When you are ready to recruit assistance for the chores associated with your jewellery business, you should think about constructing a team of independent contractors.
Read through Kristen Baird’s account of the process she went through to employ her team, as well as the advice she offers for how you may effectively hire your own team.
I wear several hats at Kristen Baird Jewellery since I am the owner of a small business. I am the designer, the creator, the accountant, the director of customer relations, and even the cleaner!
However, it became abundantly evident that in order for my jewellery business to develop and thrive, I would need to outsource some of these jobs and seek assistance from individuals who are specialists in areas that I am not.
Instead of maintaining a payroll with full-time workers under my own firm, I found that the most effective approach to achieve this goal was to construct what I call a “1099 team,” which is comprised of independent contractors who work for themselves.
Instead of an IRS W2 tax form that would be filled out by the employer and handed to the employee, each member of the team receives an IRS 1099 tax form before to beginning work that they are required to fill out themselves.
Advantages of Utilizing the Services of Independent Contractors
Working with independent contractors allows for significant cost reductions in a number of important areas, including rent on office space, payroll and employee benefits, and employment taxes.
These are just a few examples. It is also handy to hire a contractor for a limited amount of time, such as for a one-time project, because they can get the job done quickly.
The capacity to locate a person who possesses a rare collection of skills and then make use of those skills is, in my view, the feature that offers the greatest advantage.
When I first started putting together my team, I made it a point to look for professionals whose industry expertise might be beneficial to my fledgling company and help it grow.
They each provide an utterly novel and distinctive point of view on issues that, at times, I have little to no understanding of. You do realise that there are things that you do not know, don’t you?
Putting together the 1099 team
It was essential for me to collaborate with as many local contractors or other proprietors of small businesses and startups as I was able to find. Savannah may be a tiny town, but it certainly isn’t lacking in inventive thinkers. When I finally decided to ask for assistance, it seemed like every contractor I spoke to led me to the next one.
Finding a GOOD accountant is, in my opinion, the single most crucial person to look for. Mariel and I attended the Accounting for Jewelers event together. Her home is in Tennessee, and she only collaborates with people in the jewellery industry.
Because she is familiar with the business as a whole as well as the particulars that concern to jewellery designers, she is exceptionally informed and efficient! Prior to starting work with Mariel, I had been working with a local accountant in an effort to get by “on the cheap.”
Unfortunately, attempting to save money by doing your own taxes, accounting, and bookkeeping is not a good idea. Mariel got me back up and running with technology to make things as smooth and easy as it possibly can be after I spent a lot of money mending and reversing the effects of mistakes that had been made over a period of three years.
Second, it was time for me to outsource certain aspects of the administrative side of the business, such as the development and arrangement of data, lists, and spreadsheets; the maintenance of files and photographs; email communication; website updates; and scheduling. When you have a creative mind like mine, it can be challenging to go back and forth between creative work and analytical chores.
On the other hand, for a professional virtual assistant, this kind of job falls squarely within their area of expertise. I was able to hire Marina as my virtual assistant after advertising the position in a Facebook group for residents in my area.
She was brought to my attention by a common acquaintance, and she then sent me a message on Facebook outlining the specific ways in which she believed she was able to be of assistance.
That was a really encouraging omen! As a result of her research, Marina already had a good understanding of the areas in which she might be of assistance to my brand, and she took the initiative to compile her thoughts into a tidy bullet point list that I could read, process, and put into action.
We got along great, and ever since then, she has been my go-to, virtual gal for assistance with any and all administrative matters.
The following steps were photography and styling. I was in dire need of dynamic photography in order to fully convey the brilliance of my jewellery, particularly when it was worn by models and displayed in staged settings.
Paprika Southern is a Savannah-based power pair that consists of a photographer and a stylist. They work exclusively with brands and various types of small businesses to communicate the story of those companies visually.
In the past, we knew one another through common connections and had collaborated on a number of previous endeavours.
