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What Are We Thinking About This Month?
With renewed energy to continue building our business, we are thinking about the things that drive business – both our business and the businesses of our clients. I am going to confess something to you…we have been feeling a tad disorganized. With the holidays and traveling and family obligations…our business objectives and focus got a bit muddled. Did we continue to do the work that we needed to do? Sure! Of course we did, but we have learned is that it’s important to do the things that will drive your business 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years from now today. Does that even make sense?
What I mean is that the actions we take today will shape the kind of business that we will have in the future. Like the cupcake(s) I have been eating and the exercising that I have not been doing will affect my shape in two weeks (but completely worth it, amiright?).
Sales drive business – I think we can universally agree that is the case for all businesses.
Okay. One thing that I have noticed in our own business and in many potential clients’ businesses is sales are prevented or slowed down when you are wasting your time on shit that you shouldn’t be wasting your time on. For instance, doing your own taxes. Yeah, we did that. We failed…we got audited…we ended up having to hire a tax professional. Not only did we waste time bumbling through the tax system…we also had to go through a whole process for fixing the mess we made. We could have saved so much time and money just hiring someone in the first place.
Hiring someone who knew what they were doing not only saved us money in the end (they found so many ways for us to minimize our owed taxes!) but it also freed up our TIME to do the thing(s) that drive business for us – marketing and sales. I would say the money saved was a nice cherry on top, but the time saved is the real treat. By freeing up your time by not doing the things that someone else can do better and faster than you, how much revenue do you think that you could add to your business?
What’s New in the Ley Household
We are pretty frickin’ excited that the ski area closest to us has FINALLY opened up. Time to try out those new snowboards! Cross your fingers that one of us doesn’t break a wrist or Shreya doesn’t get ANOTHER black eye (ask her about the first time she stood up on a surfboard)…
Also, this is something of an odd situation, but we’re getting married (again) so that’s been taking up more time than we thought it would.
“Pump the brakes, yo. I thought you were already married?”
Yeah, you right. We ran away to the courthouse…which was awesome and intimate and perfect. However, one set of parents (ahem, Shreya’s) did not approve and wanted to throw the big Indian wedding to make things “official.” So, that’s happening now. Be prepared for some colorful pictures from New Orleans coming your way.
- Do your homework on any independent contractors
- Get a signed agreement
- Make sure there are provisions in there that protect your intellectual property
We have been guilty of this. So, we are not judging. We are trying to help you not make the same mistakes we have.
Because we are attorneys, we are annoyingly sticklers for signed agreements. However, just having a signed agreement is not good enough – due diligence is key!
Why is due diligence key? Because hiring someone, even an independent contractor, is supposed to free up your time to do things that matter to drive your business (see above) and is supposed to help your business run more smoothly. When you hire someone that is not the right fit or (worse) not trustworthy, it can be a huge drag on your productivity and take away your precious time.
Even if you have contracts in place that cover your ass, do you really want to spend the time to defend them? And do you want to have to go through the process of finding someone new before the work that you need to get done is done up to your standards and ON SCHEDULE?
This is your professional reputation after all!
So, what do I recommend?
- Come up with criteria for what you are looking for in a person that you work with and for what you need professionally
- Write out a clear and concise description of what projects and functions you need the person for
- Ask for references and check them
- Ask for samples of past work (where applicable) and actually look at them
- Ask them LOTS of questions that get to the heart of the criteria you set
This is just a sample of five (5) areas that you can focus on when hiring your next independent contractor. Depending on your personal needs and the project needs – there could be a lot more things to look into!
Every state has different criteria for what constitutes a fulltime employee versus an independent contractor. There could be issues with insurance and depending on the sensitivity of your business – you may want to take extra steps to ensure that the person is trustworthy. Bottom line: Know what you want and need and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
It’s easier to do the work up front than it is to untangle a mess.
Contact Info & Administrative Announcements
We have some videos up! Check them out. Shreya spoke at our business coach’s “Mini Law School” about joint ventures and doing your due diligence. Check it out. Get to know us better. Tell us what you think. This guy digs it
Don’t want to do that and prefer to speak to a real life Lawyer Human? That’s cool. Give Shreya or Colin a call at (206) 219-9559 or (206) 395-6539. Or email them if that’s your thing at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re planning out some cool stuff and planning to appear at some cool events around the country – so stay tuned for more announcements and watch out for us Lawyer Humans! WE’RE EVERYWHERE and sometimes…you can’t even tell us apart from regular humans.