There was a time when business owners took the view that taking on employees was the best way to achieve consistent quality, productivity and growth. Not any more. In an age when the fixed costs of running a business (rent, power, insurances etc) are high and the economy is volatile, it’s makes sense to be as flexible as possible – and that extends to managing your payroll. Relying more on contractors is an excellent way to maintain this flexibility. That’s because they give you the option to take on more staff when the workload’s on the up, then let them go when things slow down. You can also engage in specialist skills when you need them – to meet the needs of a particular project or take your business to the next level, for example. Focus on your strengths Contractors are also a great solution for start-ups. Yet sadly, many entrepreneurs just don’t realise it, and instead of pursuing their strengths, they’re driven by the demands of running their business to become a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. Perhaps that’s because they’re worried about the additional costs of paying workers, or maybe they’re concerned about losing control over quality and productivity… or they just haven’t stopped to think it through. Either way, spreading yourself too thin in business can kill productivity. If that’s you, it’s time to take a step back to analyse the tasks that are taking up too much of your time and work out whether they’re contributing to your business development. Would you be better off contracting some of those tasks out… will they be done more effectively and in quicker time? Will the end result be greater productivity, improved customer satisfaction, less stress and, ultimately, increased profit? Will you be happier about the decision you made to start up your business in the first place? Choose your contractors to suit your business These days, if you don’t need your contractors to work on site, you can access them from anywhere in the world. That means you can source very specific skills, and even benefit from paying lower contractor fees by seeking out talent in regions of Australia or countries where the cost of labour if lower. The tendency for some contractors to charge on an hourly rate and others to charge per contract completed also offers flexibility. Of course, the ultimate goal is to acquire the expertise you need to achieve the best result so don’t be tempted to skimp on contractor fees just to save money – it might cost you more in the long run. Get the most from your contractors To get the most from your contractors, work with several, rather than relying on the availability of just one. And, to ensure you’re all working towards the same goal, provide clear communication about the expectations and desired outcomes from the contract. Treat them fairly and with respect and it’s likely that you’ll end up benefiting from the loyalty and business knowledge that comes with long-term staff, combined with the fresh enthusiasm and flexibility. Ayers Group can help you manage your contractors by managing your contract administration and legislative requirements as well as payroll. WE’re also experts when it comes to on-boarding, visa rights checks etc.