Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Everything you Wanted to Know About Contracting but Were Afraid to Ask"

Hello Everyone,
Now that we are in the winter months, if the Hopkinton schools are cancelled on the day of our meeting then we do not meet; however, if there is a delay, then we do meet. Even if the schools are not closed, if the weather is bad, it is best to stay home then risk an accident.

The agenda for this Friday's Hopkinton Networkers Group (HNG) meeting will be featured by speakers Ed Yee and Elinor Kerr. The facilitator for this week will be Laura Startzenbach. We will devote the first hour, from 10 to 11 AM to the following agenda: Welcome, Landings, Announcements, New Member Intros, and Needs & Leads. Important Note: We are going to start the meeting on time at 10:00 AM. In the second hour, Ed and Elinor will talk about "Everything you Wanted to Know About Contracting but Were Afraid to Ask."

Everything you Wanted to Know About Contracting but Were Afraid to Ask

Ed Yee, an independent consultant and Elinor Kerr, an HR professional, will help you navigate your way between W2 work and independent 1099 contracting work. Explore the Pro's and Con's to these two different work engagements and learn the benefits each provide. Come and bring your questions.

Topics to be covered include:

- What is a W2 employee? What is a 1099 Contractor? And what is the difference?
- What are the Benefits and Draw-Backs of each?
- What are the pros and cons from the Hiring Company’s perspective?
- What various permutations for contracting exist -- Direct; through a contracting house, as a W2; or Independent Contractor?
- How does working to a 'contract' or statement of work compare to being a statuary employee?
- What should new contractors expect in the hiring process? [Signing a contract, Negotiation of rates, Payments, Personal liability, Expectations, etc.]
- What should contractors do to prepare for starting work? [Record keeping, Equipment, Setting-Up the business, Health insurance, Liability insurance, Invoicing, etc.]
- What is expected of you on the job as a contractor?
- What to do when the contract is about to end?

- How to prepare your 1040 and 1099 Schedule C tax filing?
- How to make Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments including Self Employment Tax (SE)?
- What are appropriate Expenses and Deductions - commuting, home office, insurance, professional fees, dues, equipment (depreciation or 179), other expenses (handout some
Schedule C forms)?
- What are the IRS/State red flags (likely causes of audits)?
- Comparison of pay rate as a 1099 vs. annual salary.
- Resources for those considering 1099 work - IRS website, ' Contracting for Dummies', Tax Pub 17, other.

Open Discussion – questions from the audience

Ed Yee

Ed Yee is a Tax Advisor for H&R Block specializing in self employment and small business practices. He has also worked as an independent consultant and as part of the management team of a contracting house. In addition, he served in various management roles in Engineering, Marketing and Product Management at Digital, Compaq, and HP. He currently serves as a board member/officer for a number of local nonprofit/professional associations. Ed has been a long time supporter of Acton

Elinor Kerr

Elinor Kerr is a Human Resources professional with over 20 years of experience, primarily in the manufacturing environment. Elinor is bilingual in Spanish, and finds this to be an exceptional skill in her field. Her history runs the gamut from a small, start-up, high-tech company in which she developed HR, Payroll, and Safety to working at the Corporate Director level with multi-site responsibilities at mid-size companies. Elinor has been a long-time supporter of Acton Networkers.

Summary of Hopkinton Networkers Group (HNG) for 2013

The average attendance for the 23 meetings in 2013 was 32.

The average attendance for the 24 meetings in 2012 was 31.
The average attendance for the 22 meetings in 2011 was 27.
The average attendance for the 25 meetings in 2010 was 54.
The average attendance for the 19 meetings in 2009 was 63.

The number of new members: 123.

Landings: 16 Nancy Murphy, Martha Groves, Bryna Davidow, Jim Loch, David Ethier, Jill Mann, Vicki Viana, Jim Lekas, Vincent Rocheleau, Maria Marucci, Sandra Cipriani, Gail Arnold, Lisa Craycraft, George Kocyan, Jeff Beauchaine, and Max Lambardo

Money collected: $694.00
Expenses: $268.08
Significant event: Presentation of new lectern to the pastor of St. John's, Ft. Cannon, on March 1, 2013.
Cost of lectern: $946.46

Recap of HNG Meeting of January 3, 2014

The meeting was cancelled because of the snow storm.

Recap of HNG Meeting of December 20, 2013:

Our 113th meeting of HNG had 21 people, this is 8 less than the previous meeting; 4 signed the New Member list. William Lam was our facilitator. There were 4 introduction speeches.

One landing:
Max Lombardo Starting January 13, 2014 at Perkin Elmer

We conducted an Open Forum on a few topics. The following list was posted on the whiteboard:
- Network:
On telephone
Face-to-face: buddy groups
Social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Tweeter, etc.
- Resume and Cover letters
- Interview questions
- Cold calling
- Positive attitude:
Emotion and mindset
Getting started in the morning
- Dealing / handling rejections
- Communicating effectively:
Value statement as presented by Stuart Papp
Elevator speech: 15, 30, and 60 second speech
- Money management
Health insurance cost
Unemployment checks running out
- Other income
Survival jobs: part / full time
- Recruiters: one-night-stand types versus long-term relationship ones
- Hiring managers: What do they want?
- Age concerns

The discussion mainly focused on dates on the resume, questions asked at an interview, rejections, and hiring managers. This is the first time we did something like this, and it was enjoyed by everyone. Gail Brodie suggested we do this once each quarter, so we will give it a try, and schedule it again on March 21, 2014.

Schedule for HNG Meetings:

January 17, 2014 Ed Yee and Elinor Kerr

General Information

The networking group meets in Hopkinton, at St. John the Evangelist Church parish hall. The meeting occurs, from 10 to 12 noon, and will meet the first and third Friday of the month. The parish hall has a capacity for 250 people and there is plenty of parking spaces in the parking lot and on the street. Around the perimeter of the parish hall are rooms to allow us to have focused network groups or for any other purpose we need. We chose the first and third Friday to allow everyone to attend the Acton Networking Group or any other networking group, if they wanted, on the Friday we do not meet.

We will maintain our close affiliation with Acton Networkers by using the same list-server to share information between the groups. Any e-mails specific to the Hopkinton Networking Group (HNG) will be indicated in the subject line either by "Hopkinton Networking Group" or "HNG"; this way anyone attending these meetings will know the e-mail is intended for them.

We will follow the following agenda items:
* Welcome
* Landings (with doughnuts)
* Announcements
* New member introductions
* Needs and Leads
* Speaker(s), Workshop, or Focus Group
* Cleanup

For those new members who give their introductions, this is what we would like to know:
* Name
* Skills and Value Statement
* Where have you been?
* Where are you going?
* Your title
* Your target companies
* Geography of search
* Name and e-mail address

If anyone wants to join our team, please let one of us know; we could always use the extra help and input for ideas.

Take Rt. 495 North/South and get off Exit 21A. Go through three traffic lights. Colella's Supermarket is on the right at the third traffic light. The first street after the third traffic light is Church Street, take a right turn. The church is on the right. Go around to the left of the parking lot and go into the side entrance of the parish hall.

Depending upon where you live, perhaps you may want to use Mapquest for a more direct route. The address of the church is:
St. John the Evangelist
20 Church Street
Hopkinton, MA 01748

Hopkinton Networkers Group (HNG) Coordinators:
MaryLou Fish
Ed Haddad
Gil Krispien
William Lam
Salpi Sarafian
Laura Startzenbach

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