Information is Everything

The biggest difference between an employee and a self employer is having control over your business rather than following orders. But how can you have effective control, unless you also know what is going on?

It’s your information

When you are a self employer, you make every decision in your business and conduct all communication on it’s behalf. This means that you know every bit of information that belongs to the business, and use that information whenever you make decisions about what your business should do.

In a company that has employees, the owners typically have complete access to all information about the business. They have access to all financial information, the details of every contract, everything in the customer database, all employee and payroll records - pretty much anything that isn’t customer information protected by privacy legislation. And they need it, to be able to make accurate and effective decisions about the business.

Now similarly, every member of a self employer joint venture is an owner of the JV, and needs to make decisions about what the JV should do. Although you share the JV with other members, it is still very much “your” business. And you have a right to know everything about it, so that you can exercise your control over it effectively. This means that your fellow joint venturers have a responsibility to provide you with access to any information about the JV that they are in possession of. They also have to make it feasible for you to actually use it; it’s not much good if they write things down for you, but it’s on paper in a shoebox in someone’s basement in another city!

For a self employer joint venture to deliver the experience of working for yourself while working with others, your fellow joint venturers must be obligated to take minutes of meetings, logs or recordings of phone calls, keep records of agreements with customers and suppliers, and record income and expenditures, and make all of it easily accessible to you, which probably means some kind of shared on-line repository, even if it’s just a group email thread with documents attached.

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