eBusiness Blog

Team Building Tips to Help Grow Your Business

We’ve talked a lot about things this summer like video marketing and using Twitter to grow your business. Today I’m going to talk about the importance of using a team to build your business.

 

Build your business right by hiring the right people

Many years ago I was a one woman operation. I did it all.

The designing, the programming, the marketing; I was taking everything on myself.

At a certain moment I realized in order to build my company while providing my clients with what they needed, I would need to expand and start adding on some team members.

There are many different kinds of employees you can hire. Some may be temporary or freelance talent, some could be outsourced, or you can even hire on student interns from local schools to help. It doesn’t always have to be a full-time salaried employee.

The important thing is to focus on what you excel at and hire on people to help offset your weaknesses.

Hire an Expert

My biggest weakness was my understanding of how web technology had evolved. It had changed so quickly that my own skills had become a little dated even though they were only a few years old!

My first hire was a programming ace from a local university and he and I got to work. Once I saw his talents, I started delegating more and more of the tech work to him.

I let him work and I listened and learned. Together we really took eVision Media to the next level.

So hire yourself an expert even if it’s one in something you feel you’ve mastered. You might be surprised at how much else there is for you to learn.

Hire a Money Maker

You also want to hire someone who is profitable for you. Hire someone who makes you money!

Yes it’s nice to have help with your own tasks in the same way it’s nice to have a cleaning lady but look for people whose skills and background will make you money so you can pay their wages.

This is especially good advice if you’re struggling to stay ahead. Hire a sales rep, a product engineer, or some other type of employee where the financial return is immediate.

The more money-makers you have the better your business is going to be.

And make sure you are comfortable delegating the responsibilities too!

Lead by Example and Learn from the Feedback

Set standards for the employees to adhere to when delegating the work. You know how you prefer it done so write that out clearly and because the employees will bring their own knowledge to the project you may find, as I have, they often exceed those standards.

I myself have a team of designers, programmers, SEO experts, and more and I have to trust their expertise when assigning duties. Hiring experts is great and when you are comfortable they know what they’ve claimed to know you’ll be in a position to trust their expertise more, which takes pressure off of you.

Don’t Try to be an Expert in all Things

You can’t possibly hope to know everything about running a business – whether it the legal work, the bookkeeping, or any of the other many essential elements of running a business, and know everything about your internal roles and industry as well.

Take for example marketing. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars on marketing courses trying to being an expert in marketing yourself but while you’re doing that you aren’t focusing on all the other elements of your business.

Using the same money to pay someone to market your business while you focus on other aspects of it like cultivating leads or working with clients to make sure they’re happy makes much more sense and will help you grow your business instead of just your personal skill set.

It’s far too difficult to grow your business without building a team.Click To Tweet

I wouldn’t start self-funding multiple courses on contract law if I needed a lawyer so why would you attempt to become a marketing expert when you need marketing?

This rings true for bookkeeping as well. My time is simply better spent running my business than trying to become an expert in all areas of the business. Hiring a bookkeeper makes more sense financially and professionally since I then have someone with experience in the role as well.

It’s far too difficult to grow your business without building a team. When you plan your business (and you should) and invest in your business include what you need experts for and budget for hiring professionals to help you grow.

If your business is really a supplemental income and you’re not full time then this may not be your approach but if you’re serious about growing your business into a solid company then you will need a team to help you.

Hire My Team

The take away is of course that you need to hire the right people to help you grow. If your business requires website development, branding, logo design, online marketing, social media management, or something else related to digital marketing and the online presence of your business then get in touch.

My team that I have cultivated myself are great so feel free to get in touch if you find yourself overwhelmed and need help with any of the services we provide. I don’t work with just anyone since experience has taught me to consider who I hire carefully. My team deliver and we do it with smiles on our faces that translate into smiles from our clients.

Check out our website at www.evisionmedia.ca for more and by all means if you have questions or comments post them to any of our social media channels or contact us directly via our website!

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

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About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Employees Vs. Independent Contractors

What all business owners must consider before deciding which to hire

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Employees Vs. Independent Contractors

As your small business grows, you’ve concluded it’s all too much to handle by yourself – right? Or, you already have employees and are ready to expand your team so you can scale your business to the next level.

Now you need to explore the pluses and minuses of each type of helper and determine which is the best fit for you.

In this article, I share some of the pros and cons of hiring employees and independent contractors to help you make the ideal choice for your business.

In the US, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has very strict guidelines you need to familiarize yourself with as a precursor to making any hiring decision.

In addition to the IRS, there are a number of other state and federal agencies that will audit your business if it looks to them as if you might have misclassified employees as independent contractors.

