This Worker Classification Myth is Hurting Your Business

Sorry, y’all: The five-second rule is bogus. Germs don’t offer a grace period before jumping on your food. Not even your last bite of the really delicious stuff. But that one about metal objects dissolving in a glass of Coke? Still up for debate. And we won’t be testing it to find out.

Myths can be dangerous, silly, or in the case of worker classification—bad for business.

There is a fine line between an employee and an independent contractor and laws surrounding worker classification are confusing. We’ve seen companies go to great lengths to comply with nonexistent rules, so we were compelled to bust one of the most damaging worker classification myths we’ve seen.

The Myth About Worker Classification

After a certain amount of time working for you, an independent contractor must be reclassified as an employee.

We think this myth likely comes from one-time best practices that were interpreted as hard and fast rules. Wherever the myth comes from, we’ve seen clients build all sorts of policies to get around the supposed law. We’ve seen them hire workers for six months, drop them for a period of time, and then rehire them, for example. Some companies even refuse to rehire independent contractors after working with them for a certain amount of time because they’re afraid they’ll have to provide all of the benefits associated with hiring an employee. Not only are these policies time consuming, they can hurt businesses that rely on trustworthy freelancers.

The Truth About Worker Classification

We think it’s time for everyone to bust the myth and bust free from self-imposed restrictions.

Here’s the liberating truth: If you find a good contractor and want to use them over and over, you can. There are rules, which vary by location, but there are also legal ways to keep your best people working for you.

If you’re confused by compliance laws and fear your workers are misclassified, PayReel can help. Reach out to our team of experts on all things freelance. Get away from the burden of onboarding, payrolling and classifying your workers and focus on what you love.

About PayReel:

PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it, so they can get back to doing what they do best.

Successful Businesses are Built on Trust

After nearly three decades, my business and I have matured. In a nutshell, this means I get to shut up more. This luxury is a direct result of being surrounded by advisors and team members with varied experience and whose strengths function well together.

Trust powers a sustainable business. Here’s how it helped me build and grow three different companies—Crew Connection, PayReel and CrewCloud

You Can’t Do It All

It’s tempting for leaders to be involved at every level, but you can’t do—or be good at—everything. That’s what the team is for. A growing business allows you to hire more people and hiring more people allows the business to grow. This cycle is a sure sign of a healthy organization. Once I built a team that I could trust implicitly, the best thing I did for the company, the team, and myself was to get out of the way when it comes to day-to-day tasks.

Surround Yourself with Good People

Without implicit trust, I get too involved. Usually, we just need to make adjustments or offer personal development because individuals are busy or stretched too far. When team members are good for the company, but bad for the position, we can rewrite their roles and move forward. We know we got it right once things start humming again and I can step away. When it doesn’t work out and someone has to move on, we see it as a learning opportunity.

Attitude Trumps Skill

When it comes to team dynamics, attitude trumps everything. I’d rather have someone inexperienced with a positive outlook than one with all the training but a sour demeanor. You can develop skills. In a growing company, a bad attitude is like poison—deadly and difficult to remove. Once it’s in the system, things go downhill fast.

You know you’ve built the right team when you’re happy to delegate. Things work better when everyone has a good time, works hard, and respects each other.

Happy Teambuilding,

Heidi McLean

President and Founder of Crew Connection, PayReel and CrewCloud

Feeling the trust? Then trust us and check out our other entrepreneurship articles about change and persistence.

About PayReel:

PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it, so they can get back to doing what they do best.

About Crew Connection:

Crew Connection connects you with video production crews across the country and around the globe. With more than 25 years of experience and thousands of shoots to our credit with film crew pros, you can trust our expert coordinators to match you with the right freelance video crew and equipment every time.

Three Reasons You Need to Get Comfortable With Change

As an entrepreneur, you must either get comfortable with change or find a new career path.

Just as the once cutting-edge typewriter is now obsolete, every shiny piece of equipment in your office will soon be replaced by something sleeker, faster, and seemingly impossible to live without. Keeping up with evolving technology is just the beginning. Customer demands are ever-shifting and the onslaught of new information is nonstop.

You have to reinvent your business and yourself to stay ahead of the game. You have to change. Despite your best efforts, there will be times you will barely be able to lay the tracks as you see the train coming. That’s all part of the journey. Even if you thrive in that sort of activity and buzz, there will be times it will seem too hard, too much, or too fast.

How you handle chaos can be a game changer and is critical to maintaining credibility.

Embracing Change Creates Opportunity

Simply embracing the ride makes for a much more enjoyable trip on this entrepreneurial rollercoaster. Whether you resist it, grudgingly accept it as a fact of business, or embrace it wholeheartedly; change is a comin’. Giving in to anxiety makes the uncertainty miserable. Seeing change as an opportunity to grow makes the same circumstances fun and exciting.

