How to Catch Errors in the Content Writing Process

How to Catch Errors in the Content Writing Process

Original Content

I have come to the realization that I notice errors in writing more often than most people. Maybe it’s because I am so critical of my own work, but I find it difficult not to hold it against writers who make amateur mistakes in their final work. Lately, it seems like the errors are becoming more prevalent. To be honest, if you consider yourself a “professional” in the business of writing, then errors just make you look bad. So, I thought I would share some of my ideas on how to catch errors in the content writing process.

Notice I mentioned errors in “final work”. Like many professional writers, all of my writing projects go through production stages. Generally, the stages are first, second, third, proofing and final drafts. At least this is how I do it.

So here are several ideas on how to catch errors in the content writing process before your final work is submitted to a client or posted online.

Free-form First Draft

While I am in the early stages of a writing project, I don’t worry about mistakes. I just free-form everything. In my writing work process stages, I refer to this as a Free-form First Draft. Type, type and more typing. Whatever pops into my head gets typed into the document. By the time I am done with the first draft I usually have much more material than I need.

Cutting, Deleting and Erasing

So, the obvious next part is cutting, deleting and erasing. Everything that doesn’t work or flow how I want, gets cut. I don’t trash those parts though. I cut and paste them into Microsoft One Note for possible use in future projects. This has resulted in enough extra material in One Note to write a few thousand projects. I probably write too much, but it’s something I love to do.

I Prefer One Note to Evernote

As an aside here, I have used Evernote for many years. With the updates that Microsoft made to the latest Microsoft Office in 2016, now I prefer One Note to Evernote. It works seamlessly with Word and the other Office programs like Excel and PowerPoint. There are many note taking apps and programs out there. As long as you use one that works for you, that’s all that matters.

2nd and 3rd Drafts

After I am done with my Free-form First Draft and the cutting phase, I switch gears into editing mode for the 2nd and 3rd drafts. I edit, move, cut, paste, and basically do whatever it takes to make my project flow to my satisfaction.

It’s worth mentioning here that I also never complete anything in one day. I always write and then walk away and do something else. Usually downtime like playing with the kids or clean-up something around the house. Basically, anything to take my mind off the current project. When I’m in downtime mode my mind usually continues thinking about my latest writing project. I have come up with some of my best ideas during these between work down times.

The Proofing Stage

After I have edited everything to my satisfaction, I move on to the proofing stage. This is where I get serious about finding and fixing mistakes. I fire up my Grammarly add-on for Microsoft Word and let it scan everything for errors. Usually it finds at least a few issues that need my attention. For example, I have a habit of writing in passive tense and it catches when I do this. Some passive writing is acceptable, an entire document filled with it is not.

Personally, I believe Grammarly makes me a better writer. It catches mistakes, but it also explains the reasons why there is a possible error. Grammarly isn’t perfect, however, so don’t rely on it exclusively. It’s just a great tool to find and fix nearly all your spelling and grammatical errors. Your own common sense is always going to be your best tool in the proofing stage. If it doesn’t sound right when you read it, then investigate it further for errors.

My Proofing and Editing Crew

The next step is get your writing project reviewed by people you trust. I have a group of friends and family that I affectionately call my proofing and editing crew. It’s made up of my wife and some friends that are good at reviewing and catching errors. Depending on my deadline, I will send my final draft over to each of my proofing crew and ask them to review it with brutal honesty. I want them to find obvious errors like grammar and spelling, but I also like more general feedback. If they hate it or don’t understand the point I’m trying to make, I want them to tell me. That’s the brutally honest part.

This step doesn’t cost you anything and gets the people around you involved in your life’s work. Your friends and family should be more than happy to help you out. A simple email, text or call is usually all it takes. Tell them you would appreciate their help reviewing your writing projects before you post them live. Then move on to something else and give them time to do their thing.

I usually set aside one day in my work process just for the proofing crew. They are doing me a favor and it’s rude to send them something last minute and expect them to drop everything to review your writing project. Give them time to get back to you and your final product will have a much better chance of being perfect.

Internet Trolls

I’m sure most people would agree that it’s much better to get feedback from a friend or family member than a troll. Internet trolls tend to be rude and impolite. They are more interested in embarrassing you publicly than helping you write better. It’s unfortunate that people are like this, but it is what it is. You should expect to run into them at some point. So, don’t give them a reason to target your work by posting error filled projects.

