How Hiring Freelancers Can Help You Find Business Success
Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, you may have discovered that time is often a more limited resource than money. With so many aspects of your business to manage, you just cannot do everything yourself — nor should you.
Experts estimate that nearly 46.6 percent of the UK workforce is made up of temporary and freelance workers, which indicates that successful businesses everywhere are using freelancers to take their organizations to the next level. Not convinced? Here are some big-name companies that have used independent contractors, along with some tips on hiring freelancers.
In 1971, Phil Knight, one of the founders of Nike, hired a freelance graphic designer to come up with a logo for his company’s new line of shoes. He wanted a unique design inspired by the stripes in the Adidas logo, and although he wasn’t instantly in love with the “swoosh” created by Carolyn Davis, he accepted her design and paid her $35 invoice. To this day, Nike continues to rely on freelancers to stay at the top of their game.
Ancestry.com’s massive international platform enables its consumers to find out about their genealogy and family history through its extensive database of information. Because of the sheer enormity of data out there, the organization cannot rely on their regular staff alone to handle the constant need for analytics and data quality review, so they utilize the services of freelancers to keep their business at the top of their game.
Ninety percent of all businesses use content writing as part of their marketing strategy. Studies show that consumers would rather read articles than see ads, and well-written, helpful articles are a surefire way to drive traffic to your website, and ultimately, your business. Though Bloomberg employs many full-time staff writers, the organization also looks to freelance content writers to fill out their vast repertoire of work.
Where to Find Them
You can find quality freelancers on websites like Fiverr, 99Designs, Freelancer, Flexjobs, or Guru (just to name a few), as well as on LinkedIn, Craigslist, or by word-of-mouth. You can also use specialty agencies to find people for specific jobs; for example, if you need a translator, you can post an ad on a site like World Translation Jobs to find a great candidate.
Some agencies and websites will vet potential contractors for you so you can weed out those with insufficient expertise or experience, leaving you with the best possible applicants to choose from. During the interview process, it’s important to establish what your applicants’ availability and rates are so expectations are clear and accurate from the beginning, as well as gauge skill and experience through client reviews and work portfolios.
If you’re planning on hiring freelancers for remote work, ensure that you’re properly communicating project needs and expectations. Commit to regular check-ins and utilize a user-friendly communication platform. If you’re collaborating on documents and need to make significant revisions, you can use an online tool to convert a PDF to a Word document so that it’s easier to make edits.
How to Pay Them
Hiring freelancers is a bit trickier than hiring regular employees, so there are a few important things to keep in mind before you get started:
- Make sure everything is in writing — a contract is essential, no matter how basic the terms.
- Include clearly defined payment arrangements in your contract.
- A true freelancer requires a 1099 tax form and meets certain criteria — make sure you understand what constitutes freelance vs. employee work.
Hiring freelancers can be advantageous for your business in numerous ways, but not if you are flagged by the IRS for misclassifying your employees. Sometimes, businesses will classify their employees as independent contractors to save money on taxes, and as a result, deny them the legal protection (worker’s compensation, unemployment benefits, family medical leave, etc.) they are entitled to receive. To ensure you’re doing your payroll correctly, make sure you classify employees properly.
Create a Space to Manage Them
Building a team of freelancers takes work, but so does managing them. Although it’s easy to manage your business and your new remote team using a laptop, having a space devoted to your business can increase productivity and workflow. So, put together a home office that allows you to conduct business without sacrificing your comfort in the process. Make sure the space has plenty of natural light, and sprinkle in a few house plants to create a calming atmosphere. Once you get everything set up, you’ll wonder why you didn’t create one sooner.
You have important responsibilities and skills to focus on, and you can’t be an expert in every job your business requires to function. Outsourcing one or two of those areas to a qualified freelancer may be just what you need to give your business a much-needed boost in efficiency and profitability.
March 17th 2022
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