You're inspired, you have an idea for a business and you think you are ready to start on the journey as an entrepreneur. Using freelancers is a great way to get things going and there are platforms out there that can help you find the team needed to kick-start your company.
For example, when starting my watch company Yes Man, I needed to create computer-aided designs to show the details of my watch to my manufacturer. Instead of bringing on a designer as an equity partner, I connected with a freelancer who helped me design our initial line of watches.
While they can definitely offer cost-effective solutions, it can be challenging to find a good match.
Here are three essentials you need when selecting one or more freelancers to make your dream a reality.
1. Plan for what is needed.
No project should get underway without a well-formulated plan.
Freelancers are not magicians. They cannot read your mind and suddenly get your idea after a couple of emails. The best products and services are built following a period of qualification, strategic planning and definition of a product's functions. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time (and money), along with the freelancer's.
2. Take time to select the right people and establish a good working relationship.
After you devise a plan and are able to determine exactly what you need, you need to find the right person.
One recommendation I have is invest in a platform's hiring tools. For instance, Freelancer.com's Recruiter tool manages the applicants for you, similar to a HR firm. Using this tool, you'll be able to delegate the hiring process.
If you want to manage the process yourself, keep in mind that posting a project online will yield a lot of interest and there will be a lot of people saying they are the best fit for the job. Treat hiring a freelancer like you would treat hiring a permanent member of your team. Here is a checklist to utilize:
- Did they read your brief?
- Do they have previous experience doing what you need?
- Do they have references?
3. Move forward with open communication.
Never be afraid to say what is working well and what isn't. Have daily check-ins and review work regularly. If things are not getting done, then make the choice to change freelancers. (Making those choices late, could kill a startup.)
At the same time, listen to the freelancer and treat them just like any other member of the team. A great freelancer can add so much more to your idea and help build an incredible product or service.
Hiring a freelancer is an often overlooked outlet for entrepreneurs. Struggling to find the right fit within your network can take ages, while finding a freelancer online could literally take less than a day. The potential for freelancers is limitless, as the network continues to grow and connects people around the world. If you've been struggling to find someone with a certain skillset to join your team, it's time to look into hiring a freelancer.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.