Pay It Forward

In this same line of thinking, don’t you be a troll either. When I find an error in content that I am reading, I will take a few minutes out of my day to email or message the writer privately with something quick and polite. Basically, I say something like “Hey John, I really enjoyed this article, but I found an error in the 3rd paragraph where you typed “and and” so I thought I would mention it. As a fellow writer, I appreciate it when people let me know when I’ve made similar errors. I look forward to reading your next post.” Call it professional courtesy or whatever you like. I know I appreciate when other people have helped me like this over the years, so I pay it forward. I always receive a quick reply thanking me for pointing it out and they fix it. It’s simple and you make a new friend.

How to Catch Errors in the Content Writing Process

Hopefully this brief guide on how to catch errors in the content writing process will help you produce better work. Errors happen, but they don’t have to. Adding these steps to your writing process will improve your writing and build your credibility as a professional content writer.

2017 Marketing Budget Trends by Channel

Original Content

This article, 2017 Marketing Budget Trends by Channel, should be of interest to anybody in the content marketing business. Marketers are in the midst of impressive spending hikes in 2017 of 56% for social media marketing and 55% for content marketing. This is on top of already impressive hikes in previous years.

Content marketing remains one of the most effective methods to tell your branded story. As we mention often here at Copybrander, people remember a good story. Developing great content is all about storytelling. At Copybrander, we create unique, interesting, and memorable content for the Insurance, Benefits and Technology B2B Markets.

http://www.marketingcharts.com/online/2017-marketing-budget-trends-by-channel-74715/2017 Marketing Budget Trends by Channel Which channels are marketers going to be investing more – and less – in this year? A review of studies from Econsultancy [download page] and Gartner offers a window into marketers’ plans for this year. Hint: social media marketing appears to be ripe for further spending, and enthusiasm around content marketing remains healthy.

The latest Quarterly Intelligence Briefing produced by Econsultancy in association with Adobe asked almost 3,500 company marketers around the world how their spending on various digital marketing channels and disciplines would change this year.

The areas of broadest agreement for spending hikes this year are social media marketing and content marketing, set for increases by 56% and 55% of respondents, respectively. These aren’t surprising given the recent levels of enthusiasm for these channels, but nevertheless the results indicate that such enthusiasm doesn’t seem to be waning. In fact, content marketing and social media engagement emerged as the top digital-related priorities for respondents’ organizations this year.

Close behind, at least half of respondents will increase their spending on personalization (51%), video advertising (50%) and lead generation (50%). Personalization has become a top priority for enterprise organizations as they seek to respond to customers’ changing needs, while video advertising is set for annual increases of almost 20%/. As for lead generation, spending increases in this area are likely going to be made with improved lead quality rather than quantity in mind.

An earlier Gartner study took a look at the spending plans of 377 CMOs in the US (56% share), UK (30% share) and Canada (14% share), 70% of whom come from organizations with at least $1 billion in annual revenue.

The results of that survey indicate that digital advertising has a bright year ahead: a leading 23% of respondents projected a “significant” increase in digital ad spend this year, with another 42% expecting a “slight” increase. All told, then, almost two-thirds expect an increase in digital ad spend, against just 7% decreasing it. (It’s worth noting that digital advertising spend in the US slowed at the end of last year as some large advertisers didn’t see the returns they were expecting. This coincided with some big spenders returning to TV.)

Meanwhile, although social marketing didn’t gain quite as much spending consensus as digital advertising, fully 1 in 5 respondents said they would increase their budgets for social “significantly”. That trailed only digital advertising in terms of “significant” spending hikes, and was still supplemented by another 36% expecting a “slight” increase.

 

Your Odds of Avoiding a Disability

Original Content

Surgical-Team-CopybranderAccording to the statistics from the Social Security Administration (SSA), your odds of avoiding a disability actually get worse as you get older. Most people believe their odds improve, but one of the glaring Myths about Disabilities is that most are caused by injuries. This simply isn’t true. Most disability claims are a result of chronic diseases and illness, which afflicts us more as we age. Thus, the increase in disabilities as we get older.

