An artisan who provides services for someone who does not normally require such services
in operating a business is generally an independent contractor. In such a case, the
purchaser of the services, because of lack of knowledge of the particular skill required,
is not in a position to supervise the services or tell the artisan how to do the work.
There is a contract with the artisan to do a certain job that requires the artisan
to finish the work to specifications.
As an independent contractor, the artisan is free to decide the work methods. The
artisan may do the work personally or hire helpers to do the work. Artisans furnish
tools and often have a substantial investment in equipment such as scaffolding, ladders,
a car or truck, helpers, equipment, and materials to the job. The contract price for
the job may include the cost of materials, or the artisan may order the materials
from a local store or lumberyard and bill the cost of expenses to the person requesting
the work. The artisan's services are available to the public. Artisans obtain jobs
by advertising, bidding, or building such a good reputation that their services are
in demand. Quite often, the artisan has two or more jobs in progress at the same time.
The artisan must complete a specific job within a certain time, or he or she may be
responsible for damages. The artisan is free to choose the methods and means to obtain
the necessary result and has the chance to make a profit by applying energy, skill,
and resourcefulness to the work. On the other hand, there may be a loss if the artisan
fails to use good judgment to choose and direct helpers, proper materials for the
work, or protect the investment in equipment, tools, etc. Work is on a job-to-job
basis, and the jobs make up the artisan's independent business.