Starting your first business is exciting, and you’ve probably really enjoyed running it and having complete control over the day to day operations up to this point. Not to mention never worrying about having to pay someone, correct their work, or discipline them for coming in late. However, despite these annoyances, hiring an employee is a crucial step in the growth of any business. It will allow you to get more done than you could otherwise on your own, which will hopefully let you turn an even greater revenue. Before you hire your first employee though there are a few things that you should keep in mind. These are common mistakes made by new business owners, and by avoiding them you’ll be one step ahead of everybody else.

Ensure that the person is legal to work in the United States

Since you’re still a small business you’re probably not going to have a lot of money to spare to pay someone a high salary. That’s ok, but it doesn’t mean you can get sloppy and hire the cheapest option either. If you hire an undocumented worker and they get caught by immigration later on, not only will you lose your employee, your business may come under scrutiny as well. Check the legal status of everyone who applies for a job, and be sure that they have any necessary qualifications. For example, a truck driver needs a commercial license the same way a lifeguard needs a certification from the Red Cross.

Screen for illicit substances

You should consider asking a potential applicant for a drug test for a couple of reasons. People who are clean are more likely to work for you for longer, and be more dependable employees. Not only that, but statistics have revealed some surprising insights about drug users. People who use drugs are 2.5 times more likely to be absent 8 days or more, 3 times more likely to be late for work, and 5 times more likely to file a workers compensation claim. You can learn even more about the negative impact of drugs on a worker’s performance by visiting Summit’s Website

Dig deeper than the resume

According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, more than half of all resumes contain misleading information of some sort, and 13.6% of all respondents report lying on their resume at least once. To ensure that you don’t hire someone who has built up their resume on thin air, ask them about everything they have written on it. Have them tell you about all of their previous job experience, and about what they learned from each job. If that all seems to check out, the next step is to call the references they have listed. It’s very possible that one of the jobs that they worked at previously has since gone out of business, but if you can’t get a hold of any of their previous bosses, you may want to consider shelving their application.

Have a very good idea of what you’ll expect them to do

If you’re not sure what exactly you’ll be asking your first employee to do, it will make it extraordinarily difficult to know when you’ve found the most suitable candidate. Before you even begin the job search, you should write down in detail what you’ll expect the candidate to do, and any special experience or certifications that they might need. By doing so, so you’ll have a far better idea of who will be a good fit for you and who won’t. Sometimes an exceptional person may walk into the door and you might want to hire them because of their character alone. However, if you know that they’re not qualified for the kind of work you’ll be asking them to do, then you can avoid making a costly mistake.

Get a sample of their previous work

This might not apply for all businesses, but in certain situations it may make sense to get a sample of some of the previous work that a person has done. For example, if they’re a graphic designer, carpenter, painter, or architect, looking at what they’ve done for previous employers should give you a good idea of what they’re capable of. If you’ve shortlisted a particular candidate and you think that you may like to hire them, you may even consider having them create a sample project for you and your business. If you’re ready to give them the job, and they’re confident in their abilities, they should have no problem spending a few hours creating a mock-up for you to show you what they’re capable of doing.

Make sure you get along with them one on one

Since this is your first employee you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time alone with them in the office, or at the very least talking on the phone with them if he or she is going to be working remotely. That’s why it’s crucial that you find someone who you get along with well, and wouldn’t mind spending a great deal of time with. Communication is an important part of creating a good business atmosphere, and you should even consider hiring a less qualified candidate who you get along with better, versus the more qualified one who rubs you the wrong way.

All of these are solid guidelines to follow when it comes to hiring your first employee. It might seem like a stressful process, but with some preparation and thought, it doesn’t have to be. By keeping in mind everything mentioned above you are sure to find a great employee who you will be happy to work with for years to come, and expand your business with as well. Hopefully in time you’ll need to hire even more employees, and by that time you’ll have some experience under your belt and you’ll be ready to make more good hiring decisions. While this article has been about how to find the most suitable candidate, if you want to learn more about the legalities of hiring your first employee, you should read this article put out by the Small Business Administration.