Here are some disability statistics from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) for you to think about:

  • According to statistics from the Social Security Administration (SSA), 30% of 20 year olds will become disabled for 6 months or longer before they retire.
  • If you are 33 to 35 years old, you have a 50% chance of experiencing a 3 month or longer disability before you reach retirement.
  • If you are 45, you have a 44% chance of experiencing a disability of 3 months or longer.
  • So your odds of avoiding a disability from your 30’s to your 40’s range anywhere from a 50/50 shot to slightly higher than 50%. If this was a gambling situation, most people wouldn’t touch that action.
  • Over 37 million Americans (about 12% of the population) is disabled.
  • At the end of 2012 (December 2012), there were 2.5 million disabled workers in their 20s, 30s and 40s receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits. These stats only include people receiving government benefits, not claims for Short Term and Long Term Disability with private insurance carriers.
  • Odds of being involved in a car accident? 1 in 4 or 25% Note: You have a 1 in 4 chance of being involved in a car accident, but only  a .3% chance of being killed in a car accident. So most of us survive car accidents, but it also causes many disability claims.
  • Odds of a woman developing cancer? 1 in 3 or 33%
  • Odds of a man developing cancer? 1 in 4 or 25%  Note:  Regardless of whether you are a Man or a Woman, you have an incredibly high chance of developing this awful, debilitating disease. Working while undergoing daily or weekly chemo treatments is very hard to do. Recovery from invasive surgeries can take weeks or months and are usually followed by chemo or radiation treatments. A disability policy provides an income to allow you to take time off work to focus on your treatment and recovery.
  • Odds of being disabled from a heart attack or stroke? 1 in 3 or 33%  Note:  Over 80 million Americans suffer from heart disease and it is the leading cause of death and disabilities each year.  If you survive a stroke or heart attack, the recovery process can take months or years.

Your Odds of Avoiding a Disability

Banana Peel Accident - CopybranderClearly, your odds of avoiding a disability are not in your favor. Unfortunately, the same people who know how important it is to protect themselves, their families and businesses, don’t bother to get Disability Insurance to protect their income. Think of it as income protection insurance. If you don’t protect your income, your cash flow will disappear if you experience a debilitating injury or illness and are unable to work.

So why isn’t disability insurance as popular as other plans like life insurance? The main reason is most people just don’t understand disability plans, how they work or how affordable policies are. There are many more variables to consider with disability coverage, so it takes longer to apply and buy it.

Buying Disability Insurance?

So what is my next step if I’m interested in buying Disability Insurance? Well the first step is to request a quick disability insurance quote to see where your premium cost is and how that compares to your budget. You can find good online agents that offer disability insurance coverage. Just be sure to check them out with your state department of insurance to confirm that they’re licensed, how long they’ve been licensed and also that they don’t have any enforcement actions pending against them. You can also check consumer sites like Yelp to determine if there are complaints about that agent. Or better yet, get a referral from somebody you trust.

Forbes is Stretching the Term Self-Made with Their Latest Women Billionaires List

Forbes is Stretching the Term Self-Made with Their Latest Women Billionaires List

Original Content

I would never, in a million years, attempt to minimize the hard work that it takes to become a billionaire. I get it. Most people in business work hard and self-made billionaires are obviously no exception to that rule. Unfortunately, I believe Forbes is stretching the term Self-Made with their latest Women Billionaires List. It’s almost as if they wanted to pad the list to make it appear larger. 

Clearly this is just my opinion. But doesn’t it take away from the Sara Blakely’s of the world when you add Marian Illitch to the same list?

She Epitomizes the Very Concept of “Self-Made”

Sara BlakelySara Blakely is the founder of Spanx. Her story is well known because she epitomizes the very concept of “self-made”. Blakely founded Spanx after cutting the feet out of her pantyhose to make, in her words, “her butt look better in white pants”. Then she took $5,000 she had saved from selling fax machines door-to-door and launched her business. It was just her convincing a skeptical world to buy into an entirely new women’s clothing category that she had invented. And her hard work turned her into a billionaire. That, to me, is impressive.

And everybody knows Oprah Winfrey’s story. Her picture should be next to the words “self-made” in the dictionary. Other women on the list like Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook) and Meg Whitman (eBay) are also impressive and deserve to be in the “self-made” category.

The Little Caesar’s Pizza Chain

But now we come back to the story of Marian Illitch. Her husband, Mike Illitch, is the fabled Detroit businessman who took his life savings to start the Little Caesar’s Pizza chain. He built it into an empire, eventually adding sports teams like the Detroit Redwings and the Detroit Tigers. Sadly he died in February of this year (2017). Most of his obituaries started with “Little Caesars Pizza founder Mike Illitch has died…”

According to Forbes, the definition of a woman self-made billionaire is a woman who is not wealthy because of who she married or who she has in her family tree.

