Why Hiring an Independent Contractor Versus an Employee is a Small Business No-Brainer

Your business is growing. You’re ready to hire. But are you ready to commit?

You need more help and there’s money in the budget. But are you ready for the commitment to bring someone on board? You might be hesitant because of the time involved to find the right person. What if they don’t work out?

An Independent Contractor may be the perfect solution.

You get the professional work with less of the commitment. Simply put an agreement in place, and they perform the specific work you need. You only pay for completed work, not for them to sit around and wait for the clock to turn to 5. When things are slow, you still have to pay an employee. That costs your business extra cash.

Here are the major benefits of hiring an independent contractor versus an employee.

1. You save money by not paying a full-time salary

You don’t have to come up with a full-time salary and benefits. Your accounting team doesn’t have payroll paperwork like taking out taxes. An independent contractor doesn’t get a W-2, paid vacation, or sick time. They’re only paid for work performed, not to punch the clock, or go on vacation.

You aren’t committed to a weekly salary. A contractor’s work can increase and decrease as needed. This can be a business lifesaver when the economy undergoes changes. You aren’t faced with having to lay off an employee and lose their help completely.

2. You have the flexibility to hire specific, project-based talent

Do you need to fill two positions but only have the budget for one salary? You can hire two contractors for their specific work instead of paying one full-time salary. With an independent contractor, you get the part-time work without a part-time attitude.

For example, your bookkeeper can work a few hours a week when that’s all you need. And your graphic designer can work a few hours extra on a specific project. And when your taxes are due, you can flip it! It’s a win-win because neither one can perform the both jobs, but both roles are important! And you aren’t shelling out 40 hours worth of pay for work that doesn’t exist.

3. You save space and provide less equipment

Where are they going to sit? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my previous managers discuss where to put the new hire. An independent contractor works under their own roof and only comes in for meetings. There’s no need to expand the office or buy another desk. They also use their own computer, internet, and email domain. Less work for your IT guy and more space for your business!

But will they feel like part of the team? How will we communicate? With apps like Slack and Zoom, they will fit right in. You can easily communicate about work and spend less time around the water cooler making everyone more productive!

4. You have less commitment and can easily part ways

What if they don’t work out? There can be a lot of ‘politics’ around letting someone go who ‘isn’t the right fit’ or doesn’t perform to the desired standard. If you lay them off, you may not be able to re-hire again soon. Keeping someone around who isn’t a team player can affect business morale for everyone.

You and your independent contractor should have a contract. But it’s seldom a long-term commitment. If you aren’t happy with the work, a written 30-day notice to end your agreement is all it usually takes. You didn’t spend a lot of time hiring, training, and paying benefits to get stuck with someone who isn’t working out.

Hiring an employee comes with risk. Are you ready for the long-term commitment?

  • A workspace and equipment
  • Email and internal accounts, requiring licenses
  • A full-time salary and benefits
  • Healthcare, paid vacation, sick time, a retirement plan
  • Withholding taxes

Hiring an independent contractor saves your business resources and offers more flexibility. Some businesses need dedicated staff to wait on customers and answer phone calls. But consider your business and if you really need an employee sitting in your office.

Will you consider hiring an independent contractor for your extra workload or next project? You’ll save resources and have access to quality work.

Call Heltzel Virtual at (352) 477-1877 now for a free consult! Let’s discuss how a virtual assistant can help your business!

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