Freelancers can be a valuable asset to any small business owner. Freelancers are dynamic workers who has niched down to a precise skillset. In the freelance market, you can find all manner of speciality, from video editors to software engineers, and anything else you can think of, freelancers can fill the skill gaps in your business. While they are a useful asset, managing freelancers can provide its own set of challenges. This is why, I am going to give you my 4 best tips to help manage freelancers as a small business owner.
Build a Plan of Action
A clear plan of action can make all the difference for most projects, but they are especially important when working with a freelancer. Before you work a freelancer, you need to make sure that you outline exactly what you expect from them. A plan of action can help articulate work expectations in written form, outlining timescales and important milestones in the project. This makes it easier for both parties to refer too during their collaboration on the task. Using examples can be helpful when setting project expectations and expressing what you want for a client. Keep it simple though, you do not want to overwhelm your freelancer.
Creating consistent goals for freelancers to hit will help them keep on track. In my experience working with freelancers they enjoy goals they can constantly strive for. There are a ton of different frameworks out there for working with freelancers so do not be afraid to try a few out. Experiment, because different freelancers appreciate different approaches. This can be something you can outline with them when you begin working with them. Do not forget to create attainable goals though, if you do not regularly reward your freelancers it could affect their work ethic.
The working relationship with your freelancer requires you to clearly express what you want out of the collaboration. So spare no detail. I am not saying make it more complicated then it needs to be but give every detail you can and positively encourage your freelancers. It will foster a better working relationship.
Good freelancers will have questions for you, regardless of have much information you provide in your brief. Making yourself available to answer these questions will improve the quality of the final product because you will be able to make sure that the freelancer is on the right track. Because if you do not then there could be a chance that the freelancer does not execute your vision. Freelancers are always hungry for feedback so do not hold back and lastly a “thank you” goes a long way to showing your freelancer that they are doing a great job.
Do not Micromanage
The reason freelancers work for themselves is because they are independent and love their autonomy. The last thing they want is a client micromanaging them while they are trying to balance other client and life responsibilities. If you are working with a well-known freelancer, then let them do what they know. They will product great work and you can always provide feedback when they show up with a draft of whatever you are working on. A flexible approach will benefit both parties the most. Allowing the freelancer to do what they do best will let them bring the right mindset to their work.
In conclusion, the working relationship a small business has with its freelancers is critical to business success. Because of the value freelancers bring to new businesses, building a positive working relationship is important. So long as you accurately communicate what you want, be ready to make suggestions and let them do what they are good at you will find a lot of success with managing freelancers.