So by their own definition, Forbes should never have even considered Marian Illitch for this list. How can she be on the same list as other true “self-made billionaire’s” as Oprah Winfrey, Sara Blakely (Spanx), Meg Whitman (eBay) and Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook).

The Idea of Being Self-Made is a Big Deal with Entrepreneurs

If you are attempting to stay true to the concept of self-made billionaire then Marian Illitch should never have made the list. The idea of being self-made is a big deal with entrepreneurs. Do you think any of us care what Sam Walton’s kids are doing? Or who his wife was? Nope. But Sam Walton is somebody that most of us have read about extensively. His story is inspiring. As is many of the self-made billionaire’s on the Forbes list.

Which is why it annoys entrepreneurs when you toss somebody on a list of “self-made billionaires” that really shouldn’t be there. It takes away from the impressive backstories of the people that should be on that list. We understand the hard work and sacrifices they made because we go through the same things every day. It’s why we can relate to other entrepreneurs but not people with “day jobs”.

It’s also why we even bother to read the Forbes Magazine annual ranking of the world’s billionaires. Many of their stories are inspiring and motivational.

After all, building a billion-dollar empire from scratch is an impressive feat. Inheriting it, not so much.

http://www.inc.com/guadalupe-gonzalez/self-made-women-billionaires-2017.htmlMeet the Self-Made Women Billionaires of the World | Inc.com There are 56 self-made women billionaires in the world according to a new list released by Forbes on International Women’s Day. And while the number pales in comparison to the hundreds of self-made male billionaires, Forbes’ data shows that women are increasing their wealth at a rapid rate.

The number of self-made women billionaires has “more than doubled” since 2009. In the past year alone, 15 women–or 26 percent–became self-made billionaires.

They are also the richest they have ever been. According to the publication, the total wealth among self-made women billionaires “increased 50 percent in the past five years.”

The list includes some well-known names: Oprah (No. 11), Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg (No. 42), Spanx’s Sara Blakely (No. 48) and Marian Ilitch (No. 2), who owes her fortune largely to the Little Caesars pizza chain she started with her late husband.

 

Own Occupation vs Any Occupation Disability Definition

Original Content

I spent over a decade as an insurance broker and employee benefits specialist meeting with thousands of employees and companies of all sizes. Over the years, one of the most popular policies that I sold was disability insurance. Unfortunately, disability coverage is easily misunderstood due to the complexity of the policy. This makes it harder for newer agents to learn all the aspects of the policies. At my brokerage, one of the issues that I emphasized not only in agent training but also in my own sales presentations was the subject of own occupation vs any occupation disability definitions.

Confused-About-Disability-Copybrander

Confused about disability insurance?

Own Occupation vs Any Occupation Disability Definition

Ultimately an insurance policy is made up of the definitions, clauses, exclusions and benefits that an insurance carrier decides to build into the policy that eventually gets sold to policyholders. The better carriers are very specific about coverage and they focus on those specifics with the agents that sell their policies. One of the more important definitions in a disability policy is how the carrier defines the definition of work that you will return to after you have recovered from a disability. This is referred to as “own occupation vs any occupation disability definition”.

What does this mean? It’s basically the meaning of how the carrier classifies the work that you can return to.

  • “Own Occupation” means you will continue to receive disability benefits that you are entitled to in your policy until you are able to return to the occupation that you previously worked or a similar position. So an attorney on disability would have to go back to work as an attorney, for example.
  • “Any Occupation” means that your disability will be terminated when you are able to return to work as any occupation. So that attorney will lose his or her disability insurance benefits whenever they are cleared to return to work to any kind of position. Not a good situation if you are unable to work as an attorney because of an eye injury, but your disability insurance carrier discontinues your benefits because your doctor has cleared you to work answering telephones in a telemarketing office.

Any guess as to which policy costs less? Exactly. That would be the disability policy that includes the “any occupation” definition.

Less Than Ethical Agents

So why would I emphasize more expensive disability policies with more restrictive “own occupation” definitions? Well, because our policyholders trusted my agents and I to get them the proper coverage that they needed. The insurance industry is loaded with less than ethical agents that sell “any occupation” definition policies and never even tell their policyholders why the policy they are buying is so cheap. By the time the policyholder needs to use the disability coverage, they are surprised to learn that their benefits are minimal and nothing close to what they needed.

