Employing Or Contracting – What Is The Difference? Painting Contractors Business


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After you have decided how you want to organize your painting business, you should then decide whether or not you want to hire actual employees or use contractors.  You are better off to use independent contractors when you are starting out.  If you hire actual employees, you have to pay Workmen’s Compensation Insurance and payroll taxes for them.  If you hire independent contractors, they are responsible for their own insurance and paying their own taxes.  Many businesses today are saving money by hiring independent contractors.

The problem with independent contractors is that they can be very transient.  When you have jobs scheduled, you need to have people who are reliable and who will show up for the job.  Most people would rather be employed by a company rather than have to work as an independent contractor.  However, with so many people who are out of work, you may find that it is easier than you think to get independent contractors to help you with your painting jobs.

If you are first starting out, you may be tempted to do all of the work on your own.  This is fine, except that it will take you much longer to complete a job.  You are better off to have people help you.  Most customers want their house painting to be done in a reasonable amount of time and do not want you at their home for months on end finishing up work.  This also puts a limit to the amount of work that you can take on.

You are better off to hire independent contractors to work with you to get the jobs done.  This eliminates your need for Workmen’s Compensation insurance and payroll taxes.  You will need to get social security numbers from your workers and issue them a 1099 form at the end of the year so that you can take their payments off of your taxes.

There are a number of people who will be willing to work for you for cash under these circumstances.  Many of them do not have social security numbers because they are not eligible to work in the United States.   They may be willing to work for less money if they get paid cash.  It is illegal to hire illegal workers in the United States.  However, many independent companies, especially those in the trades, can find it difficult to get reliable workers for their jobs.   If you are caught hiring illegal workers, however, you can be penalized.  Also, you cannot take the money that you pay them from your taxes.

If an independent contractor gets hurt, they are liable for their own medical care. They cannot come to you for a workman’s compensation claim because they are not a legal employee.  They can, however, sue the corporation if the injury was your fault, such as you gave them a faulty ladder to work on.   One of the reasons that people hire those who are not legal citizens is to alleviate this potential.  Again, this is an illegal practice.  However, there are quite a few sole proprietors operating businesses who hire illegal contractors to do the work so that they can get around the taxes imposed on corporations and save money.  They can usually offer customers a much cheaper deal on the project and most customers will be glad to pay cash for such work.  Again, this is an illegal way to practice business, but certainly not unheard of.

When you are beginning your painting business, you are better off to hire independent contractors who are legal citizens and also who have insurance to do the job.  This is the legal way to do business and will eliminate any potential of you getting in trouble with the Federal Government for hiring illegal workers.
Chapter 4 – Where To Hire Workers

In the midst of a recession, you may think that it is easy to hire workers for jobs as so many people are out of work.  The truth of the matter is that it is more difficult than you think.  Many people who are on unemployment insurance are looking for extra work as this money does not cover the bills that they need to pay.  However, if they accept a job with you, they have to give up that money.  Many people will make more on unemployment than they will working as an independent contractor for you, so they will not take the job.

For a painting business, you are better off hiring young people who are willing to work hard and who have a good work ethic.  House painting is hard work and many companies hire students to do the work for them.  Many of these students are not really students at all, but young people who are looking for a way to earn extra money.  If you live in a four season climate and do outdoor paint work, you can hire college or high school students to do the work for you.

You can advertise the job in your local paper, on school bulletin boards and get young people who may be happy to earn a few dollars doing this type of work.  House painting is hard work so you will want to hire people who can lift and are strong enough for the job.  Most house painters are men, although there are a few women who also do this sort of work.

Another avenue that you can take is to advertise on sites like Craig’s List.  Many people are finding jobs by using this service. You will need local people who are willing to work on a contracting basis.

You may be able to get other workers for the job as well, those who were on unemployment and whose benefits have ceased.   The problem with hiring people who are trained for another profession is that they will be looking for other jobs while they work for you.  Still, they can be a good source of help when you need them.

If you have friends and family members who are looking for work, consider them first.  They are less likely to not show up for a job than strangers.

There are government sources that fit people with jobs so that they can work.  You can contact these sources  and even contact your local unemployment office to offer work for those who are seeking jobs.  They may be able to send you some people who truly want to work and are willing to paint for a living.  Painting is physically challenging work, but not difficult mentally.  You should be able to come up with a few strong guys who will be willing to work for you provided they get paid.

There are two things that you have to remember when you are hiring employees for a job, especially when you are hiring independent contractors:

?  Always be looking for more help

?  Always pay them on time

You never want to get into a position where you turn down jobs because you do not have the help.  It is better to have too many workers than too few.  With many workers, you can take on more than one job at a time.  This is important if you live in a four season climate where you only have several months where you can do outside painting.  You also have to take into account those who will not show up, who will quit or who will find other jobs.

By paying people on time, you develop a sense of loyalty from workers.  Put the money aside for the painters that you hire from the start.  If you do not pay people, they will obviously not come back and you will continue to have trouble hiring people for work in the future.

You should have several people working at one time rather than trying to do all of the work yourself.  Homeowners like to have projects completed as soon as possible. If you are trying to finish up a job, you can pay them extra money to work overtime.  This also develops a sense of loyalty between the workers and your company.

House painters are not unionized.  You do not have to worry about hiring union help for the job.  You can hire as many independent contractors as you want.  You can also encourage those who you hire who have friends and who are good workers to bring their friends along.

The beauty of using independent contractors is that you do not have to guarantee them work on a daily basis.  If you have a slow period, they do not work.  You may want to hold on to some good workers by offering them interior work so that they do not go elsewhere.

Many people are under the impression that with the economy being the way that it is, it is simple to hire people for jobs.  This is far from the truth.  It has always been difficult to find reliable employees do to a job, especially if you are hiring independent contractors.  This is why you want to be sure that you treat your workers fairly and compensate them properly for their time.

Other places that you can look for employees are youth centers.  There are programs for disadvantaged youth that place kids who come from poor families into jobs.  In some cases, you can get a partial reimbursement from the state or federal government for hiring disadvantaged workers.   You should do whatever you can to make sure that you keep your employment rooster complete and that you always have workers on hand who will be willing to do work for you.

The last thing that you want to do when you are starting your own painting business is to turn down work.  If you continue to hire contractors and always keep on the lookout for more workers, you will not have to do this.  You will find that you can oversee several jobs at once when you have plenty of workers.  As your business continues to grow, you may want to put some of the workers in charge, giving them a raise.  This can help you get even more business.

However, when you have your own business, it is never a good idea to just put it in the hands of the workers and sit back and rake in money.  You should always be on hand to make sure that they are doing a good job and deal with the customers directly.

If you are doing interior painting, you should make sure that your workers are bonded.  This is a type of insurance that protects your business in case one of your workers should steal something of value from a home or be accused of such a theft.  It is not much money to get someone bonded.  You can use a bonding agency for this type of insurance.

Running your own business is rewarding and can allow you to make more money than you can by working for someone else.  On top of that, it can give you a sense of freedom and the ability to make your own hours.  But be aware that the main problem that people encounter when running their own businesses is to get reliable employees or contractors to work for them.

You should always be prepared in case workers do not show up, do a bad job or even storm off the job.  Your business ultimately comes down to you, as does your reputation.  The number one element of your house painting business has to be customer satisfaction as you will find that by providing good work, you will receive many referrals from happy customers.

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