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Are You Thinking About Freelancing? Here’s What I Wish I Knew A Decade Ago

Are You Thinking About Freelancing? Here’s What I Wish I Knew A Decade Ago 2560 1709 Alicia East

I was one year and two weeks into teaching high school when I realized it was–without a doubt–not a good fit. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’d won awards in the position I had left the previous year but, while I was certainly happier in sales than in teaching, that profession didn’t speak to me either. With a measly three years of post-college life under my belt, I’d experienced success without satisfaction in my first “real” job and then neither success nor satisfaction in my second. (Today is a good day to thank a teacher, people!).

I had harbored the “someday” dream of having my own business the moment I realized it was a thing. But picturing a future of business suits, uncomfortable shoes, and having a schedule set for me felt like going backwards. Oh and by the way: nobody was responding to my resume anyway. The timing didn’t seem right and I didn’t have the experience, but I was feeling backed into a corner. So with a little nudge from my circumstances, I went for it. Here’s what I would tell myself after a decade plus charting my own course.

The true risk isn’t the first one that comes to mind. In comparison with a 9-5 job, freelancing is risky. You absolutely could lose everything…or at least be very, very hungry at times. I mean it. You could have clients who pay late or don’t pay at all. You will have slow months that land you in the red and times you’re trying to figure out how to create a meal from whatever you can find in the freezer (“use by” date be damned) and the last quarter cup of rice in your pantry. Risk aversion is real, but if it keeps you in your swivel chair at a 9-5 you hate, then you’re afraid of the wrong kind of risk. Because there’s nothing more risky than staying in a job where you feeling like you’re wasting your life.

The biggest companies take the longest to pay. I won’t name names, but I can say that our biggest clients often take the longest to pay. I followed up with a Fortune 500 company for two years before they finally paid an overdue invoice. It wasn’t malicious. I just had to navigate their system and got passed around from person to person. Cash flow is a big deal when you’re a small business. When we’re paying our mortgage based on that invoice, I’d rather work with the mom and pop shops that pay right away than get a recognizable logo on our client list.

The freedom is fantastic, but it comes at a price. Yes, the dreams of working from the beach and choosing the jobs that excite you are real. To overworked, under-appreciated 9-5ers, freelancing may seem like the holy grail. But going out on your own isn’t just a world of free-flowing creative juices, coffee breaks, and wads of money. Freelancing can make you feel just as burnt out and unstimulated as whatever made you take a hike from your previous gig in the first place.

Your “boss” may be liberal about time off, but you still have to answer to your bank account. You’re your own boss. That means you can take Friday off because it’s a great powder day (that’s the Colorado girl in me speaking). Still, if you want to build a solid business, you have to put in the work. And if you want leave of any kind–vacation, maternity/paternity, sick days, etc.– you have to create it yourself. Ideally, that means building yourself a solid savings account with 3 months+ living expenses. The hope is that, because you’re building your own dream (and not someone else’s/one you don’t believe in) that you’ll at least enjoy it more. While it can be enormously satisfying and liberating to build your own business from the ground up, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Some days, you’ll get to take a Friday off because you want to. Others, you’ll grind away on a Saturday because you have to. Any workday can be a weekend and any weekend can be a workday. 

You don’t have to starve. The “starving artist” is a familiar refrain for a reason, but it doesn’t have to be your reality. Start by producing work you can be proud of. From there, you’ll get some experience and can feel good about charging fair prices for it. Getting to a point where you can walk away from that don’t exactly stimulate you is so satisfying. My husband fondly recounts one of his early video editing jobs for a veterinarian client. He got feedback to show a dog’s anus at 50% opacity (i.e. tone down the butt shots). Keep the long-term goal in mind and you can keep the less than stellar projects in perspective. You’re building something. You’re building your thing. Once you have a steady flow of clients, you can be more selective and you can charge more as your experience grows. Remember that being able to walk away puts you in the best position to negotiate more freely.

