How to Emphasize My Self-Employed Credentials on My Professional Website
by RobertPeruzzi, Window Shopper
- Created: September 10, 2012, 1:09 pm
I am an independent consultant and I want my potential clients to know that they need not hire me through an agency. My goal is to find a succinct way to make it very clear to even the casual website visitor, and on my brochure and business card, that my business credentials and practices are in order. I want my independence to appear right up there with my specialty and be one of the first things a potential client knows about me. Some background: This US IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Independent-Contractor-%28Self-Employed%29-or-Employee%3F discusses the definition of a self-employed consultant or contractor as opposed to an employee. In my words: • Businesses can get into deep trouble with the IRS if they hide employees by declaring them independent contractors o Employees miscast as independent contractors are cheated when this happens. Their employer weasels out of paying their fair share of social security, unemployment, and other benefits true employees enjoy. o Employees miscast as independent contractors may not have the knowledge or inclination to establish an independent business where they pay their own taxes, insurance, etc. o In effect, these miscast employees are working under the table. They are cheated; legitimate employers are cheated, and only the offending employer wins, at least temporarily o Such businesses deserve the deep trouble they land in when caught. • I and other members of my consultants network (www.PhilaCONET.com) are independent businessmen and women, by choice. Speaking only for myself: o I have incorporated my consulting practice under Sub-chapter S o I make use of the services of an Accountant and an Attorney o I carry general liability and professional malpractice insurance o I conduct my business in such a way that the IRS, following their own guidelines, should not mistake me for a miscast employee working under the table • Businesses with legitimate employees need the services of independent consultants and contractors from time to time o Even though they deal with truly independent consultants such as myself, they worry about the consequences of getting busted by the IRS o I can’t blame them for worrying. • To the rescue, temporary agencies appear on the scene o They assume the risk and the legitimate employer is off the hook o The consultants and contractors become “employees” of the agency o Any temporary worker can work through them. It’s not necessary for these agency employees to conduct their practice in the business-like way I follow, and that’s fine. o The agency takes a significant commission for their services to the employee-contractor and to the employer • However, I have experienced these agencies abusing their position and influence o They frighten (and possibly reward) HR managers and hiring managers at the client employer o I know of two agencies acting as both the employer of the contractor and the gate keeper passing judgment on the status of people like me, as to our independence. (In one case I had to bring my attorney into the discussion, bandying terms such as “conflict of interest” about before the agency agreed to my independent status.) o The commission they take is too large compared to the services they offer independents like myself. o The employer pays the agency the same fee as they would be paying me as an independent, my fee decreases. o The employer doesn’t save money, but gets a sense of security – safety from an IRS bust. • It is difficult for independents like me to compete against these agencies once they’re entrenched My goal is to find a succinct way to make it very clear to even the casual visitor that my business credentials and practices are in order. I want my independence to appear right up there with my specialty and be one of the first things a potential client knows about me. Do you have any ideas on communicating this?
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