Many entrepreneurs know how valuable freelancers can be. They're comparatively inexpensive labor you can hire for specific jobs. Things such as cost reduction and scalability are all great reasons to look into outsourcing work. However, it's important to remember that just like anything else in the world, it has its problems. Here are a few things you should learn about any freelancer you're considering hiring.
1. Their Business Hours
The great thing about modern outsourcing you can work with people from anywhere. If you're comfortable with it, you can hire someone from across the globe. However, this comes with a caveat: their availability is dependent upon their time zone.
Online workers tend to work within their time zones and mothers may have additional responsibilities to manage in their daily life. Finding out when their actual work hours are can save everyone a lot of headaches and allow you to schedule properly.
There are instances when you won't need them to work on your time zone. Projects that don't often require immediate changes, such as article writing and graphic design, can work. You can give them an assignment, they can do it while you sleep, and when you wake up you have something to assess!
2. Their Pricing Structure
Entrepreneurs share a lot of things with freelancers, chiefly the fact that you're both selling a product. In a freelancer's case, they're selling themselves and their skills. Just like you, they're looking for the right price point, something that's fair. Graphic designers, for example, tend to go for a fixed-price structure as opposed to an hourly one, as it'll assure they get paid according to the value of their work without getting punished for doing it too quickly. Someone's who's expected to be on-call like a personal assistant will likely go for an hourly price structure.
In some cases, there's a mixed pricing structure. Freelancers can get paid hourly with a bonus for performance. As an entrepreneur, this is likely the ideal set-up for you. The hourly charges are lower and you'll only spend more if they earn it.
3. Their Stance on NDAs
Freelancers are all about their portfolio. The more they have in it, the more they can prove to potential clients that they're worth the money. This is also why who you're looking for may not be as tight-lipped as you would want them to be.
Much of your success as an entrepreneur will involve secrecy. Your defeat can come from the most innocuous things. Even knowledge of your logo could be damaging if a smart competitor gets their hands on it. That's what makes nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) so important. Even if they're not working on anything sensitive, you should strongly consider having them sign one. If they're not willing to sign, they may not be a good fit. Find someone you can trust to keep a secret.
4. The Quality of Their Internet Connection
There's nothing quite as irritating as a choppy web conference. It's a small thing, but it could be the pea under your mattress, except instead of denying you a good night's sleep, it could drastically affect your productivity. That's annoying enough when the problem's on your end; it's doubly annoying when it's due to your contractor's poor service.
Before you hire anyone online, be a responsible entrepreneur and have them test their connection. There are many free tools you can use, like Speedtest. You're looking for at least 1 mbps upload and download speed for a video call. If you're expecting to conference call with them and a lot of other people at the same time, they'll likely need a better connection.
5. Their Reliability
The last thing you need as an entrepreneur is to have one of your employees vanish without a trace, so the first thing you should do is assess their reliability.
Talking to previous clients can help sort of whether your potential freelancer is reliable or not. If you can't contact them, tell your potential hire to get back to you after a few days. If they can do that, you can likely rely on them. If they can't, they're either unreliable or they don't really want the job.
For an entrepreneur, freelancers can be a huge asset. However, be careful with whom you hire. Figure out these important facts first before you bring them into the fold, and you'll keep your money and your business safe.