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How to Accomplish Specific Tasks Using Temporary - and Skilled - Services
Bringing in new employees is expensive even when business is booming. What if you need specific tasks done - either on a one-off or on a recurring basis - but those tasks do not justify hiring a full-time employee? You could try to hire a part-time employee with the right skills.
Or you could outsource the task to a skilled provider.
Here's an example. Your business has a website. You provide information about products and services, share resources (like how-to guides or other information) and post news and upcoming events. You don't need to modify or update your website every day, so hiring a full-time web developer does not make good financial sense.
If you don't have the skills in-house, a freelancer can fill the gap nicely. Fortunately, freelancers are easy to find, and easy to manage. Services like Elance.com and Guru.com function as online marketplaces for talent. All you have to do is post the job you want performed, and providers bid on that job, describing deliverables, milestones, and of course the cost. You can check provider references, review feedback from past customers, ask for samples of previous work performed, and even interview providers by phone or email.
A wide range of skills and services are available: Web development, programming, writing, engineering, administrative, accounting, advertising and marketing, customer service, research - virtually any business function.
While it might sound complicated, hiring a freelancer to perform a specific task is fairly easy. The key is to describe the task you want performed as thoroughly and accurately as possible. For example, say you want help writing a customer newsletter.
You'll start by describing your subject, your audience, and what you hope to achieve, since those are key items every good writer must know in order to deliver a successful project.
Then, break the task down into smaller parts so you can further evaluate the freelancer's skills. Instead of contracting for twelve newsletters, hire the freelancer to write the first month's newsletter. If it goes well, you can expand the engagement. If not, you can part ways a little disappointed but otherwise not the worse for business wear.
How to Find Freelancers
One way to find freelance service providers is to advertise on local sites like Craigslist.com or in your local newspaper. If the provider does not have to be located in your area, broaden the pool by using online marketplace services like Upwork.com, Guru.com and others. Each site includes information and guidelines for how to set up an account, post jobs, evaluate freelancers, manage jobs awarded, pay providers, give feedback, etc. The process is easy - and in that process you may find a great way to get the skilled services you need, without the cost of hiring a full-time employee.