Before you can run out and start posting jobs to be outsourced, you first need to evaluate your needs. Figure out what jobs you need done, both in the short term and long term, and the variety of areas.
Consider first that each of the jobs you need done will fall into one of these categories:
1. One-Off Tasks
This is where you hire someone to complete a fairly quick “one off” task. That means that once they’ve completed the task, they’re done with it. While you may hire them again in the future to do something similar, there’s no guarantee that you will need their services again.
2. Ongoing Tasks (End Date in Mind)
This is where you hire someone to work on a very large project and/or for a fairly lengthy amount of time. Generally there is an end date in mind. That is, your relationship with the freelancer may go on for months, but in most cases it will end on a specific date.
3. Long-Term Projects (Indefinitely)
This last category is where you hire a freelancer to work with you on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future. In this case there is no definite end date in mind. There isn’t some project that, when wrapped up, will signal the end of your relationship with the freelancer.
Usually, the relationship ends for other reasons (e.g., the freelancer moves on, you fire the freelancer, you retire from the business, etc).
Most freelancers can float between these three categories as your business grows and your needs change.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can’t evaluate your needs once and be done with it. You’ll need to evaluate them constantly, especially as your business grows.
The second thing you need to keep in mind is what type of relationship you’ll be developing with the various types of freelancers. If you’re hiring someone to do a one-off task, then generally you’ll just hire them, they’ll complete the task, you pay them and your relationship ends. As such, you don’t need to spend a whole of time motivating them or, for that matter, managing them. However, whenever you start working long-term with someone, you need to take into consideration such issues as management and motivation. Since you want to retain your long-term freelancers, you need to keep them happy. And since you want to continue to get good results, you’ll want to manage them effectively.
Later on you’ll learn a bit more about motivation and management. For now, just keep it in mind.
All posts in the “Grow Your Business with Freelancers” Series:
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