Unfortunately, when they call their agent to complain they are also surprised to learn that the agent that sold them the policy is usually no longer an agent. The insurance industry has ridiculously high turnover. It comes with the territory in a 100% commission industry. It’s not the fault of the agents or the carriers, it’s just a tough business. This is why it’s best to choose insurance agents that have been around for more than 2 to 3 years. Once they survive past 3 years, they usually start earning enough to stay in the industry long term.

Cost of Benefits Versus The Premium Cost

So why would an insurance carrier even offer any occupation coverage instead of own occupation? Well, it really comes down to cost of benefits versus the premium cost. This means that if an insurance carrier decides that they want to offer a lower cost disability policy, then they know they have to offer a policy with a more restrictive definition of what they consider to be an eligible disability. This lowers the number of eligible claims and allows them to reduce the premium cost of the policy. It’s relatively complicated to calculate but easy to understand.

Keep in mind that this is not considered shady or underhanded when an insurance company does this. There are actual uses for both types of disability policies. They design the policy a certain way and they include all of this information in the literature and policy documents that they file with the state. The insurance company designed this plan and offered this policy with a specific market in mind. There is nothing unethical about that.

So where do problems occur? It happens on the agent side when they only represent this one insurance company and don’t offer any other types of disability policies. Many times these agents with a limited selection to offer their clients will attempt to sell that one policy as the best available for any type of client.

If the agent is truly interested in representing the best interests of their clients, then they would add additional types of disability coverage to their available product offerings. If they don’t have that option available then they should at least explain the downsides of the type of policy they do sell. That’s basic sales ethics 101.

Restrictive vs Broad Definition

So when would a disability insurance policy with restrictive definitions like “Own Occupation” be considered a good thing? Actually, most of the time. As an insurance broker, I always preferred “Own Occupation” disability plans. This was due to the fact that even if you are just starting out in your chosen career, you still have all of your experience in that type of job. So if you are unable to do that job it would make more sense to receive disability insurance benefits versus being forced to do a lesser job just because of the broader disability definition of other plans. This is where the restrictive vs broad definitions comes into play. The more restrictive definition disability plans are slightly more expensive, but the benefit of “Own Occupation” definition far outweighs the increased cost.

Skilled Workers or Professionals

The own occupation disability plans are very popular with anybody that is considered “skilled” or “professional”. I’m talking about a career path that you learn a specific skill set which pays you a higher income than lesser trained workers. Doctors, Dentists and other medical professionals are a good example of the types of professions that should always buy own occupation disability insurance coverage.

When Should an Insurance Agent Offer Any Occupation Disability Plans? 

Disability plans with a broader definition of disability would be considered “Any Occupation” disability plans. When should an insurance agent offer any occupation disability plans? Usually it would be limited to clients that were very focused on lower premium cost for a disability insurance plan that covered situations that are more catastrophic in nature. For example, a client asks for a short-term disability plan with a two-year benefit amount. This will provide them with an income in the event that they are permanently disabled and need a way to pay their bills during the lengthy two-year SSDI (social security disability insurance) application process. This type of disability coverage would allow an agent to offer higher benefits would lower cost.

So if the client were permanently disabled, this type of disability coverage would be a big help to them. Like I said, there are advantages to a broader definition policy as long as the buyer understands exactly what they are getting.

Specific Uses of Own Occupation Disability Insurance Plan

Dental-CopybranderHere are specific uses of own occupation disability insurance plan to help you better understand how it works. Say, for example, you are a Dentist in your own practice. It’s advisable to purchase a Long Term Disability plan with higher monthly benefit amounts because of your increased overhead costs. You definitely want your eligible disability definition to be own occupation because this is what you are trained to do. Unfortunately your higher income requirements means your disability coverage is going to be a higher premium cost.

A good agent will then offer you a few options to reduce your premium cost. An easy way to quickly reduce the cost is to extend your elimination or waiting period to six months or longer. This means that your long term disability payments won’t start until you’ve been disabled for at least six months. Some agents will even offer one or two year elimination periods on long term disability coverage for clients that have enough savings to weather the waiting period after a disability.

So what do you do if you don’t have a lot of savings to cover the waiting period? Well, you buy a short term disability policy of course.

Short Term and Long Term Disability Coverage Work Together

So continuing on this example. You leave work at your dental practice and are involved in a bad car accident. The accident has caused severe nerve damage in your hands and some back problems that prevent you from standing longer than 10 minutes at a time. Your own occupation Long Term Disability Insurance policy has a 6 month Elimination (Waiting Period) and pays you a Disability Benefit Amount of $10,000 per month until you are age 65. You had a smart, ethical insurance agent who explained how short term and long term disability coverage work together. So you purchased a short term disability plan to cover the six month waiting period for the long term policy to start.