It’s easier than ever to burn out. I know how easy it is to have your life and energy sucked away by a “regular” job. The counterintuitive truth for many freelancers is that it’s even harder when it’s your business. You can pay your mortgage and your car loan and your grocery bill because you pounded the pavement to find the client and then pounded it again to produce a product they valued. When you’re in business for yourself, it’s easier than ever to just do, do, do all the time. The trap is the lie that you have to. But you give yourself out completely and guess what? There’s nothing left. There’s nothing left for your bedtime routine with your kids, or those glorious miles on the trail with your sneakers and your earbuds. Here’s the real, counterintuitive kick in the pants: If you don’t have time for the stuff the fuels you, you don’t have a business. As a freelancer, your business is you. It’s’ your creativity, your talent, your brains, and your guts. That’s something you simply cannot phone in. You have to be fueled, which means you can’t give everything to your business. You have to give something to yourself, which in turn, gives everything to your business.

The Bottom Line

Once you go out on your own, you live and die by your own work. The allure of working from home in your pjs and not having a boss breathing down your neck is real. But the struggle of life without a full time, “safe” job is real, too. It’s awesome. It’s terrifying. It’s not easy. Whether you’re on your own or working a “safe” job, you will kill yourself if you don’t find balance. But here’s the truth about freelancing, if you can handle it. And you can handle it, by the way, because you are scrappy enough to think about launching out on your own in the first place. It’s hard, gut-wrenching, kick you in the seat of your pants, pride-swallowing work. And it’s all yours, which is absolutely fantastic.

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Risk And Compliance When Direct Sourcing (This is Non-Negotiable!)

Risk And Compliance When Direct Sourcing (This is Non-Negotiable!) 1920 1080 Alicia East

Using your own talent pool can be a wonderful way for businesses to meet their contingent workforce needs. Direct sourcing is the practice of finding and recruiting talent and then building, nurturing, and drawing from an internal network rather than enlisting a third-party. It’s an increasingly popular (and feasible) option and it has many benefits. Still, there’s one aspect of the practice that businesses must be absolutely sure to get right: risk and compliance!

Benefits of Direct Sourcing

Direct Sourcing allows businesses to place workers on a temporary basis, while keeping the best workers in the pipeline between projects. Building and nurturing an internal network means companies can draw from their own well, so to speak. There is no third party that will ever know a company and its needs better and cutting out the middle man can make the process quicker and more economical.

Risk And Compliance When Direct Sourcing

While finding your own talent and building your own network has many benefits, businesses need to be in position to do it in a way that protects them from liability. It’s not the glamorous part, but one of the most important parts to get right when direct sourcing is anything associated with risk, compliance, and payroll. Mitigating risk requires specialized skills, a great depth of knowledge, and a department with enough bandwidth to understand and follow rules on a state and federal level.

What’s at Stake?

You know who’s paying a lot of attention to all things risk and compliance? The government. As such, errors can be incredibly costly. In addition to heavy fines, offending businesses face damage to reputation and loss of resources–both financially and otherwise. The rules around classification and payroll vary from state to state and on a federal level as well. Regulations change frequently as well and hiring organizations must do due diligence to make sure they keep their practices compliant and their businesses in good standing. Any company using direct sourcing simply must also include effective independent contractor classification and payrolling services as a part of its plan.

Does Engaging a Partner Make Sense?

If there are any gaps in knowledge or capacity when it comes to risk compliance, worker classification, and payroll, engaging a partner makes good business sense.  In most cases, any company that doesn’t have a specific department to fill these roles will benefit greatly from engaging a partner with the appropriate bandwidth and skills. The best partner will be able to handle every worker type a business employs and will be equipped to handle everything related to risk, compliance, worker classification, and payroll for a contingent workforce.

When direct sourcing talent, many businesses find an Employer of Record (EOR) that takes care of all the administrative details of managing a contingent workforce is an indispensable part of their team.

If you’re considering whether an EOR would be helpful to your business, contact us! This is our jam.  