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Along with all sorts of other benefits, one of the great things that the internet allows us to do is work from anywhere in the world. If you have a job that takes place primarily through the use of a computer, you can probably find work where you don’t need to ever come to the office, and there are quite a few benefits of leading this kind of lifestyle. If you’re in a position to do so, leaving the office can be a great career move as it will allow you to find a greater satisfaction in life, travel more, and also potentially earn more money. The question to ask yourself is: do you really need an office?

Forget About Dealing With Coworkers You Don’t Like

When you work remotely you’ll never have to worry about dealing with annoying or unpleasant coworkers in person. You may still have to talk to them over email, but you can do so at your leisure and you won’t have to put on a false face to answer them. The same goes for your boss, and anyone else at work that you would prefer to not have to deal with on a day to day basis.

Finding Remote Workers is Easier Than Ever

If you’re starting your own company, you may be worried about finding people to work for you who you’ve never actually met in real life. A few years ago that may have been a valid concern, but today the tables have changed. Sites like have thousands of different experienced professionals who are standing by to bid on work that you post. In fact, you may find it significantly more economical to consistently bid out jobs, instead of hiring full time employees to always work for you.

It’s important to remember though that just because you’re outsourcing your work to an online contractor doesn’t mean that certain timeless rules of business don’t apply: you still get what you pay for. If you want a project done correctly then it will always be worth paying more to get someone competent to do it. It may be tempting to hire the cheaper option, and there will be many hundreds of cheap options on a site like Upwork, but you should keep in mind that you probably won’t receive high quality work.

Abandoning an Office Means Saving Money

If you’re a business owner, think about how much money you can save by not having to pay for an office space. Not only that, but all of the other ancillary costs as well. Computers, fax machines, printers, paper, the internet and electric bill, and the list goes on. If you create a business that is based entirely online, you can forego all of these costs and take all of the money that you’ve saved and invest it into growing your business in other areas. This is especially true if you live in a city with notoriously high rent costs like Los Angeles or New York.

Without an Office You’ll Be Able to Travel More

This applies to you whether you’re a business owner or an employee. If you don’t have to be at an office it frees you up to work from all sorts of different locations. For some people this may mean just taking a short two hour vacation to see the relatives. Other people may take advantage of the internet to jetset off to Thailand and work from a bungalow on the beach. The internet gives you unlimited possibilities, as long as you’re not restrained by the need to physically be in an office.

Another benefit here is that not only is travel fun, but it is also a great opportunity to grow as a person. You’ll learn about new cultures, gain new experiences, and meet all sorts of interesting people. The more you know, the more you’re worth as an employee, and the better you’ll be as a business owner.

Working from Home Gives You a Flexible Schedule

One of the many problems with working at an office is that there tends to be a set time schedule that you need to stick to. In at 9, out at 5. While this may work for some people, for others it may be a major headache. If your spouse works the night shift it may mean you rarely get to see him or her. If you have a child it might mean you can’t see him off to school, or if you’re a terrible morning person it might mean that you’re losing hours of productive time at work in the morning, and giving up your night time when you tend to get the most work done.

When you don’t need to show up to the office you can set your own hours. If you’re most productive waking up at noon, goofing off till five, and then working from six till two in the morning, that’s fine. Since you don’t have a set schedule you can set the hours that work the best for you. Not only can this increase your productivity, but it can also have an incredibly positive impact on all of the relationships in your life. It means you’ll be able to see your children and spouse more, and even rearrange your schedule so that you have more time to visit with friends and family.

Save Time On Commutes

A final benefit of not having to work at the office, but a significant one, is that you won’t need to commute to the office. Depending on your situation that can potentially save you hundreds of hours every year. If you spend two hours commuting on a daily basis, think of how much you could get done with that time if you didn’t have to drive or take public transport. You could earn more money, spend more time with your family, or even just read a book. Sitting in traffic is a terrible waste of your time, and it’s not good for the environment either. Leave the office, start working from your home or a local coffee shop, and you’ll be surprised by how much more time you have every day.


