GettRunning a business can often involve juggling a lot of moving parts. This requires a wide variety of skills for smooth management. It’s not always possible or practical to employ someone in these roles. Hiring a freelancer may fill the gap and make managing a business easier. Especially for new start-ups with a limited budget, or for short projects. There are many ways that this can work well for your organization. Read on for some helpful ideas on getting the best out of your freelancers.
Take a look at their portfolio first
A portfolio is an essential marketing tool for any freelancer in today’s business environment and is often more useful than a typical CV. Instead of listing their past roles and activities as a traditional resumé might, a portfolio will often give you a comprehensive overview of their skills. Not to mention the kind of work that they have carried out in the past and the clients that they may have worked with previously.
Taking a look at this can help you decide quickly whether or not the person is right for you. By reviewing the quality of their past work, you can assess if they meet your standards. Looking at their past client list also gives you some insight into their ability to work with different types of organizations or industries.
Give clear briefs and instructions
Freelancers are often hired for specific projects with a specific time period. If this is the case for your business, make sure that you have given them as much information as possible at the outset. This will avoid wasting time on lengthy reviews and changes to work.
A brief outlines what exactly is required of the job. Not to mention highlighting any rules or specific details required. You may also have an in-house style guide that you would like them to adhere to, as well as deadlines for delivery. Providing all of this information at the beginning allows the freelancer enough time to review and ask questions if necessary.
Communicate frequently with them
If you are employing multiple freelancers in your organization, keeping tabs on them all is essential to making sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Using a collaborative platform such as Mattermost can be a great way of doing this, as it can allow you to allocate tasks, assess the progress of projects, and send messages all under one umbrella. You may need to provide freelancers with access to secure areas of your business. This should be organised once you hire the freelancer for a speedy start.
Remember that freelancers will often be working with multiple clients and on a variety of projects. Due to this, they may not always be available to communicate with you whenever you want them to. If you require a freelancer at set times, discuss the timetable at the outset.
Don’t choose someone on price alone
With many freelance platforms today, there are thousands of potential workers from around the world available. However, with so many people to choose from, it can often be tempting to go for the best quote. This is not always the best approach if you are after high-quality work.
Instead of looking for the lowest possible price, take time to think about a realistic budget and what you wish from the freelancer. With this in mind, you can then assess the background and experience of a variety of freelancers who fit your price range. It’s worth bearing in mind that many freelancers will be willing to negotiate a price. Especially if there is a potential for long-term work.
Protect your business
When working with freelancers, you will need to invest in cyber security. This may include security for your website, confidential data, and other important information.
If you are required to share confidential information, it can be useful to establish a non-disclosure agreement with the freelancer first. This should be discussed before offering work, as not all freelancers will be comfortable signing this. If freelancers are required to communicate with customers under your brand name, then create a specific email account. This can give you a greater level of control and security, as well as avoid confusing your customers.
Pay your freelancers on time
Finally, keeping on good terms with your freelancers is vital. This will impact your business’s reputation and ensure a freelancer is always on hand if ever you require their services in the future. Getting paid on time is one of the biggest issues faced by many freelancers. This can often lead to financial hardship for them, especially if they are waiting for a number of clients to clear bills and may end up with them unwilling to release work to your business.
It’s a good idea to set clear terms and conditions around invoicing and when they can expect to be paid. If there are likely to be any issues with processing a payment, then you should always communicate this in advance as soon as you are aware of the issue. Try to give a clear and concrete indication of when you will make the payment.
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About the Author
James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading about the latest gadgets and tech.