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How to Get More Mileage Out of Hybrid Events

How to Get More Mileage Out of Hybrid Events 2560 1707 Alicia East

You’ve hired a team to professionally film and broadcast your event. You’ve considered the content to be sure it translates well both in-person and online. When you’ve already gone to the effort of putting together a hybrid event, you may as well get the most you possibly can out of said event.

Three Ways to Get More Mileage Out of Your Hybrid Event

Social Media Snippets

Your most important camera crew is the one capturing the event and live-streaming it live, but consider getting an additional camera in the mix. Give your additional videographer direction based on what you’d like to accomplish after the event. Their goal should be to capture footage that can be edited together with the primary footage for social-media friendly montages, teasers, and more. For example, they could get b-roll from the location or close-up audience shots. You may even want to set up interviews with your most in-demand presenters. Whether you’re seeking to advertise future events or offering online training sessions after the event, collaborate with your marketing team and engage top-notch editors to make the most out of the footage. There are endless ways to choose your own adventure based on your marketing goals.

Training Sessions

Look for ways to offer more value to customers. Consider both follow-up content for those who attended the conference as well as any materials you can offer to those who didn’t. You’ve already vetted the content and information for your event so you know it’s helpful to your audience. See what other ways you can leverage that content into training sessions/programs and more.


Anytime you increase engagement, you also increase opportunity to capture sponsorship dollars. More eyeballs and more enthusiasm demonstrate that a sponsor’s money will be well spent. You can offer ads, event website sponsorship, commercials, and more.

The End is The Beginning

Once you’ve pulled off your event, have a quick celebration and then get back to the grind. The work is just the beginning. Use a survey of attendees or other customers to find out what content they liked most or are most interested in after the fact. Use that information to improve future events and to engage customers who didn’t attend while also increasing value to sponsors. The bottom line is that it would be a crime to let all that awesome content sit on a hard drive after it’s over.

What are your favorite ways to make the most out of your post-event strategy?

Want more on hybrid events? This post is the second in a series. Check out last week’s post that debunks the #1 myth about hybrid events. 

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The Evolving Workplace And You

The Evolving Workplace And You 2560 1697 Alicia East

The workplace was already evolving, but you might’ve noticed things accelerated in the last year and a half or so. For many of us, work relationships are no longer made up of people we see on a regular basis. It is more and more possible by the day to have an entire functioning relationship without ever seeing a person or even hearing their voice. Of course there’s also the Zoom phenomenon, which paradoxically means that there are people we talk to and see each other virtually more than we ever did in person. Talk about an evolution. An office building is no longer a prerequisite for office relationships.

Three Ways You Must Adapt to the Changing Workplace

Office space = Any Space

Working in the same vicinity as people used to be a necessity. If you couldn’t walk down the hall to knock on someone’s door or get together in a conference room to discuss the next initiative, you couldn’t get much done. Now that you can work from anywhere, you can have meetings across time zones and without even leaving your home. You may still see your coworkers virtually, but you’re less likely to have spontaneous conversations at the proverbial water cooler.

Yes, you can work from anywhere and this part isn’t new. But thanks to the virus that shall not be named, it seems like now everyone expects you to be on camera. Well dang. At home, you really should step it up a little. Seth Godin has some ideas that make a big difference. They’re worth investing in if you can. If you must work from vacation, at least pack a ring light.

Blurred Lines

It may seem counterintuitive, but working from home has made the work/life balance worse for many of us. There used to be a somewhat forced separation of work and home. While you could take your work home with you, it was a lot harder to reach people with a random thought or question late at night or on the weekend. You were unlikely to call someone’s home and risk waking their kids at 9 PM. But shooting off an email or a text at 9 PM is socially acceptable and reading work communication as you’re going to bed or first thing in the morning is expected. Getting responses in a few minutes is so much the norm that a “delayed” response of even 10 minutes can cause concern. Now, it almost seems like you literally have to go underground (on the subway) or take a flight in order to get a break from electronic communications.