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Having a good business partner can mean the difference between success and failure. The right partner will be able to help you to expand your business and grow to levels that you wouldn’t be able to reach if you were on your own. Not only that, but you’ll have twice as much manpower when a difficult project comes up, which can be incredibly useful when it’s crunch time.

However, in the long run a bad business partner can do a lot more harm than good. You may end up spending more time squabbling over small details than actually getting work done. That won’t benefit anyone and it will lead you to become frustrated and resentful. To help you avoid that situation, here are five things to remember when looking for a good business partner.

1. Choose a Partner Who You Already Know

This could be someone like a friend, family member, or relative. While this advice may be controversial, there are more benefits to working with someone that you know as opposed to partnering up with a stranger. The most obvious benefit is that you’ll already have some idea of their personality, and you’ll know whether you’ll be able to successfully communicate with them.

In business just as in almost all areas of life, communication is crucial. If you pick a partner who you can communicate well with that can make up for a lot of potential shortcomings in other areas. This is a good reason why it can be to your advantage to work with someone you already know. If you pick a stranger, or near stranger, to work with, you might not know how well you’ll be able to communicate with each other.

2. Look for Someone Who Shares a Common Goal

The importance of finding someone with whom you share a common goal cannot be understated. Ideally you should be getting into a business partnership for the long term, and you don’t want to enter into this relationship with someone who has different plans than you. For example, if you have the ultimate goal of building your business to the point where it generates in excess of $1 Million dollars a year, than it won’t be any good to partner up with someone who is happy to generate $250,000 a year and then take the rest of the time off to play golf.

3. Find a Partner With a Similar Work Ethic

This is similar to point number two in that you don’t want to get stuck with a partner who is not willing to work as hard as you. If you’re a hard worker you may not mind taking up the slack in the short term in order to grow the business and achieve the results you want. However, if your partner continues to produce less than you, resentment will grow and it can easily lead to an unbridgeable divide between the two of you.

The easiest way to tackle this problem head on is to actually work with a person before you enter into a business relationship with them. That way you’ll be able to see how well you work together, and what kind of division of responsibilities you are capable of handling. In fact, you may even find that a potential business partner works too hard for you! If you have a family, or don’t have time to put in more than forty hours a week, it won’t work for you to be partnered with someone who expects you there every weekend, and to work till seven on the weekdays. Find someone who shares a similar work ethic and you’ll be a long ways towards finding a partner who you work well with.

4. Look For Someone With Complementary Talents

A great example of this is the relationship that existed between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. In this business partnership, Jobs was the charismatic salesman and Wozniak was the talented programmer who knew how to make a computer. If Jobs wasn’t a gifted salesman, Apple computers wouldn’t have grown to the level that it’s at today. However, if Wozniak hadn’t had the technical skills to actually build the computer, Jobs would have had nothing to sell. It’s true that they did have overlapping skills, as Jobs was a talented designer himself. However, ultimately he needed Wozniak’s superior technical skill.

This is why you should consider finding a business partner who has a set of skills that compliment yours. Maybe you’re awesome on the phone and can sell a palm tree to the city of Miami. If that’s the case, then you should consider looking for a partner who is more technically minded and better at handling the back end of a business. The details may change from industry to industry, but the idea remains the same. If both you and your partner share a very similar skill set, it can be exciting in the short term, but in the long term you may find out that both of you are incapable of handling certain parts of the business and your revenue flow may falter because of that.

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5. Discuss Finances Right from the Beginning

No matter how optimistic you are about your product or service, it’s important to accept the reality that a majority of new businesses that start up fail. This is an unfortunate fact of life. That’s why it’s important to carefully go over the finances of the business with your partner before you start working together. You should find out how much he or she has to invest, what their risk tolerance is, and how much they can afford to invest without having it become a major financial detriment to their lifestyle.

Furthermore, you should also find out how your potential business partner handles spending. This may not be an explicit question, but it should be fairly easy to figure out. If you know your potential partner’s income, and they seem to be living well outside of it, than you can get a good idea that they look to spend more than they make. Or it could be the other way around. Either way doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but you should be aware of it beforehand so that you can deal with any problems that it may cause.

