Most business owners have struggled with employee termination at one time or another. One way to eliminate that problem is by using freelancers to help grow your business. That way, if you find that the freelancer’s work habits, skills, or whatever are out of sync, you simply don’t call them in for another project.
Leveraging the skills of freelancers has certainly been an important part of my company’s journey to success and has clearly helped me grow my business. Following the tips included in this article can help you grow your business too!
Right now you might be asking yourself, “But how do I . . .”
- Know which jobs to outsource?
- Know which work factors to consider?
- Find the right freelancer for the job?
1. Which Jobs Should You Outsource?
When people say the word “freelance worker” the tasks that most often come to mind are bookkeeping, writing and editing or graphic/web design. Not many companies need to hire full time people for these positions, so these jobs are often done by freelancers who can help you grow your business.
However cloud-based technology and the advent of the virtual assistant have made it possible to outsource all sorts of tasks. There are several ways that entrepreneurs have recently used virtual assistants and web-based technology for outsourcing:
- Setting appointments from a list of prospects
- Document translation services
- Compiling reports
- Compiling data from multiple sources
- Comparing insurance rates
- Finding real estate that meets specific requirements
- Coding mobile apps
- Developing software
- UX Testing
…the list is endless, really.
2. Which Work Factors Should You Consider?
You can use Eisenhower’s quadrant to determine which tasks are best suited to outside expertise. If you haven’t seen this model of time management it’s worth a look.
Tasks that fall into the urgent AND important category should be done by you or by someone on your in-house team. When there’s little to no margin for error it’s important to oversee the task to completion.
Tasks that are urgent but NOT important should be delegated or outsourced. Get it done, then move on.
If a task is important but NOT urgent then you probably need to look more closely at the planning of it (which can be delegated). It might feel like procrastination if you’ve been indoctrinated with a “get it done now” mentality but for creative people who have a ton of ideas, this method helps thin out the herd so you can choose which ones to act on.
Finally, the non urgent and non important it’s probably a waste of time. If it’s meaningful for you, then by all means, choose to engage in your free time.
3. Where To Find Freelancers
Finding freelancers online isn’t the real challenge here. Choosing one that is qualified to get the job done IS. There are several websites that allow freelancers to bid for work. Often, reviews from past clients are available as well as online portfolios of their work. Odesk.com, Freelancer.com, Guru.com and eLance.com are just a few of the more popular websites devoted to helping businesses find freelancers.
As your business grows, you will likely find a few freelancers that seem to understand your brand and are able to work with very little supervision. Likely, you will also have a few terrible experiences with freelancers. It happens. The beauty in this sort of relationship is that you never have to call the terrible ones again. And the good ones can become an important part of your team for years to come. I’m still working with one of the freelancers I hired for a project 7 years ago.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to check out these others:
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Email Marketing: How to Keep Your Messages Out of Your Customer’s Spam Box
200 of Google’s Website Ranking Factors [Infographic]
Combining Blogging and Social Media into a Truly Effective Strategy
5 Ways You Can Benefit By Using LinkedIn
How To Amp Up Your Visibility With Facebook
This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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By Hal-Luke Savas 24 Feb 2014
my personal attitude to Freelancers is that they come poor second to my own employees; always! .. it is cheaper and more effective to hire a good long term employee than a short term fly-by-wire freelancer that I can not see into his/her past to see my future!!
By Randy Ksar 26 Feb 2014
Great article and tips on how and when to hire a freelancer. Finding the right influencer is when the following happens: 1) they understand your vision 2) they understand the audience you are trying to reach and 3) you don’t even try and you get along with them. BTW, love Odesk but I might of gotten lucky in hiring a freelancer from San Antonio (let me know if you want his contact info) for this Slideshare presentation on real-time engagement strategies – http://blog.blyve.com/2013/12/16/top-5-tips-on-creating-a-real-time-engagement-strategy/
By Joe 06 Mar 2014
Covering what may be temporary spikes has a role with freelancers, but if it’s critical work, an employee is a better investment.
Freelance could be a “trial hire” (even though many states are “at will employment” where an employee can be let go for any, or no reason at all, so unless you are hiring union or staff has academic tenure, an employer is not usually locked into any employee) but if the topic is GROWING your business, that implies ramping up not just a spike. If this growth depends on specific skills added by the new staff, you have to consider the “loss of investment” when a freelancer leaves for a better project. There is a cost to losing a trained employee too, but if the business is at a small scale with no benefits to offer (medical, vacation, etc.) then contract or freelance might work for both parties since there are no traditional benefits which are used to retain employees over time. The Eisenhower chart is a good reference to determine the importance of the work. Thanks for sharing!
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