It’s worth making it a priorirty though. Do what you gotta do to have a break from the computer. Take a walk. Meditate. Lock your phone in a safe. Really. Everything will be better for it, including your work.

Communication is Easier. Except When It’s Harder.

With this level of access, it’s incredibly easy to communicate in a moment. But we arguably have more communication errors since we can’t truly read people over email or text and emojis don’t quite replace seeing a live human face. Replacing live communication almost completely has its own challenges.

It also really sucks to feel you have to respond on evenings and weekends. If you want a hack for respecting work hours for others (even if you work at odd times) use your schedule send option. It’s the best! Instead of sending at 1 AM, schedule an email to send at 8 AM the next day. It’s minor, but worthwhile both because it shows respect for their time and doesn’t condition others to expect you to work at all hours.

The Bottom Line

Work relationships have changed massively in the digital age. And then you-know-what came and just blew the roof off everything we expected. FaceTime often substitutes for face time, emojis often substitute for actual facial expressions, and all our “time savers” eat away at more and more of our time.

It will be interesting to see if  the pendulum could end up swinging back to more personal interaction. What do you think? Will we be so starved for human interaction that we run back to the office? Or are we too happy with our sans-shoe lives and lean even more and more on technology to replace the live interactions that used to be necessary?

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The Two Most Important Ways to Earn Temporary Workers’ Trust And Loyalty

The Two Most Important Ways to Earn Temporary Workers’ Trust And Loyalty 2560 1707 Alicia East

If the internet was the spark that started the digital revolution fire, COVID-19 certainly fanned the flame. Humans did what we do. We stretched our resources to adapt to the new reality. Technology carried the flag and enabled many companies and workers to stay afloat with remote workplace solutions. But, as always, technology has limits. No matter where your workers are located and whether you ever see them face to face or not, human capital is still your most valuable resource. It’s worth taking a little extra care to keep the human in your human capital management. 

Unfortunately, the reality for many temporary or contract workers is difficult. Often, they lack access to benefits, work overtime without corresponding compensation, and deal with clients who pay late or don’t pay at all. So when you go above and beyond, you earn trust and loyalty from you workers and for your brand as a whole. 

As the workplace becomes increasingly digital, the human piece becomes even more important. 

Here Are Two Ways to Keep the “Human” In Your Human Capital Management Even In a Digital World

1. Classify Workers Correctly

It’s easy to think of worker classification in terms of compliance. And it’s true! Classifying correctly keeps the IRS off your back. But it’s also a way to take care of your people. The better you do up front at classifying accurately and setting expectations clearly, the happier workers will be. 

Accurate worker classification is an essential starting place. It’s easy to get wrong, but with your reputation and large fines on the line, it’s also important to get it right. Here’s a list of the most common classification errors and how to avoid them. Here are some basic guidelines for identifying the difference between employees and independent contractors.

On the other end, employers often have a difficult time keeping up with contractor and freelancer management. It’s time consuming to stay on top of ever-evolving laws, minimum wage and overtime changes, benefits eligibility, and the differences between state and local regulations. It is a worthwhile investment, though. It raises businesses to preferred client status among contract workers and helps protect them from costly fines, to boot.

2. Pay temp employees and freelancers accurately and fairly

Pay accurately and on time. Some big companies make a habit of net 90, but we don’t recommend it. Net 30 is more ethical and ultimately better for business. Here’s why. Overtime regulations or minimum wage debates are in constant flux, but here are our suggestions on this front.

Be proactive about benefits and keep up with evolving state and local laws rather than waiting for workers to knock on your door. Transparency is a great way to build trust. 

The bottom line

We know you care about your freelancers, but they only know it if you show it. Taking these measures can help you keep the “human” in your human capital management. The major bonus of handling your freelancers in an ethical way is that it keeps you compliant.