I finally came to the conclusion that I was wasting my time and energy by attempting to take photographs when I could have easily hired a professional who is exceptionally skilled in that area.
Working with Paprika Southern has helped me save an unimaginable amount of time that would have otherwise been spent on laborious tasks, and the quality of their work never ceases to astound me.
Attorneys Specializing on Intellectual Property
What about copyrights, trademarks, and legal zoom? What!? I attempted to figure out the procedure for registering a trademark for my company’s logo and brand, but after spending an excessive amount of time attempting to figure it out on my own, a colleague of mine recommended that I speak with an intellectual property attorney named Kate Strain.
She guided me through the legal steps necessary to secure my trademark, and she has been present for every check-in as well as all of the portions of the approval and granting procedures. Another wise financial investment!
Relations with the Public
Things were finally coming together, and in May of 2020, I found out that I had been chosen to receive a $5,000 COVID-19 relief and recovery grant from The Red Backpack Fund! This opportunity was made available to small businesses and nonprofit organisations thanks to The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation.
I was aware that it was an excellent chance for exposure, but it was not something that fell within my expertise. Also, the globe had been turned upside down a couple of months previously due to the coronavirus outbreak, so I wanted to locate someone who could gather big notoriety in a virtual capacity. Fortunately, I was able to discover such a person.
When I needed a local freelance PR manager and writer, I turned once more to my reliable neighbourhood Facebook group for help. That’s how I was put in touch with Katie, who works out of her home and is a freelance writer and PR manager.
Just a few hours after meeting with her, she went ahead and issued a press release, and before I knew it, I was receiving coverage in the local newspaper, on websites, and I was being asked for interviews.
After that, Katie and I collaborated on developing a strategic strategy to bring my marketing and communication tactics into alignment with one another. She devised a well-organized plan and timetable to ensure that we continue to go in the correct direction.
Katie continues to prepare press releases for me whenever I have anything interesting to share, blogs for my website, and bylined pieces for other industry journals. Her objective is to maintain an online presence for Kristen Baird Jewelry that is continually updated with new and relevant material.
Graphic Design and Naming Strategies
While I was working with Katie on my public relations (PR), and as a result of that, I was receiving more attention, it became obvious that the brand I was establishing needed some updating.
To our good fortune, Katie had previously collaborated with Bailey, a graphic designer who had a great deal of talent, and she was the one who practically introduced us.
Bailey was interested in freelancing and had made herself available for employment in that capacity. She then proceeded to construct mood boards in order to zero down on the specific appearance and atmosphere that I was trying to achieve after our initial talk.
As soon as it became clear that we were heading in the right direction, she designed a comprehensive brand guide for me, which included a new logo suite, fonts, colours, secondary marks, email templates, printed collateral, and the header for my website.
This guide is extremely well-organized, and it is one that I frequently consult. I have started passing on this instructions to any more freelancers that I collaborate with. It gives a synopsis of my brand as well as the visual “laws” we must adhere to in order to keep our presentations, whether digital or printed, consistent across all platforms.
I never in a million years imagined that I would be in a position to acquire professional video footage; nevertheless, in our constantly evolving digital environment, I can now appreciate how useful such information can be. It was at this point that Tremble Productions became a member of the team.
They are yet another recommendation made by a creative companion of mine. After putting out a request for a video team, an incredible film team consisting of a husband and wife walked directly into my lap. They are of the highest quality, and it is a wonderful experience to collaborate with other creatives who are not only amazingly skilled but also enthusiastic and reasonably priced.
We got right to work creating a promotional film for the company, and the finished product really blew me away. In my experience dealing with video production teams, I’ve discovered that the screenplay is of UTMOST significance.
The majority of our work was spent formulating the screenplay and thinking about the message that we wished to convey. After that, the shot list was created to give the story some visuals.
Finally, it came time to begin the actual filming and post-production work, both of which went off without a hitch thanks to the fact that we had completed all of the preparatory work and were laser-focused on what it was that we wanted to get.