Part of what makes all of this so confusing is there isn’t a one-size-fits-all set of actions that differentiates a standard employee from an independent contractor. Your State regulators, the federal Department of Labor, and the IRS all have their own criteria for what constitutes an “independent contractor”. Here, we’ll just be using the IRS definitions as a sort of jumping off point to the issue. If the status of employees is ever challenged, the IRS determines the status on a case-by-case basis over several criteria by a panel of judges, very similar to American Idol.
Basically it comes down to who is in control of the work. How much control does the company have over the type of job being done vs. how much control does the person providing the service. This manifests in different ways, but to fit the definition of an independent contractor, a service provider really does have to be independent. Beyond just using this guide, you should always consult an HR lawyer if you feel like there’s any confusion or ambiguity.
Basically, the rules fall into three main categories…
We’ve seen lots of float centers that aren’t just float centers.
Many have massage, some offer counseling, some have yoga classes next door. Lots of people start out either by incorporating float tanks into a larger business, or with float tanks only being one of many modalities at their center. Being specialists in floating, Float On has not mastered anything else.
So, to help gain insight into this growing aspect of the industry, we contacted our old friend, Sandra Calm. She started up The Float Shoppe here in Portland with her husband and podcast sensation, Dylan Calm, back in 2011. When they first opened, they had just two float tanks, and slowly added acupuncture, massage, counseling, along with two more tanks. Talk about expansion!
She was more than happy to take some time for the industry to help us understand just what it’s like to run a center with multiple services by answering some questions.
One line we don’t think you should cross is this: as much as possible, when building out your float center, gut it completely. Start from scratch.
At least then the mistakes you make are your own and your building will hold fewer surprises down the line. There are many benefits that you may not think of immediately. In this post, we’ll guide you through some of them.
Look, we get it. Really. Float tanks are expensive – especially for what can seem, from the outside, like a glorified bathtub with spa parts attached. It doesn’t take long to go from, “Why is this so expensive?” to “I’ll bet I could save money by making my own tank!” After you start mulling it over, you get excited. You could be offering something no one else does right now… because it’d be your own creation! How hard can it possibly be?
As experts in only thinking about half of the consequences of our actions (at best), we’d like to say, “Incredibly hard, actually!”