When to Work with Freelancers

Like many small business owners, you probably manage everything in your business, from billing to office-cleaning. But at what point should you ask for help?

Benefits of Hiring Freelancers

When you do decide running your business is more than you can handle on your own, or that there are certain tasks you’re simply not qualified to handle, consider calling in the assistance of a freelancer. There are multiple benefits to working with freelancers:

  • You don’t have to pay employee benefits
  • You only pay for the services you need
  • They’re skilled in their area of expertise — moreso than you!
  • They can get the job done faster than you

If you’ve ever tried to design your own logo or write your own content when you have not one creative bone in your body, you know it can be time-consuming and stressful. And that time would be better spent running your business and finding new customers, wouldn’t it?

A freelancer specializes in one thing, like website design or blogging. He can handle your project in a fraction of the time it would take you, and with far less stress. Isn’t that a cost worth investing in?

Where to Find Freelancers

There are numerous websites where you can find freelancers in design, communication, translation, and IT services, including oDesk, Elance, and Guru. You can peruse profiles or post your project and let freelancers bid on it. You can set your budget so that you only attract professionals who can do the job for the price you can pay.

You can also post your gig on Craigslist under the appropriate category. Additionally, look to your personal network to find a freelancer. Your business colleagues, friends, or family members may know someone who can help with a project.

Paying Freelancers

Freelancers charge varying prices, depending on the services offered and their levels of experience. If you hire a college student, naturally you’ll pay less, but the work may not be as polished and professional as you’d like. A freelancer who’s been working for 20 years, on the other hand, may charge more than you can afford. Find the balance of quality and price that works for you.

Freelancers may have their own payment policies, such as:

  • Full payment due before project commences
  • 50% payment due up front; 50% upon completion
  • Entire fee due upon completion of project

Get an understanding of the payment policy before you sign a contract. Does the fee include any change requests if you don’t like the finished product, or do you have to pay extra for those?

Final Tips

  • Establish expectations up front. When is the project due? What are you looking for? The more guidance you can provide, the better the outcome.
  • Look to bulk-buy from a freelancer. If you know you’ll need 10 blog posts a month, try to negotiate a lower per-post rate if you agree to 6 months’ worth of posts.
  • Find out what else he does. You may need other services that he can also provide.

Photo Credit: InternationalHouseManchester via Compfight cc

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