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10 Great Holiday Gifts for Clients

The holiday season is always busy and taking time to find the perfect little something for your client can be an added stress. Rather than settling for a last-minute gift card or fruit basket, take advantage of our annual holiday gift guide.  We’ve scoured the web and polled our team members to find some of…

Ideas for Special End-of-Year Thank-Yous

It’s the time of year when we express appreciation in a big way—to family members, coworkers, clients, and the service providers who make our lives easier. Even though you might mass mail (or email) thank-yous in your business, you may have some contacts or associates who deserve a more custom message. They could be fellow…

How to Do a Year End Business Review: 5 Steps

Conducting an end-of-year review isn’t a practice that just applies to bigger businesses—it’s a process that is valuable to freelancers and independent professionals as well. A business review gives you a chance to look back at what you have achieved, revisit your goals, and consider how to best move forward for the coming year. To…

Preparing for the Holidays as an Independent Professional

The year-end holiday season is upon us! From now through New Year’s Day, many of us will juggle additional activities. School events, family visits, and social commitments get added to our usual workload and home responsibilities. For some, stress levels increase as to-do lists get longer and time gets shorter. An added stressor for independent…

Help Solve the Challenges of Independence through Talent Marketplaces

Our State of Independence research defines independent workers as full and part-time workers of all ages, skills, and income levels. This includes consultants, freelancers, contractors, temporary or on-call workers, solopreneurs, gig workers, and others who work independently to build businesses, develop their careers, pursue passions, and/or supplement their incomes. According to independent workers who participated…

Seasoned Workers and the Encore Career

Forty-eight percent of U.S. independent professionals are either Baby Boomers (19%) or Gen X (29%). It is likely that many of these, especially in the Boomer cohort, are pursuing encore careers as independent professionals. These workers can make valuable contributions to the companies they work with. What Is an Encore Career? An encore career is…

Setting SMART Business Goals for the Upcoming Year

Conducting a year-end business review is a valuable practice as an independent contractor. Taking stock of your accomplishments over the past months, reviewing your network contacts, and setting goals for the upcoming year can help you identify gaps in your business offerings, keep your back office organized, and uncover new ways to grow and evolve….

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Mastering the Art of The Side Hustle: Thriving in Full-Time Employment and Entrepreneurship Simultaneously

In today’s fast-paced world, many ambitious individuals, myself included, are continuously seeking innovative ways to pursue our passions and financial goals. For those of us who are inherently creative, the idea of balancing a full-time job while simultaneously running a successful business is an enticing challenge. While it might initially appear as a daunting endeavor,…

The Support Team Every Independent Professional Needs

As an independent professional, you will spend part (or, in some cases, all) of your career as a solopreneur. With a high degree of flexibility, autonomy, and control, being your own boss has a lot of advantages. The choice to go solo does have challenges. Respondents to our 2023 State of Independence survey cited unpredictable…

Year-End Tax Planning Strategies for Independent Contractors

As the year draws to a close, it’s common to take some time to look back on the performance of your business. Reviewing your back office—records, taxes, expense tracking, billing, etc.—is another helpful practice to prepare for the new year. Organizing paperwork and making sure records are accessible will help ease the burden of searching…

Downsides of Using AI in Your Open Innovation Solutions

Last month I talked about how AI can help you solve open innovation challenges as a research assistant and brainstorming partner. But there’s a dark side to AI in open innovation. While using AI more extensively in your solving activities might be tempting, this can be a big risk.   3 Risks of Using AI in…

6 Ways to Find Work When Business is Slow

As the holiday season approaches, it’s common to find business slowing down. Many clients will take time off for the holidays and prospective clients may not want to start a project until the new year. But it’s important to keep in mind that other businesses may have budgets that need to be spent by the…

10 Things to do When Business is Slow

When business is slow, there can be many factors at play. It might be the time of year for your industry, the holiday season, changing consumer trends, or a sign your pipeline needs a boost. As an independent professional, work can ebb and flow from month to month. One day you may be swamped with…

Globetrotting Families: How Digital Nomads Are Embracing Travel with Their Children

By now, we have all heard about digital nomadism. Earlier this year, I authored a long form piece for HBR on the topic, on how to get started and have a successful digital nomad experience. However, while the phenomenon of employee nomading has been extensively recorded, its allure is now expanding beyond individuals to encompass…