We know you’re busy. If you don’t have the time, resources, or desire to pay attention to all the details, hire an expert to keep track of contractor and freelancer management for you. Our team of experts and our PayReel OnLine software are fully equipped to help you sort out the rules and execute processes while also balancing contractor expectations, legalities, and company budgets. This quiz can help you decide if you’d benefit from hiring a team like PayReel 

We help you care about your workers even when you’re short on time. We think happy workers and peace of mind are pretty close to priceless. 

Managing a Contingent Workforce? Here’s Your Audit Prevention Checklist

Managing a Contingent Workforce? Here’s Your Audit Prevention Checklist 150 150 Alicia East

If you work with independent contractors, you know the draw. You get to tap into outside creative resources and outsource work that is not central to your main line of business. It often allows companies to better meet budget.

On the surface, the barometer for identifying independent contractors is easy. They are self-employed and hired to do a specific job. They receive payment only for the work performed. Unlike a regular employee, they pick their projects and regularly move from client to client and business to business. Also referred to as freelancers, consultants and 1099’s, they report their own business income and pay self-employment taxes. Easy enough until you remember that nothing that involves the IRS is ever quite that simple.


Is Your IC really an Independent Contractor?

The IRS has very strict guidelines that define true business-to-business relationships. These guidelines are meant to prevent firms from misclassifying would-be employees and thereby avoid, either knowingly or unknowingly, a bounty of state and federal taxes.

This is a deceptively complex question that’s important to answer “yes”, because the risk of your company facing an IRS audit has never been greater.

Best Practices to Prevent an Audit

• Work with contractors who have an established business entity, with a business name and EIN to which invoice payment is made.

• Make sure your contractor provides services to businesses other than your firm.

• Have workers provide certificates of insurance, including coverage for general liability insurance and workers’ comp insurance

• Have a signed per-project agreement for services between your company and the contractor. Each project should have a contract specifying project length, compensation and liability.

• Have workers include expenses such as reimbursements for travel, phone, meals and overtime wages in their day rate.

• An independent contractor’s services should not be integral to the day-to-day functioning of your business. They should not be functioning as a division of your company.

• Watch out for pen-ended, ongoing work. The longer a contractor is with you on a full time basis, the more they take on the role of an employee.

When working with your contractors

• Do not train a contractor, direct their work responsibilities or define their work schedules. Specific instructions on these aspects of a job imply an employee relationship.

• You cannot control any aspect of their work except the results.

• Independent contractors should, when feasible, be using their own equipment. This includes computers and phones.

• Do not provide any employment benefits. Independent contractor’s should have their own health insurance, pay their own employment taxes and not receive any corporate stock options.

• You contract on a per-project basis.

• Above all, keep in mind that this is a business-to-business relationship.

Prevent an Audit

Getting audited can be costly and time-consuming even for businesses that do everything by the book. How much are you willing to pay for employee misclassification? If you have any questions about independent contractor status, trust PayReel to help you make the determination.

The Art of Delegating: How to Multiply Your Bandwidth

The Art of Delegating: How to Multiply Your Bandwidth 150 150 Alicia East

The adage goes “If you want something done, ask a busy person.” If you are the person that always gets asked, it might be time to think about how to multiply your time using the art of delegating. Engaging a partner for events, worker management, and payroll is one of the quickest ways to increase bandwidth to actually do what they do. Put some of your responsibilities on someone else’s plate and then get yourself a mug to commemorate your status as World’s Best Boss.

Whether it’s a massive event or a one-camera film shoot, when a partner who specializes in event management manages your projects, it works out well for clients and workers alike.

Make Events Easy 

Whether you’re payrolling thousands of workers, sending a crew to an NBA game, or something in between, it’s nice to know all the details are handled. 

At PayReel, we know things don’t operate on a nine-to-five schedule and neither do we. We have an after-hours phone so we can be sure to provide speedy answers. Our online system allows you to take care of just about anything…at any hour…with a few taps or clicks. PayReel handles all the paperwork and the bonus is that we do it without any actual paper. Not having to sift through piles of identical paperwork cluttering up your desk and your headspace makes the process quicker and easier for you and for your workers.

