Can’t Get It All Done? Thinking of Hiring A Freelancer? Here’s What You Need to Know
One of the worst things we can do for ourselves and our business is to think that we HAVE to DO IT ALL. This means you are doing small, menial, non-revenue-producing tasks that wear you out – and then when it’s time to focus on what matters most to your business – you’re tired, unfocused, and not at your best. This is not a winning scenario.
When your business begins to grow, and you can no longer handle the necessary tasks in a timely manner, your business could suffer. You may think at this point you still cannot afford to outsource any of your responsibilities, but if you’re spending critical time doing data entry instead of out making sales, you can’t afford NOT to bring on a freelancer.
With the growing generation of millennials and more entrepreneurial-minded professionals who desire more flexibility and control over their time and what they do, you can outsource almost anything. Here’s a few ideas for you – if you are currently doing these things yourself, it may be time to outsource the task:
- Making cold-calls and vetting referrals
- Answering every call and sorting mail
- Creating and managing your website, and website content
- Writing your own blog posts
- Managing and posting on multiple social media accounts
- Creating Email campaigns
- Managing Client Projects / Follow-Up
- Sending out (via email or hard-copy) Newsletters on a regular basis
- Creating your own graphics for logos, Memes, website content, social media posts, promotional material, etc.
- Bookkeeping / Accounting / Taxes
- Data Entry
- Cleaning your house
- Doing your own yardwork
- Creating and reviewing contracts
- Researching and submitting grants
- Organizing your own professional or personal events
As an entrepreneur and business owner, you are the only one who can bring in the money. So, if what you are doing is not directly connected to a dollar amount, then you are losing money by not delegating or outsourcing that task.
Here’s what you need to know BEFORE hiring a Freelancer:
Freelancers are a great way to offset your workload, so you can focus on bringing in more revenue. To ensure that contracting a freelancer is the right fit for you and your business, it is important to understand how freelancers generally work.
- Freelancers are not employees, they are considered Contract Labor and will need to be reported on your taxes as such. If you pay any freelancer over $600 for the year, they must be sent a 1099-MISC form.
- This also means (by law) that you cannot dictate exactly when they work, or how they get the work done, but you can discuss the overall scope of project(s) and a due date by which you need the project completed.
- Since Freelancers are not employees, they can determine the scope of their work and how much they get paid. Some freelancers will work and bill by the hour, and some by the project. Prior to ANY agreement with them, they will need to submit their timeline and payment schedule to you, and you will then have the opportunity to agree to their terms, negotiate, or decline their services.
- For reputable Freelancers, all fees and charges will be disclosed up front prior to the agreement of any work being done.
- Freelancers are typically very creative individuals with very flexible hours and flexible work locations. They are not typically known for their admin capabilities, efficient workload scheduling, prompt communication, or calendar awareness.
- Since most freelancers work remotely, if you need your freelancer to be local for the occasional face-to-face meeting, be sure to take that into consideration.
- The general pros for hiring a freelancer (versus a full-time employee) include: lower price (no social security tax, workers comp, or health insurance), lower risk (since it’s project-by-project, you can choose not to hire them again, vs an employee where there’s a lot more protocol and red-tape involved).
- The general cons for hiring a freelancer include: there’s no supervision since they generally work remotely, there’s no quality control on their work (unless it’s done by you), and they have a lower level of loyalty to your company and less understanding of your company’s vision. If you are looking for a loyal, long-term participant who buys into your company and your vision 100%, you may be looking for an employee or partner – not a freelancer.
So, how do you go about vetting and hiring the right freelancer for you?
Here’s a few steps you can take to help ensure the freelancer you hire is a good fit for you and your business:
- Determine the exact tasks or projects you can delegate to a freelancer. The general rule of thumb is that if anyone else can do it at least 80% as well as you can, then delegate it.
- Go to a reputable freelancer site, like com, and begin your research based on what it is you need done. Choose the three candidates that look best whose skills match your criteria.
- Take a look at the task or project that you need done and choose a very small portion or scope of that job to use as a test for your three candidates.
- Send each candidate the exact same job with the exact same instructions and due date.
- Once you receive the jobs back from each candidate, closely compare all aspects of the experience you’ve had with each candidate. Which one did you feel you were able to communicate with best? Who did the best quality of work? Was it worth the money spent, or the time they took to do the job?
Remember, just because someone may be less expensive per hour – if they take three times as long to do the same quality of work as someone who was only twice as expensive, you’ll make out better in the long run hiring the Freelancer whose hourly rate is twice as much but can do it three times faster.
On our To Do lists and in piles on our desk we have benchmarks to manage our marketing, reminders for technology upgrades, sales reports, data entry, correspondence, financial reports, emails, phone calls, client appointments, websites to redo, articles to write, unexpected fires to put out, and so much more… and that’s just what’s going on in our professional life. Growing is a good thing – but along with it come the growing pains.
It’s okay, and even powerful, to know when we are not using our time, talents, and efforts efficiently. It’s okay to hire some help. Entrepreneurs don’t have a 9-to-5 kind of job, we have a when-our-eyes-open to when-our-eyes-close kind of life. We all need margin and down-time in order to maintain energy and efficiency and hiring a freelancer might be just what you need so you can be at your best – all the time.
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