Congratulations! You’ve made it to the last section of this blog about business rules as a musician and making a successful career.
In business, if someone works exclusively for you full-time, they are your employee. There are a lot of temporary jobs that are normally for independent contractors around the art world. These are meant for people to do specific jobs for a limited amount of time. Be careful. You don’t want to get in trouble with the IRS by claiming your business has no employees, when you have people working full-time hours exclusively for you and at your direction. Save yourself time, money, and a possible IRS fine by knowing that if someone works for you exclusively and full time, they may be considered your employee under the law. If you have an accountant or an attorney, they can help guide you in this case. Having a professional team or service manage your business correctly can save you a headache in the long run, and keep you focused on your art.
Trying to save money by hiring independent contractors might cost you more in the long-run if it is done incorrectly. Small businesses have to hire people and have to follow the rules; this is no different for artists. We see this as one of the main stumbling blocks for an artist’s business growth. It seems to me that this is the point where an artist realizes it is a business, and it freaks them out. As your business grows, so will the need to grow into a more traditional business model. Going from a solo gig, with only you getting paid, to a real business model with payroll, accounts receivable, 1099s and things of that nature will often freak out the average solo artist. This goes back to the business plan and expectations of what and how you’ll grow, and with the right team in place, they will make the transition from indie to empire easier. Remember, business has rules and laws, and the right team will know them.
When you go to a business, you expect a level of professionalism. If you go out to eat, you expect them to follow the laws of the Health Boards, treat you nicely, and give you a fair price for what you get. A lot of artists are eccentric and forget about being professional. Artists who have their business solid and play well with others get more gigs. Whatever circle you are in is small, and people will talk. Word of mouth can make or break you. In short, a businesses’ reputation will make it or break it, so make sure your business pays its bills on time, shows up on time, and does what it needs to maintain a good reputation.
We wish you the best in luck moving forward!
[Reprinted From: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/]