I’m very excited to announce that Emira & I are going to be guest-blogging over at one of our favourite blogs, design*sponge; as I hinted not-so-subtly a couple of weeks ago, we’ll be contributing to Grace’s new Biz Ladies section, which focuses on nurturing local communities of women running their own art and design-based businesses.
Those of you have read The Boss of You know that Grace is one of the fabulous women we profile in our book. I remember the day Emira interviewed her; the moment she got off the phone, she was bubbling over with superlatives to describe Grace’s unfathomable awesomeness. (Mind you, we frequently responded to those phone interviews that way, because all of those gals are simply incredible.)
Anyway, one of the many things we love about Grace — besides her great eye for design, of course — is her enthusiasm for spreading good cheer and helpful information to indie businesswomen everywhere. It’s something we’re very passionate about, too, and I hope our Biz Ladies contributions will help support that cause.
My first post is up today, and it’s the first in a series on HR for the self-employed. Todays’ topic is perks & benefits — how to give yourself the benefits package you always dreamed of, when you’re the one paying the bill.
Very early on in our entrepreneurial adventure, we realized that in becoming our own bosses, we had lost many of the perks of being full-time employees: We were no longer eligible for employment insurance; we didn’t have extended health benefits; and perhaps most frightening of all, if one or both of us became unable to work (due to, say, those pesky repetitive strain injuries us geeky web designer types are prone to), both our financial futures were at risk. It wasn’t long before we were up to our eyeballs in scintillating literature describing disability insurance, health insurance, and retirement savings plans.
The exciting part was that we had the power to put together the best benefits plan we could imagine. The downside, of course, was that we were the ones who’d be paying for it. So we had to find the middle ground between subsidized-massage fantasy and fiscally-solvent reality.
Now, before I break down how we put together our benefits plan, I want to clarify why I think every entrepreneur should give themselves a benefits package. The short answer is that we all have days when we catch ourselves daydreaming about not being the boss anymore, and going back to working for someone else — days when it just seems infinitely simpler not to be the one making the big decisions and shouldering the financial risks. And when those days come, you need to have a stockpile of very good reasons to keep on truckin’. The lure of a steady paycheck and benefits is one of the most tempting things about that other life you could be leading, so I strongly suggest you set up your own company to be a viable competitor with the imaginary employer in your daydream. Think of it as your way of improving employee retention.
Head on over to design*sponge to read the whole thing.