A Healthy Culture Starts with You

When companies cultivate an atmosphere of exploration, discovery, and innovation, employees feel free to make mistakes and “fail forward.” I can’t think of any industry that has the luxury of not needing to innovate.

You’re the Example

You alone are the leader of your company—not just in title, but in deed and thought, too. If you think it’s too hard to evolve with the times, how can you expect your team to do so? How can you build a culture that embraces change if you let yourself be overwhelmed by it? Just as kids look to their parents for cues on how to react to situations, employees look to company leadership to model behaviors, attitudes, and acceptable beliefs.

Welcome to entrepreneurship! If you’re not already comfortable with change, make yourself so. Your success depends on it.

Feeling cozy with change? Embrace our other entrepreneurship articles on trust and persistence.

About PayReel:

PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it, so they can get back to doing what they do best.

Are You an Entrepreneur at Heart?

How do you know you’re an entrepreneur at heart? You walk the fine line between courageous and crazy. Often, on a daily basis.

In 1989, when Heidi McLean had a 2-year-old at her ankles, an infant in her arms, and a fledgling business venture on her hands, nobody had to tell her she was crazy. She knew she was. She also knew there was a need for Crew Connection; and later PayReel and CrewCloud.

It was a big year for Heidi and her husband, Gordon. Building a business under any circumstance requires hard work and commitment. Building a business while also building a family and a house—which they also did that year—requires extreme tenacity and a willingness to walk that line.

After 27 years at the helm of three successful businesses, Heidi has some hard-earned tips for entrepreneurs. Here’s the first:

Be Persistent

Don’t give up when people tell you you’re crazy—which they will.

If it seems overwhelming at first, that’s because it is. Take small steps. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving slowly, just as long as you’re moving forward.

Heidi started Crew Connection a few short weeks after her second daughter’s birth, creating some immediate obstacles to overcome. Gordon rigged up the telephone with an earpiece used in the broadcasting business. It wasn’t quite a Siri-equipped headphone set, but it did the trick, allowing Heidi to feed Annie and be on the phone at the same time.

Early on, that was Heidi’s working reality: With baby in arms and a headset in use, she connected people in her network with each other. Her experience in television gave her the connections she needed on both sides—freelance video crews looking for work and producers looking for freelance video crews. One of her earliest clients, a producer on Cops, regularly needed good cameramen, lighting directors, audio engineers, producers and more across the country. Heidi was the main “connector” in Crew Connection. But soon, demand outgrew Heidi’s personal capacity to supply. After less than a year, Crew Connection started growing.

Progress is painfully slow up until it’s happening so fast that you have to scramble to keep up. You’ll go through many seasons in your business. Each brings its own challenges—or opportunities, if you have the right mindset. The next few years for Crew Connection consisted of hiring video production industry experts, getting the word out, and building out the basement—equipping it with office space, computers, and phones.

Whether you set up shop in a time when you have to drive four miles to send a fax—like Heidi did almost three decades ago—or today, you have to persist in a rapidly-changing world. The sooner you accept that there will be endless challenges, the better. In business, and in life, it’s good to be tenacious—and a little crazy.

If you’re persistent, courageous, and a little bit crazy, check out our other entrepreneurship articles about trust and change.

About PayReel:

PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it, so they can get back to doing what they do best.

3 Steps to Relieve Freelance Payroll & Tax Season Headaches

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of companies with large contingent workforces digging through piles of paperwork, shipping out tax documentation, tracking down addresses, updating changed addresses, fielding endless calls from freelancers, and running around like chickens who have been recently separated from their heads. During Tax Day, and tax season, managing freelance payroll is more than just a pain in the ass—it’s a detriment to your productivity.

Here are three pill-free steps to ease those tax season headaches:

Step One: Get freelance payroll off your books.

PayReel handles every detail surrounding freelance payroll—from onboarding to reporting, and, of course, tax documentation. Since freelancers are technically our employees; art directors, producers, and media departments get all the creativity without any of the paperwork.

Step Two: Let PayReel handle the details.

Transparency is key. If you never want to see another detail about your contingent workforce in your life, you don’t have to. On the flip side, you can always dig into the details as deeply as you want.

We securely store all documents online in an easy-to-view and easy-to-find format. Find out what freelancers are costing you and whether the ROI is still in line with your needs. Track spending by employee, project, time period, and more. Our reporting options are true to your unique business realities and available anytime.

Step Three: Get yourself a cup of joe and relax.

We’ve got you covered. With PayReel taking on the entire burden of payrolling your independent contractors, you might even forget Tax Day is coming next year!

About PayReel:

PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it, so they can get back to doing what they do best.