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Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Learn how Liquid can be your office manager or operations manager for your contractor and freelancer workforce.

As a startup founder, you’re always thinking about how you can best use your resources. One of the critical decisions that founders face as their companies grow is when it is time to hire an office or operations manager?

Managing 1099 Workers

Many of the companies we talk with were forced to hire an office manager before they planned to because of their 1099 workforce’s growth. Engaging freelancers and independent contractors provide many benefits to startups, such as specialized skills and lower costs. Plus, startups can tap into this talent on-demand — hiring the exact skills they need for each project.

However, the disadvantage of a fluid workforce is that managing multiple 1099 workers can quickly become cumbersome. For each new freelancer engaged, the startup needs several documents completed before work can start. These documents include:

  1. An independent contractor agreement or Master Services Agreement(MSA)

  2. A non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

  3. Form W-9 or W-8 (if an international worker)

  4. Payment information

And for every project, a Work Order (WO) or Statement of Work (SOW) is also needed. But the paperwork doesn’t stop there — with each project, invoice approvals and payment must be managed. And while payroll tax isn’t incurred with 1099 workers, companies must file 1099-NEC forms for every 1099 worker earning $600 or more during the tax year.

Solving the Paperwork Conundrum

The process for managing freelancers and contractors can quickly become very time-consuming. Often startups turn to traditional tools like spreadsheets to keep up with onboarding, tracking contracts and WOs, and managing invoices and payments. But this is not scalable as you add more 1099 workers. Not only are these processes time-consuming, but they are also prone to errors, which can result in problems like overpayment or missed payments.

Managing Freelancers and Vendors?

Our customers report saving 20 hours per month (on average) when they use Liquid’s complete contractor and vendor management system.

Startups frequently juggle seven or more tools to manage everything related to their freelancers and contractors. Once startups have five or more freelancers, this can become too much to deal with on a day-to-day basis. At this point, the founders start turning to office and operations managers to take on this burden — a hire that they didn’t necessarily want to make yet.

But there is a solution to this paperwork and operational challenge — by using Liquid, our startup clients not only save time and money, but they also don’t need to rush to hire an office or operations manager. Instead, they can hire this role when it makes sense for their business growth, not as a bandaid for managing 1099 workers.

So how does Liquid act as their “office manager” for freelancers and contractors?

Rapid Onboarding

Liquid makes hiring and onboarding new 1099 workers fast and easy with contract templates. It takes only a minute to invite a new team member — plus, a new worker can be fully onboarded in less than five minutes. And the smart onboarding process ensures that all the essential paperwork is filled out every time — no more hunting down W-9 data at tax time.

Simple Project Setup

Within Liquid, you can quickly set up a new project with a Work Order, breaking it down into actionable tasks or deliverables for your contractor. Our WO feature helps you stay compliant regarding the behavioral, financial, and relationship factors with your 1099 workers.

Invoice Workflows

One of our users’ favorite features is invoice matching. Liquid links invoices and WOs and our algorithm automatically verify the invoice versus the WO. This automatic verification flags any discrepancies for review — helping you to avoid issues like overbilling.

Easy Global Payments

Liquid makes paying your contractors and freelancers simple, even when working with international workers. Through our partnership with global banks, you can securely pay freelancers and contractors in over 175 countries, with payments received within 2-3 days. Plus, our payment options (ACH, credit cards, and wires) let you decide to use the option that works best for your business and to schedule payments.

When You Should Hire an Operations or Office Manager

As your startup grows, an office or operations manager becomes an essential hire. A good operations manager will offload day-to-day tasks from the founders. What the role includes will vary depending on your startup’s specific needs. However, this role will always help with increasing efficiency and productivity for your business.

Mathilde Collin of Front described the right operations manager for a startup as “actually filling five positions at once: human resources, office manager, finance/accounting, executive assistant, and customer support.”

By the time you have 10 or more employees, and operations manager becomes a critical role. The office or operations manager enables the startup CEO to focus his / her time on growing the company, rather than being consumed with day-to-day tasks.

Liquid is Your Office / Operations Manager for Freelancers

You don’t want the reason you need to hire an office or operations manager to be that you are drowning in paperwork and chasing after payments for your 1099 workers. That’s just moving a problem from you to the operations manager. Our clients have found that by using Liquid, they can delay hiring an office manager until it’s the right time for their business. When you ultimately hire an operations manager, you want to have them focused on improving your business operations, not on piles of paperwork.

Joe Vezzani, CEO of LunarCRUSH, saves 2-3 hours with Liquid every time he hires a vendor or contractor. Joe says, “If you want to decrease the time you spend onboarding a new contractor by 95%, you need to sign up for Liquid now.”

Similarly, Jing Gao of Fly By Jing saves dozens of hours every month by using Liquid to manage contractors’ legal documents, invoices, and payments all in one place. According to Jing, “every month that’s dozens of hours more that I spend growing Fly By Jing.”

And Lori Shao, CEO, and founder of Finli streamlined and automated the administrative tasks with managing Finli’s freelance workforce with Liquid. Finli is saving money and hours every month. Lori says, “I honestly can’t imagine having a freelancer management experience better than the one we’ve been having with Liquid.”



4 min read

Your Office Manager for Freelancers

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