First, let’s explore some of the pros and cons between employees and contractors:

Pros and Cons of Hiring Employees

Pros:

  1. You have significantly more management control over what, how & when the work gets done.
  2. Employees generally feel more part of the team and will go above & beyond to do a great job.
  3. Turnover is lower when employees enjoy more job security – so teamwork, quality, efficiency and customer service tends to be higher.
  4. Employees complete an application for employment, certifying all the information is accurate and giving you permission to conduct background checks and drug tests.
  5. If they get hurt on the job, they are covered by your workers’ compensation insurance so you avoid expensive medical and compensation costs.
  6. All the work performed is the property of the business owner, even creative work subject to copyrights and patents.
  7. It’s easier to put together a recruiting process to weed out potential bad hires so you can hire the best employees that fit well with the culture you are creating.
  8. You can delegate tasks to them so you can focus on doing what you are best at and enjoy the most.
  9. They are your own brand ambassadors and serve as your best marketers.

Cons:

  1. You need to provide employees with a space, equipment and supplies to conduct their work.
  2. You need an employee handbook so they understand your company rules, benefits and procedures. You can also use it to manage your team.
  3. If business slows down periodically, you are still paying for the person to come to work even when there isn’t enough to do to make it worth the cost.
  4. Employees can file legal claims against you for a variety of reasons such as employment discrimination, unfair pay practices and wrongful termination.
  5. If you decide to layoff an employee due to a lack of work, you’ve lost the training investment you’ve already made and will need to incur recruiting and training costs to hire a replacement if they aren’t available or interested when work picks up again.
  6. Firing team members can have a negative impact on employee morale of remaining staff if they think you were unfair or if they now must carry the extra workload.
  7. You are responsible for collecting taxes from the employees’ paycheck and paying your share of their Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  8. You must track all hours worked and pay time and one-half for employees who qualify for overtime pay. Federal law requires overtime pay after 40 hours per week but check with your state/province on any overtime pay that’s also calculated after 8 hours per day.
  9. In most states/provinces, you must pay unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance.
  10. Over time, employees will expect to receive pay increases along with some benefits like vacation and paid time off for personal business / sick pay.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Independent Contractors. A.k.a. Consultants, Freelancers & Virtual Assistants

The IRS defines an independent contractor as an individual who the business owner and/or their designee has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done or how it will be done.

An example of this would be a copywriter that has her own business and works with multiple business owners to write their marketing materials.

Or those that provide services such as bookkeeping, human resources, safety administration, computer support or project management on an as-needed basis.

Pros:

  1. Typically, IC’s enjoy a higher rate of pay than employees since there are no additional costs.
  2. Most IC’s are experts in their field and can quickly get up-to-speed on your needs, so it’s more efficient to hire them if their expertise is not needed full-time.
  3. Depending on the language in your IC agreement, it’s easy to let an IC go once a project is finished or you no longer need or want their services.
  4. IC’s stay up on the latest technology, regulations and licensing requirements and bear any costs to do so.
  5. By creating a Scope of Work agreement, both you and the contractor agree on the working relationship details.

Cons:

  1. You have less control over the work of an IC because although they work on due dates, they independently determine how best to get the work done.
  2. They tend to work remotely so face-time is limited and it’s a little harder to develop a relationship like you do when with employees you see every day.
  3. When an IC finishes an assignment, they might not be available the next time you need them. Or if it is a rush job, they might charge higher prices to move to the front of the line.
  4. If an IC is injured on the job, they can sue you for damages because they are not covered under your workers’ compensation insurance plan.
  5. Federal governing agencies watch small businesses very closely. It is to the government’s benefit when an employer collects taxes from employees and pays the company portion of the required taxes because those taxes support the government’s operating budget. Otherwise, IC’s often under-report their earnings and fail to pay both the employee and employer taxes.
  6. If they work exclusively for you full time, there’s a good chance they are an “employee” rather than an IC – and you are legally required to treat them accordingly.
  7. They are less likely to serve as a brand ambassador for you – it’s their brand they will promote – not yours.

There is a place for both employees and independent contractors in running small businesses. It really depends on what you need and how much control you want.

Mistakes in mis-classifying employees as independent contractors is very expensive, subjecting you to fines and back pay for current and past employees. If an audit determines that you knew, or should have known, that you were paying employees as independent contractors, in addition to stiff penalties you will have to go back for 3 years and correct the mistakes.

If you are unsure if you are needing to classify your workers as employees or independent contractors, contact an HR professional to give you the advice you need.

About the Author, Katherine Hartvickson

Kathryn Wilking

Katherine Hartvickson is the founder and president of Hartvickson & Associates, Inc. dba Quantum Ascendance. She is an experienced business consultant and success coach. Since leaving the corporate world in 2009, her clients include business owners and other seriously committed professionals and entrepreneurs who want to gain the confidence and skills to break through the barriers of success and achieve their ideal life.

What separates her service from others is her experience in leading large teams and developing top performers in corporate environments and because of this, clients achieve individual & financial rewards and the recognition they earned without sacrificing their personal life. If you are interested in knowing more, she can be reached at www.QuantumAscendance.com.