A common misconception about accountants is that they only handle the numbers and do your books, nothing more. In reality, any accountant can do that. But a good accountant is capable of a lot more. A good accountant will be able to clearly explain to you what the numbers mean, and how they affect your business. If an accountant is on top of everything, they’ll be able to help you find ways to save money, ensure that everything is operating smoothly, and make themselves a valued member of your team.

Of course, finding a great accountant can be difficult, which is why we’ve created a list of the top seven questions you should ask before hiring one. Let’s take a look at what number one is.

  1. Do you have experience working in my niche?Every business is going to have unique requirements when it comes to hiring an accountant. For example, if you’re running a restaurant, you’ll need an accountant who knows the ins and outs of restaurant wages and the unique rules regarding tips.On the other hand, if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re running your own company, you’ll need an accountant who can help you understand some of the calculated risks that you might want to take in order to remain competitive. Regardless of what your company does, you should consider hiring an accountant who has previous experience in the industry.
  1. What services do you offer?Not all accountants are created equal. Depending on their certification, some will be able to perform a broader range of work than others. For example, a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) will be able to perform a financial audit on your business, analyze cash flow sheets, and make recommendations to you for your business.This is opposed to a person who has an accounting degree, but has not become certified as a CPA. Legally, they’ll only be able to perform a narrow range of duties. Before you even begin looking for an accountant, you should ask yourself what services you’re likely to require from them, then you can set about finding the accountant who is the best match for you.
  1. When will you be available to help my business?Some accountants only work during tax season, or they work limited hours during the off season. For some businesses this is ok, as they don’t need the services of an accountant year round. However, other businesses will need an accountant on hand at all times. Before hiring an accountant you should be sure to ask them if they will be available to help you whenever you need it.
  1. How often do your clients get audited?This is a great question to ask any accountant you’re thinking about hiring because the question will tell you two things. First, if an accountant knows the answer off hand, you quickly be able to tell that he or she is knowledgable about her client’s affairs. Second, you’ll also learn how responsible the accountant is. The best accountants and accounting firms have less than 1% of their clients get audited. If the number is higher for an accountant you talk to, you may want to find someone else.
  1. How much will you charge me?Different accountants have different ways of billing for their services. Some accounts charge a flat fee every month or quarter. This will be negotiated beforehand, based on what kind of work you need them to do. In other situations, an accountant may charge you an hourly rate. If that’s the case, you should be aware of how they do their billing.For example, some accountants will round up their time to the nearest hour. So even though you may only talk to your accountant for five minutes, they may bill you the same price as if you had talked to them for an hour. Right from the beginning you should be clear on exactly how your accountant bills so that you aren’t surprised by their fees later on.
  1. How will we be able to get into contact with each other?This tiny detail is easy to overlook, even though it can have a profound effect on your business in the long term. Like anyone else, an accountant may be a poor communicator. If that’s the case, you might find yourself in a spot where you have to pressure them for regular updates. That can put you into an uneasy situation, and it can be a seed that grows into resentment in your relationship. That’s why it’s better to address this problem right from the beginning. Ask your accountant what forms of communication he or she prefers, and how often he updates his clients about their business affairs.
  1. Can you file my personal taxes as well?This question will not apply to everyone. If you already have an accountant who takes care of your personal taxes then you’re all set. On the other hand, if you don’t have someone who files your returns, you may want to use your business accountant to help you out with this. Before you do so though, you should ask to make sure that he or she is qualified to do so. Like we said earlier, accountants tend to specialize in a certain industry, and not all of them will be the best choice when it comes to filing a personal return.


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How to Find a Great Accountant

Between all of the job hunting websites, and all of the ads on television and in the newspaper, it might seem like an overwhelming job to find a qualified accountant for your business. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. One of the easiest ways to find a qualified accountant to represent your business is to ask other business owners in your area who they use to handle their accounting needs. This is a great way to get a first hand reference before you even conduct an initial interview. If another successful business owner in your market is using an accountant, you can probably trust them as well.