4 Long-Term Trends Driving the Growth of the Independent Workforce

Over the past year, both supply and demand for independent workers increased. MBO Partners’ latest State of Independence Study found that 72.1 million Americans reported working independently in 2023. A tight labor market and demand for workers with specialized skills led more organizations to rely on independent talent to fill skill gaps. Together, this increased…

5 Things to Know About the Modern Independent Worker

MBO Partners’ 2023 State of Independence report found that there have never been more people working independently—more than 72 million Americans reported working as part-time, occasional, or full-time independents. There is a growing demand for independent talent, who are well-positioned to provide companies with flexible, on-demand expertise. And as more people see independent work as…

Navigating the Shifting Landscape of Contingent Labor: A Strategic Approach to Direct Sourcing 

In a labor market characterized by scarcity and dynamic shifts, the statistics speak volumes about the evolving nature of the workforce. As of October, there were 9.6 million open jobs, significantly outnumbering the 6.5 million job seekers (October BLS Report). This staggering gap emphasizes the ongoing challenge of talent acquisition, pushing organizations to explore innovative…

6 Ways Outsourcing to Independent Contractors Can Help Your Business Succeed This Year

Outsourcing projects to independent contractors can be a great way to achieve goals. Today’s work environment is in flux. It can be hard to meet business expectations with a workforce of full-time employees alone. Independent contractors are skilled experts in many different fields. This group of workers can help provide the workforce flexibility and project-based…

After Action Reviews as a Team Learning Tool

The after action review, or AAR, was first created by the U.S. Army in the 1970s as an on-the-spot learning tool to make fast corrections and improvements to a group’s direction and activity. Seeing the potential of such a tool, the business world adopted the AAR and applied it to a range of applications. The…

Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News November 2023

As the independent workforce continues to grow, so do the issues of worker compliance and misclassification. It is important for enterprises to remain informed about the latest laws, regulations, and developments surrounding these topics. Each month, we’ll bring you the latest news stories from around the web. 1. New York Passes Freelancers Isn’t Free Act…

Contractor Engagement Strategies for the New Year

Organizations of all sizes are increasing their use of independent workers to maximize workforce agility and flexibility. The average company reports that contingent labor makes up 28% of their workforce and this proportion is expected to grow to 38% by the end of 2027. Independent work is becoming more popular and accessible, giving enterprises access…

Seasoned Workers and the Encore Career

Forty-eight percent of U.S. independent professionals are either Baby Boomers (19%) or Gen X (29%). It is likely that many of these, especially in the Boomer cohort, are pursuing encore careers as independent professionals. These workers can make valuable contributions to the companies they work with. What Is an Encore Career? An encore career is…

How to Make Sure Independent Talent Isn’t Temporary Talent

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at the end of July 2023 there were 8.8 million open jobs but only 5.25 million job seekers. This gap, a skills shortage mainly in the technology space, and caution around adding headcount has more and more companies turning to independent talent to meet their workforce needs….

Is It Time to Rethink Independent Talent in Your Enterprise?

“There have never been more payroll jobs in the U.S. There have also never been more people working independently.” 2023 State of Independence Report Those two statements may seem paradoxical, but they are both true. The U.S. independent talent population has grown steadily year on year—from 2020 to 2023 alone it jumped by 89%. Even…

3 Ways to Make Direct Sourcing Part of Your Workforce Management Strategy

Direct sourcing is a way to connect directly with independent contractors and engage them for project-based work. Rather than using a third-party service like a staffing or consulting firm to find talent, companies can source talent internally using their own resources. This approach helps to save time, money, and resources while often resulting in sourcing…

Here Comes Gen Z: How to Prepare for the Gen Z Workforce

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z is the first digital-native generation. Computers, the internet, and smartphones are integral to their day-to-day lives, not the optional features of other generations. Their worldview, colored by a world in turmoil, has fostered a perspective on life and work that significantly differs from their elders. One in every…

How to Magnetize Your Independent Talent Role Descriptions

We’ve talked about the importance of creating an optimized workforce to future-proof your enterprise. We’ve also talked about how to conduct a skills assessment to figure out skills (and associated roles) that are most important in your independent talent pool. And we’ve observed that competition for those skills can be stiff. Now, let’s talk about…

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What to Know Before Hiring through a Talent Marketplace

If your organization is not already using a marketplace to find independent professionals, you may be missing out on great talent. Talent marketplaces—online platforms that connect independent contractors with projects—are continuing to grow in popularity. In 2023, 40% of independent contractors said they used a talent marketplace to find work and 47% said they planned…