Make Workers Happy With Speedy Payment And Paper-Free Paperwork

By managing all the payment details, including the mountains of W-4s, payroll becomes a non-event for our clients. Workers submit timecards on Mondays and we pay them on Fridays. When they’re paid quickly, they don’t need to call your office, which frees you up to do your job better. Of course, it also keeps workers happy so they are free to focus on your project and happy to come back for your next event. 

The last thing you need once you’ve hired people is to lose their loyalty on the back-end details. Whether they’re working for one day or for a month, we make sure workers get paid quickly and accurately so if you want to hire them again, they’ll be ready to pick up the call.

We’re devoted to making every single client and worker interaction a good one, which makes working with you mighty attractive for workers. As Michael, one of the freelancers PayReel pays, said, “[My Customer Experience Manager] has been superb in addressing whatever problems I have had.”

The bottom line

Clients work with us because we make your life easier and multiply your bandwidth for the things you do best. Not only does our team manage event payroll and payroll taxes; as the employer of record, we even take on all risk associated with a variable workforce. Think you might benefit from hiring a payroll service? Here’s a handy guide to find out more or contact us at 303-526-4900.

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The Absolute Non-Negotiable When Direct Sourcing

The Absolute Non-Negotiable When Direct Sourcing 2560 1707 Alicia East

It’s easier than ever for companies to use their own talent pool to meet their contingent workforce needs. Direct Sourcing allows businesses to place workers on a temporary basis, while keeping the best workers in the pipeline between projects. Direct sourcing is a great tool in the toolbox for contingent workforce management, but companies must remain vigilant to stay compliant.

Risk and compliance when direct sourcing

The real work when direct sourcing begins with risk, compliance, and payroll. Mitigating risk requires specialized skills, a great depth of knowledge, and a department with enough bandwidth to understand and follow rules on a state and federal level.

Errors can be incredibly costly in many ways, including heavy fines, damage to reputation, and loss of resources–both financially and otherwise. The rules around classification and payroll vary from state to state and on a federal level as well. Regulations change frequently as well and hiring organizations must do due diligence to make sure they keep their practices compliant and their businesses in good standing. Any company using direct sourcing simply must also include effective IC classification and payrolling services as a part of its plan.

When does engaging a partner for risk compliance, worker classification, and payroll make sense?

Sometimes a partner can fill in the gaps for payroll for a contingent workforce. Companies without a specific department to fill these roles will be served by engaging a partner with the bandwidth and skills to handle everything related to risk, compliance, worker classification, and payroll for a contingent workforce. The best partner will be able to handle every worker type a business employs.

When direct sourcing talent, many businesses find an Employer of Record (EOR) that takes care of all the administrative details of managing a contingent workforce is an indispensable part of their team.

If you’re considering whether an EOR would be helpful to your business, let us know! This is our jam.  

Teaching - Payreel

How Apprenticeships May Be the Key to Your Talent Problem

How Apprenticeships May Be the Key to Your Talent Problem 2560 1707 Alicia East

It’s easy to think about apprenticeships as a relic of bygone years for cobblers and philosophers. But it does have a place in today’s world, albeit with a modern understanding and application. An apprenticeship is “a position as an apprentice: an arrangement in which someone learns an art, trade, or job under another.” Historically, apprenticeships have been a backbone of society as chefs and builders and craftspeople passed on vital skills and trades to younger generations. As skills that were necessary for the survival of their families or civilizations, the stakes were high. Students often lived with their masters for years before they were considered worthy of taking over the craft and practicing on their own. The title of a “master” was hard won. For a modern apprenticeship story, please do yourself a favor and watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Today, apprenticeship is simply a formal, organized system of On-The-Job Training (OJT) with the eventual goal of training a worker to the point of competency. An apprenticeship is decidedly different from an internship in a few key ways.

What’s the difference between apprenticeship and internship?

