straight shot and is not smooth, but persevering through the tough times is so much more do-able when you have a support system in place. Being able to have my family and friends backing me up allows me to have the strength to do this on my own and pursue what I KNOW is going to be wonderful. And it gives me the great opportunity of staying home with my delightful kiddos and watching them learn and grow each and every day.

Being able to balance during those days when doubt rears his ugly head or depression tries to consume that little flame of hope has helped tremendously in these early days. I have NO hesitations knowing that when future troubles arise, I will endure and find support through the storm. Much in the way my husband bring out traits in me, I am elevated by friends and my children and they bring out the best in me business wise in this endeavor.

Without having those sounding boards and the belief in myself and from my most loved and trusted, the leap into the unknown abyss would not have been as easy and likely would not have been done at all.  Even if ALL you can do is find that ONE person who helps you believe that your dreams are possible, realize the importance. There will be ups and downs and challenges along the way, so even just one person can make a big difference in your success. YOU are capable and worthy, but sometimes we all need a little reassurance or a little push. Maybe I can be part of your support system – send me a note to see if we’d be a good fit for your needs HERE.

Finding Balance – the Struggle is Real

Finding Balance – the Struggle is Real

Finding Balance

Balance is one of the aspects I like to focus on. I struggled with finding this within my other positions recently, so in establishing our ideas, balance became an obvious and important purpose for my endeavor(s). And, as a mom, we all know the struggle is real when it comes to finding this equilibrium in not only our personal lives, but our work lives as well (whether we are entrepreneurs, stay at home moms, homeschooling moms, or working outside of the home).

Tips I find helpful in my quest for balance:

  1. Check List: While we don’t always write down our checklists and sometimes we keep a mental checklist of what needs to get done in a given day, these help ensure we have a basic plan to our day and attempt to stick to a schedule, as much as a mom can, to check off those items. We also have a revolving list of what we would LIKE to get done that day so we know that if it doesn’t get done, it can be moved around and will not make or break our day. This helps to keep our sanity tremendously.
  2. Routine: I love my kiddos, I love my husband, I love my dogs, and also LOVE my business(es). BUT, sometimes it’s like a whirlwind of thoughts and needs going through my mind. In order to calm that, I make sure to stick to as much of a routine as I can. This structure helps to maintain some semblance of control and balance in the chaos that is motherhood.
  3. Me Time: Although this is something many women constantly battle with, including me, I have slowly let go of internal guilt holding me back from being gracious to myself and allowing the time to do something to center me and make me happy. I get so focused on taking care of others and making sure others’ needs are met, that I often forget I am just as important. If I take a breath, let the dishes sit for a moment more, and maybe take a day to binge-watch a show I’ve been putting off or read a couple of chapters of the book I’ve been meaning to take the time for, then I can calm my incessant thoughts and bring myself back from that edge of insanity.
  4. Goals: Having even just little goals each day or each week can help me tackle items in a more organized way and thus, help the overall balance I am trying to reach. When goals are set (whether it’s hours devoted to work or projects to do with the littles), when they are reached and accomplished, you feel just a little bit better than you did before.
  5. Breathe: This sounds SO simple, but cutting yourself slack and eliminating some of the pressure you put on yourself helps a lot. Thinking that my husband is upset that I did not cook every day of the week and took an easy chicken nugget meal way out really is me judging myself. My husband could care less as long as we are fed, but I am upset with myself for not completing a task early enough to make time for a meal that day or prepping something ahead of time. Give yourself a break, take a deep breath, and know that you are doing your best to accomplish a bigger goal and even a simple meal eaten together comes across as a GREAT accomplishment.
  6. Smile: This easy-peasy task can mean the difference between beating yourself up and letting something go. Smiling and laughing can alter your attitude and perspective on anything. I often get caught up in the negative and making sure I turn that around proves important. You can also make note that a smile spreads like a wildfire. So, smile, laugh, and spread the joy!

Now, these are just some items that can help in creating that balance. Any little thing can shift that focal point and put you off-kilter, but that harmony can come back as quickly as it left, so continuously make an effort to improve. I came across a great post at The Balanced Life. Check it out HERE. Share some of your tips below. See if I may be able to help unload some of your stressors and also find that balance you seek by contacting me today!

Would a Virtual Assistant Be Valuable in YOUR Business?

Would a Virtual Assistant Be Valuable in YOUR Business?

Virtual Assistant Valuable in YOUR Business?

According to Wikipedia, a Virtual Assistant (or VA) “is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office.” This has been a wonderful turn of events for those who like the idea of telecommuting. And it has opened many avenues for businesses to save costs from having to hire more employees for certain tasks since most Virtual Assistants are independent contractors.

The benefits of a virtual assistant are vast. Especially if you find that diamond in the rough that you bond well with and can communicate openly and honestly with to take your business and catapult it in the sky. Like any relationship, you need to find the right fit for you. Otherwise, it’s just one more added stress to your laundry list of items to worry about as an entrepreneur.

Another important aspect of hiring a virtual assistant is knowing what to delegate and learning that line of trust. If you haven’t worked with a VA before, it can be intimidating and downright scary to think of handing over any sort of business operations to someone who barely knows your business and how YOU like tasks done. However, there are a few to-dos you can begin to hand over to see how well you work together and to begin the relationship off to a slow, steady, and fairly safe start.

A few of the tasks that a virtual assistant can handle for you are:

  1. Research – Sometimes research can take hours, and that is precious time to someone running a successful business with more pressing matters to attend to. That’s not to say that research isn’t important, just that finding the time for it can prove difficult. This pertains to travel or online research – invaluable information that you just do not want to stay up until the eleventh hour completing.
  2. Email – Filtering through your email is just as tedious as researching something, so why not pawn that off on someone who will gladly do that to free up more time for your clients, promos, or other business matters. With a little guidance and the power of CC’ing, responses can be done on your behalf and still available for you to look at to ensure your voice is being matched to your approval.
  3. Social Media – Whether this is making sure you have a presence across social media responding to engagements, scheduling, planning, or doing little things like holiday cards, thank you notes, etc that can easily eat your day away.
  4. Database Updating– Keeping your new contacts, whether they be affiliates, customers, or a potential client for either, up-to-date can easily take up time in your day without you realizing it. Organizing the information after, for instance, collecting business cards can save you precious time.
  5. Presentations – PowerPoint is widely used and vastly known. Taking advantage of being able to pass on some images and content and saying, “Make this presentable” would be a luxury. Basically, turning notes into something usable and widely understood allows you to take notes without having to pay attention too closely to the layout, details, or having to go back and reorganize later by having a virtual assistant handle that for you.
  6. Schedules – Have a few meetings that need to go into your calendar, or want to quickly check your availability? There are resources for just that and letting a VA handle the coordinating can take a load off of your shoulders.
  7. Bookkeeping – Really, any kind of data related tasks can easily be transferred to a virtual assistant to save you from yet another mundane task taking up your time.

These 7 suggestions are simply that – suggestions. Guidelines to show you what items you may be overlooking when considering hiring and wondering what you might be able to use them for and how much time you’d really need them for. The options are nearly endless. If you found value in this article, please feel free to share your thoughts. AND, if I may be able to help you with any of your business needs, don’t hesitate to contact me today! I am happy and eager to help. Learn more about me here.