If the time has come for you to delegate some of your work and finally get some help from a freelancer, there are a few important things to consider before you hire somebody.
Here’s what you should think through in advance:
1. What can you outsource?
There are many aspects of your business you can outsource. That’s mainly the administrative and repetitive tasks that are time-wasting for you. They will be better done by someone else, simply because it’s a no brainer, and you can use that same amount of time to engage in more productive and profitable activities.
Track all the things you do related to your business over the course of a few days. Add every tiny task even if it takes as little as 2 minutes.
Then, analyze the data you’ve gathered. Calculate the number of hours you spend time doing things that can be delegated. The weekly number might surprise you.
We often keep doing such tasks and activities unconsciously, or because it’s what we’ve always been doing or can’t leave it in someone else’s hands. But that’s how an employee thinks, not an entrepreneur.
It’s time to hire a freelancer to do these for you.
2. Start small.
Watch out not to start too big – such as with delegating too big of a project to someone you barely know. You’ll regret it.
Begin with a one-time project. Consider it a trial. Even if the freelancer isn’t what you’re looking for, it won’t cost you much.
Plus, that’s a great way to see what kind of a person he is, how he communicates, how he deals with deadlines, whether it takes you too long to supervise him, etc.
All these are what will then let you decide if he’s the right fit.
3. Work with a few people.
You might be lucky and find a hard-working creative from scratch, who doesn’t charge much and works fast. And although that’s rarely the case, you should still try other people.
Remember that this is a new field for you too and you need to explore it. You can’t really know all the good things a quality remote worker can do for you unless you’ve given many people a try.
Some might be so intuitive and enthused about your business and doing a good job for you, that they’ll constantly contribute with ideas on how to optimize your approach even more.
A portfolio can’t give you such sides from a person’s character, so you need to actually start discussing a project with him.
Over time, you’ll learn exactly what you require from virtual staff, and what you can’t put up with regardless of the low price.
4. Clear communication.
Often, you might forget to ask a question or discuss an aspect of the project that might cost you a lot of time and resources down the road.
Make sure you cover anything that might come up eventually. That means whether or not you keep the rights for the work that will be done, exactly how much you’ll pay the freelancer and when, any additional fees or contracts, deadlines, etc.
Also, either write all this down just in case, or state it as clearly as possible so that you don’t need to repeat yourself over and over again. This way you’ll know how carefully the person on the other side of the screen is listening and how well he understands and follows instructions.
5. Choose the most optimal way to keep in touch.
Would you like a Skype interview before you hire him for the first project?
Would you want him to share what he’s working on every day and what’s left on any particular app that you’re using?
Or will you need him to get familiar with an online collaboration software so that he can keep other members of the team updated?
Decide this now.
6. Review previous work.
The easiest way to assess someone’s abilities is to see samples of his work that are closely related to the project you’re going to assign him.
Even if they look good, you can still expect some scam, or lower quality. Don’t get discouraged, keep looking for more freelancers until you find the right one for your business goals.
But still, samples, together with references, are a must to check out before you decide to work with someone.
Now that you know these, hiring your first freelancer will be simpler and much easier.
So, what aspect of the business do you need help with?