Entrepreneurs often can’t manage all the work they have on their plates on their own. At the same time, they may not be able to justify the cost of hiring full-time employees to help them get the work done. Fortunately, there are other options available to them. If you need additional help managing the day to day operations of your business, you could consider hiring a freelancer to help you manage the workflow.

Hiring a freelancer can be a great option for many entrepreneurs. Here are some things you may want to keep into consideration.

Know Your Needs

Most businesses hire freelancers because it isn’t feasible to keep someone on your payroll permanently. You can avoid the long-term costs associated with hiring full-time employees. However, you still need to be cautious about how you work with independent contractors. You can bankrupt yourself hiring independent contractors the same way you would anyone else.

Be realistic about the budget you have to work with and how much it will cost to hire someone to solve the challenges you are facing. You may find that you can’t afford to outsource certain work and will need to fulfill it on your own.

Know Where to Look for Qualified Talent

You are going to need to know where to find employees to work with. You have a number of venues to locate qualified workers:

  • Looking for work online.
  • Taking advantage of your personal networks.
  • Visiting industry groups or business communities such as your local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Cold-calling qualified professionals and asking for their help.

There are a variety of different places to find qualified workers to help you manage the ins and outs of your business. You will probably have no problem finding a plethora of great candidates to fill your needs. After you have identified a few promising candidates you will need to decide which ones will be the best fit for your business.

Screening Candidates

You will need to go through the same screening process for choosing a freelancer as you would if you were hiring an employee. You need to know their background and work ethic if you hope to trust them to help you with your work. You may consider any of the following strategies to help you get your work done:

  • Ask for references from former clients. You want to make sure that their previous clients have been satisfied with their work. Ask if you can have references you can contact or for publications discussing how people feel about the quality of their services.
  • Ask for LinkedIn recommendations. Ask if the contractor has a LinkedIn profile with any recommendations. This will give you also let you verify how people feel about their work.
  • Ask for work samples. Many providers will be able show you a portfolio of work they have done in the past. Most web developers, writers and other creative professionals will try to have a portfolio of work ready to share with people.
  • What results have they delivered? Fancy marketing pitches are nice to hear, but they shouldn’t encourage you to work with a freelancer. Ask for tangible results on what they have accomplished with previous clients.

Bear in mind that many freelancers won’t be able to share all of their references and results with you. For example, attorneys and many other providers are legally required to keep their client information confidential. However, you will want to exercise your diligence before working with any freelancer to be sure that you are making the right decision.

Kalen works closely with Blue Sky Formations, a firm that helps startups find a viable name for their business.