Internships offer temporary, usually short-term roles, often in exchange for college credit. Along with many people’s lived experiences, movies like The Devil Wears Prada have given internships a bad rap as a place where unpaid, under-appreciated, and usually very young workers are likely to do entry-level work. They may or may not have a designated mentor.

Apprenticeship programs, on the other hand, are paid programs that teach skills for specific industries. Training is usually done in a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Apprentices work closely with a mentor and upon completion of the program, the majority of workers who complete an apprenticeship program go on to retain employment.

What types of apprenticeship programs does the DOL support?

The US Department of Labor approves A Registered Apprenticeship Program hat has been validated by the DOL or State Apprenticeship Agency as well as an Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program, which is recognized by a Standards Recognition Entity in accordance with the DOL’s standards.

Apprenticeships can make filling the talent gap so much easier and more effective by:

  • Allowing you to recruit diverse workers
  • Improving your productivity
  • Reducing turnover and improving company culture

Are there financial benefits?

Well yes, as it turns out. In addition to the likelihood of training and hiring solid workers, the US Department of Labor has about $87.5 million in grants available for qualifying apprenticeship programs. Up to $40 million of those funds will be awarded to states that implement required diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

What organizations benefit from apprenticeships?

Union trade organizations are well established in the apprenticeship world while the IT, healthcare, and insurance sectors are relative newcomers. Many organizations are expanding and seeking ways to bolster their talent pools for both contingent workers and direct employees. These programs can benefit everyone, including HR and contingent workforce managers. Apprenticeship isn’t just for skilled trades and union jobs, it can work for many types of roles. Look for ways to educate workers while providing ORJ training and you could score big on the talent front as well as from government funded programs. Check out the DOJ information here and see what it might be able to do for your company.

The Counterintuitive Policy That Saves Businesses Big Money

The Counterintuitive Policy That Saves Businesses Big Money 150 150 Alicia East

For small businesses, cash flow is king, queen, and the American dream. While big businesses’ budgets tend to be a little more forgiving, small businesses and contractors have much less room to handle delayed payments or unexpected expenses. That’s in the best of times. Throw a little thing like a pandemic into the mix and small businesses can find themselves reeling, especially when multiple clients are delaying bills all at once.

Many companies have shifted even more toward hiring contractors instead of full-time employees. The businesses that treat them right create a win/win.

When you pay contractors quickly, they’re more likely to answer your calls and ramp up your projects quickly. For busy department heads with big projects and short turnaround times, there’s nothing better than diving right in with tried and true creative partners. Saving time, money, and hassle by working with people who just get what you’re looking for is priceless.

Pay contractors quickly or risk losing them

Internal processes, red tape, and backlogged accounting departments make it hard to get checks in the mail. We definitely understand. Unfortunately, your corporate freelance payment policy might prevent you from working with the best people. Top contractors get booked quickly. Paying them later than your competition can get you blacklisted or moved to the bottom of their long to do list.

Put yourself in their shoes. Freelancers are single-handedly juggling creative work, billing, marketing, and more. That means the person who sees your invoice in their red column is the same one you’re expecting to bring their all to your next project. What seems like a small invoice to a big company can have a major effect on a small business’ cash flow. Net 90 is a common practice for large companies. But even though a lot of people do it, that doesn’t justify the shady practice.

Systems, Systems, Systems!

Paying contractors quickly is worth the investment. If it’s not feasible to transform your internal process, get a partner with rock solid systems in place. Your contractors will get paid quickly and accurately and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’ll always be in good standing with them. With PayReel, you also get the bonus of pre-vetted workers who are always available at a moment’s notice.

Hiring contractors is a beautiful thing: It gives you a fresh perspective and talent without having to bring on full-time team members. Just make sure you do it right. Going from Net 90 to Net Now will save you time, keep you in good standing with contractors, and ensure you can feel good about the way you do business. Rather than trying to save Benjamins up front, take Benjamin Franklin’s advice and “Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”