Tips for Hiring Freelancers as a Small Business Owner
If you’re a small business owner, you’ve likely considered hiring freelancers to fill in the gaps. After all, the company size doesn’t mean that you can’t use expert help from time to time.
However, just because someone is available for hire doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit for your business. Or meet your needs in every way possible.
Read on as we take an in-depth look at how to find and hire the best freelancers for your project needs.
Effective Ways to Hire Freelancers for Your Small Business
Define the Scope of Your Project
Defining the scope of your project is essential because it’ll:
- give you a clearer picture of what’s expected and
- help ensure that everyone is on the same page.
For example, let’s say your client has given you a project brief. But before hiring a freelancer to work on it, make sure you’ve reviewed the requirements thoroughly. And understand what exactly needs to be done.
If there are any questions about how best to complete the project or where you can find more information, ask. Your contractor should be happy to help clarify anything that might cause uncertainty moving forward.
Also, consider any regulatory requirements for the project, which could include privacy statements or terms and conditions.
Also Read: Billing Software for Freelancers
Assess Your Budget and Create a Payment Plan
It is essential to understand the limits of your budget before you begin hiring freelancers. That way, you don’t end up spending more than you can afford or making too infrequent or inconsistent payments.
Freelancers will need to know how often they’ll be paid, especially if they’re not paid upfront. Sometimes, there is a chance that the work won’t get done on time because of late payments from the client.
If that’s the case, ensure an escrow service is in place. That will cover situations where freelancers need more money but can’t access it through their usual channels.
Establish an Expected Timeline
Establishing a timeline with your freelancer is essential, but it’s also crucial that you are realistic about what you can expect.
For example, let’s say your project is due in two weeks, and you had never hired a freelancer before or had any experience with them yourself. Then, it would be best not to expect the work to be completed in two days.
A better goal might be finishing the project within a week. You should also ensure that the freelancers know what timeline they need to meet.
It’s important for both sides of the equation here. You need to know how quickly they’ll receive your finished product. And freelancers need a checkpoint, so they don’t forget about an upcoming task or deadline.
Create Contract Terms
Creating contract terms is important and you’ll also want to include them in your proposal. Ensure you include specific details about the project, such as:
- payment terms, and
- what happens if a project goes over budget or under budget
You’ll also want to agree upon what happens if either party breaches the contract.
Determine How You’ll Track and Communicate with the Freelancer
You should determine how you’ll communicate and monitor your freelancer’s work. You’ll need to decide if your current communication tools are sufficient for the job or if you need to purchase new ones.
This might include a phone line, chat software, video conferencing software, or even just pen and paper. You should also consider a time tracker for freelancers to track whether the project is on schedule.
Make Sure the Freelancers are Legit
Before you hire anyone, make sure they are who they say they are. The first step is checking that the profile on your chosen platform has a detailed description and reviews from previous clients.
It’s also nice to see examples of their work in their portfolio, as well as references from previous clients.
Use Available Resources to help Find the Right Freelancer
Use freelancer platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or LinkedIn. You can also find social media and online forum groups where you can post your job and find candidates in your area.
Another way is to ask your friends and family members if they know any great freelancers that would be right for the job.
Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page
Before hiring a freelancer to fill in the gaps in your team, ensure you’re on the same page with expectations, responsibilities, and deliverables.
What will be expected from them?
This is an important point to clarify before meeting with a potential freelancer. That way, both parties know what to expect from each other. Are they coming into your business as full-time employees?
Are they going to be working for you on an ongoing basis or just for this one project? These questions should be addressed early on in the process. That will prevent any surprises when the project begins, and it’s too late to change anything.
What are their responsibilities?
Your company may also have certain obligations when hiring a freelancer, such as providing health insurance.
Make sure all parties know these obligations before proceeding with any agreement. It’s critical, especially if you’re concerned about being held liable at some point for not providing adequate coverage through an employer-based plan.
Freelancers are a great way to fill in the gaps when you’re running short on time or resources. Are you searching for someone to help with your strategy department? Or do you just need a few extra hands for a special project?
There are plenty of people out there who can help.
A good place to start is by asking around among friends and colleagues. You might be surprised at how many people have used freelancers before and will be able to share their experiences with hiring one.