How to Hire a Freelancer for Your Small Business: Tips
Are you a small business struggling with finding a local employee with the skills you need? You should definitely look into hiring a freelancer.
Not only is the workforce gravitating to online work and remote jobs, but smart small businesses are following. It makes perfect business sense: you get specialised skills per project with fewer expenses than you’d have as an employer.
Take a look at how to hire a freelancer for your small business and what you should do (or not) in the process.
Where Can I Find a Freelancer for My Small Business?
One of the first steps small businesses have to decide is where to look. Of course, you can ask friends and employees or put want ads out- but here are a few very easy ways to find a freelancer online:
- Use your small business social media. You can advertise on LinkedIn, Google+ or Facebook and ask others to share to interested parties.
- Use a freelance marketplace. There are many sites that are dedicated to matching specific jobs with specific freelancers, or sites that freelancers can bid on your job.
The more the word gets out you’re looking for a freelancer, the more applicants you’ll get and the better chance you’ll have at finding the perfect one for your small business needs.
How Do I Explain the Project I Need Done?
One of the biggest complaints from freelancers is that the prospective employer is too vague. Writing ‘I need a web designer’ or ‘Write a press release’ is going to attract amateurs and turn off professionals.
- Give a detailed explanation of the job, the expectations you have and any examples (a website in the style you want, a press release that is similar).
- Specify your deadline.
- Be clear on communication. Do you want project reports weekly? Skype calls? Also list your time zone, since many freelancers will accommodate to yours.
- Have a realistic budget in mind. You’ll get a lot of low offers, but keep in mind it’s your business. Cheap rarely is the same as quality.
Try to think of the skills you’re looking for or imagine how you see the finished project. If your expectations are spelled out, you’re less likely to be let down because you’ll attract the freelancers who specialise in the job.
What Do I Look for in the Hiring Process for a Freelancer?
Many small business owners are dubious about hiring someone that doesn’t come into the office daily. They worry about monitoring the work or that the freelancer will just disappear without completing. A few tips for hiring a freelancer:
- Ask for portfolios, experience, live* articles- and if you use a marketplace- look at reviews and read comments or feedback.
- Pay attention to the language and communication skills of the freelancer. If it sounds copy/paste, then it probably is. If there’s no reference to the specific job you’re hiring for, they are sending a general query and aren’t likely to be the expert you need.
- If the spelling and grammar are mangled, you’ll probably have difficulties in communication for the job.
- Don’t pay everything up front. You can either a.) pay a partial start, with the full amount when the project is completed or b.) pay the full amount upon completion.
- Create milestones or mini-goals that need to be reached by the freelancer throughout the project. This could also include daily reports or chats to keep you up-to-date.
When you want to hire a freelancer for your small business, keeping these tips in mind could help you find the exact freelancer you need. Saving time and money makes perfect small business sense.
Have you ever hired a freelancer for your small business? What did you think? Any tips to add? Let us know here.