Less Pay Than the Benefits Available from Your Disability Coverage

When you file your claim with your disability insurance carrier, they will verify the claim, review everything with your doctor and since you are unable to work, begin payments on your claim. That specific nature of the own occupation plan definition protected you from having to do lesser skilled work for less pay than the benefits available from your disability coverage.

Insurance-Risk-Copybrander In this same situation, had you chosen an any occupation to save money, then the carrier would also want to know what other work you are able to perform such as Light Duty or Sedentary work. So they might deny your disability claim if doctors believe you can do sedentary work such as answering a phone. Clearly this is not a situation that the dentist wants to be in and is another reason to buy own occupation disability coverage.

Workers Compensation Insurance

So who on earth would ever get a disability policy that had any occupation definitions? Well, one of the best known examples of a type of policy that utilizes less restrictive any occupation disability definitions is workers compensation insurance.

Within the Workers Comp Industry there exists an entire subset of profitable businesses that focus exclusively on providing “occupational rehab” services to workers comp insurance carriers. These businesses set appointments for interviews for claimants regardless of their skill set or education. So the dentist we mentioned above might be sent to do telemarketing phone sales if he was restricted to performing only sedentary work. Clearly a disability definition of own occupation is better for the disabled claimant.

Hopefully this article has helped you to better understand the Own Occupation vs Any Occupation Disability Definition and how it can dramatically alter your benefits and premium cost.

5 Reasons Your 1099 Contractor is Actually Your Employee

5 Reasons Your 1099 Contractor is Actually Your Employee

Original Content

I’m going to come right out and say it. 1099 contractors are almost always employees. Almost always is probably shooting low because as far as landscapers, detail shops, contractors and similar businesses, you fail the IRS criteria test over 90% of the time. I know this may surprise some of you reading this, but if you didn’t think this was the case you probably wouldn’t be here reading this. I wrote 5 reasons your 1099 contractor is actually your employee to highlight this important compliance subject for small businesses.

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The Contractors Handled Everything Without Any Input From Me

In over two decades of business, any time my companies ran into a situation where we utilized actual contractors was to pick up slack during busy times. I had a few guys that had started with us and came to me after a few years to ask if they could go out and start their own business. I told them no problem as long as we could still send them some of our overflow work. I even rented them space in one of our buildings where they stayed for years.

I point this out to give you an example of what an actual contractor looks like. They had their own liability insurance. Their own books, bank accounts, etc. They handled their own workers comp coverage. And they paid their own taxes.

When these contractors were done with actual work that I sent them, they  left me an invoice. I never told them how to do their job. I just told them what I needed done and they handled it for the agreed upon price. That, in itself, is an essential criteria on the list that the IRS uses to determine if your contractor is actually an employee or not.

That is what a true 1099 contractor looks like.

5 Reasons Your 1099 Contractor is Actually Your Employee:

  1. The contractor is a properly licensed business that is in business to perform the type of work you are hiring them to do. Is your employee actually a licensed business? Do they have any other clients or customers? These are all important issues that the IRS looks at.
  2. The contractor owns their own equipment and doesn’t need to “borrow” your equipment to complete the work. Does your employee own their own equipment?
  3. The contractor has the expertise to do the job you are hiring them to do with no direction or training from you on how to do the job. Does your employee work at your direction, when, how and where you tell them to work?
  4. The contractor has their own business liability insurance to protect you if they damage your property. This is a big item and one of the easiest ways your insurance carrier and the IRS will catch you erroneously classifying employees as contractors.
  5. The contractor will complete the work and invoice you. Does your employee complete a time sheet? Do they complete a per car checklist that you assign? All of these systems are historically tried and true employee tracking systems.

With tax time upon us, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes and think about ways to reduce your tax liabilities and make sure you are in compliance. Penalties and interest are two words you don’t want to ever deal with as a taxpayer.

Get Your Business Tuned Up and In Compliance

Starting a new year is a great time to get your business tuned up and in compliance. If you are reading this then there’s a good chance that you already think you may be out of compliance with the 1099 issues.

The IRS and your State Department of Revenue are two government organizations that you don’t want to have problems with. You are on their radar simply because you’re a small business. Certain business categories make them look at you even harder. So follow the rules and don’t get yourself into a jam with these people.