When your small business has staffing needs but lacks the resources necessary to hire full-time employees, a freelancer is often the best solution. Independent contractors are available to help with web design, copywriting, bookkeeping, human resources, and every other operational issue a company may have.
However, finding freelancers that fit your business profile can be a challenge. As you weigh the pros and cons of hiring temporary staff, you will see how some relationships are problematic from the start. Here are six signs that a freelancer is the right fit for your company:
1. Easy communication.
Even if you hire someone for a single project, you will want to establish a good rapport with all freelancers. Receiving timely answers to emails, text messages, and phone calls will keep your mind at ease and allow you to continue with your usual day-to-day routine. Contractors might set certain boundaries with you, especially if they work off-site, but there is no reason to accept long delays in business correspondence. Stick to working with people who keep the lines of communication open and cordial.
2. Past results.
You may be willing to deal with a few personal quirks if a freelancer's work is top-notch, but you will want to carefully review contractor portfolios before bringing them on board for a project. Look for the qualities you think are important for your brand's development. In many cases, you will find freelance employees who are even more dedicated to their craft than some full-time staff. When a contractor's reputation is constantly tested, the quality of their work tends to be high.
3. Pricing that works for both parties.
Before taking on new contractors, ask what they earned for past projects to get an idea of whether you have the budget necessary to make the relationship work. A freelancer who feels undervalued will be quick to move on to the next job, leaving you in a pinch if you were hoping for an ongoing relationship. If you like the quality of the work and can afford someone's pay demands, you will get the most out of your freelancers.
4. Delivering on deadline.
With everything you have to deal with on a daily basis, you should not have to micromanage freelancers in order to get work done on time. Independent contractors with a solid track record know how to deliver assignments in a timely fashion. So if you see missed deadlines and a nonchalant attitude toward the various stages of production goals, chances are that you are not working with the right freelancer.
5. Good employee feedback.
Your staff members are going to interact with contractors at various times. These encounters offer you a chance to see how a freelancer works with your team. If you are considering the first gig to be a trial run for a full-time position, the insight your employees offer on the individual is invaluable. If a contractor fits in well with your team, operations around the office will be easier.
6. Consistent quality.
High-level work is the mark of a professional in any field, so look for consistency in the first batch of assignments and every other job you outsource to an individual. Some business owners prefer to start with a trial period in order to ensure quality, but this policy will not be necessary if you are working with a more experienced contractor. If you offer feedback on work and still find inconsistent results, the freelancer is most likely not a good fit for your needs.
A productive freelance team can help a business grow at a minimal cost. Use these tips to weed out anyone who is not a good fit, and you will end up getting the most for your money. Outsourcing is another great option and you can find discounted small business solutions from The UPS Store.