Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tips for starting up your own work at home company

So you want to start your own company and hire people to work from home? That's great! That is an awesome way to save money on rent, utilities, and everything else you need to run a physical office location. There are however disadvantages to having people work from home. In this blog you will find out how to make sure your work at home company is successful.

The first thing is that you cannot see what your at home workers are doing. This means that unless you have them logged into a system to take or make calls automatically you have no idea if they are sitting in front of their computers working or on their couch sleeping. I can guarantee you that you will have people claim they are working when in fact they are not. If you have people log into a dialer system you will soon realize who wants to work and who doesn't. I recommend this method for any outbound/inbound telephone work.

How do you intend to pay your workers? Do you want to hire them as 1099 independent contractors or regular W2 employees? If you hire them as employees you will need to pay them the minimum wage in your state. You will also need to pay half their taxes and pay unemployment insurance as well as overtime. However, you will be able have more control over them such as saying the hours they need to work and specific ways on how they need to get the job done. If you hire independent contractors they are responsible for paying their own taxes. You don't need to pay them minimum wage nor overtime. You also don't need to pay unemployment insurance. HOWEVER, you cannot tell your workers that they need to work certain hours. You also cannot micromanage them. There have been dozens of work at home companies that have gotten into legal trouble because of this. You need to check with your local labor board for more information regarding these terms. You also need an EIN number from the IRS before you can hire employees or independent contractors.

When you are searching for people to work for your company from home you will run into all personality types. As a person who hired people to work from home I can tell you that this is not an easy task. There will be people who will impress you in every way possible but when it comes time for them to work you will not see any results. When I was hiring for a work at home company I literally went through 50 people to find 1 good, motivated worker. You would not believe some of the emails and resumes I received. We would have an orientation to give more information about the company. One person wanted more information through email and when he was told all the info would be covered on the orientation conference call he told us "Well I have some info for you, go fuck yourself asshole". This should not shock you if someone says this to you. The work at home force is very different then the regular brick and mortar world.

Be prepared to deal with all kinds of excuses on why people can't work. Especially if you hire independent contractors. People who are experienced in working from home know what the difference is. It is not unusual for a person to call out on their first day.  The way I did things was I would give people 2 weeks to show me what they got. If they were really working hard and showing good motivation I would let them stay. BE PREPARED TO TELL SOME PEOPLE THAT USING CAPS IS VERY UNPROFESSIONAL. This happened with me before and this particular person went on a tirade when I asked her nicely to stop using all caps. This will be a huge red flag for you and you need to cut ties immediately with this person.

You will encounter people who are skeptical of your company because it is work at home. Once you explain everything about your company and what the pay is if they are still giving you a hard time and grilling you with questions you do not want this person working for you. Tell them thanks for your interest but you are going with someone else. I can't tell you how many times I have had this happen. You do not want to "sell" people into working for you. You will encounter this if you are looking for seasoned sales people to work for you.

If you require a background check for your workers and any certification courses please bite the bullet and pay for this yourself. The biggest red flag for work at home seekers is when a company asks them to pay money. I would never pay to work for a company and neither will 99% of people out there. Your companies reputation will be dragged through the mud.

I hope this has helped you out with starting your own work at home company. Please make sure to check with an attorney or your labor board for more information on hiring employees or independent contractors. I wish you and your company all the success!

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