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he freelance economy is booming. In the US alone, one-third of American workers are involved in the freelance industry. That's 56.7 million Americans workers that decided to take on freelancing work instead of a traditional 9 to 5.

For small businesses, you can save a lot of time and cost by hiring good freelancers for some if not all parts of the work involved in running your company. You have a more flexible work model when compared to hiring full-time employees.

So how do you decide if hiring a freelancer is a good fit for your business? Below are questions you should ask before hiring a freelancer:

When should you hire a freelancer?

As the owner of your small business, you should know the minutiae of every aspect of your operations. You might be a solopreneur or a small enterprise with several employees, with different needs at various stages of the company. To foster growth, below are two typical scenarios where it's a good idea to work with freelancers:

When you lack the time or expertise to do it yourself

You or your staff won't always have the skills necessary to get the job done. So hiring a specialist for a one time or ongoing project makes sense and is easier to manage than a full-time employee. A few of the typical tasks you could hire a freelancer to do are creating content and editing jobs, web design and development, video creation, voice acting, data entry and even marketing.

When you want to stay ahead of the competition

Freelancers can definitely ramp up your production levels. They can answer phone calls on your behalf and handle support tickets, or even run your social media campaigns for you. In order to stay relevant, good freelancers can help you to meet your project needs so you can seize more opportunities.

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What questions to ask from your freelancer?

Before making a hiring decision, you should conduct an interview with your freelancer. Try to ascertain important details pertaining to how you would work with them, as trust and communication are essential even when working with a freelancer.

To develop effective working relationships, ask the following questions in your interview:

What are their work hours?

You should know when you are able to discuss and coordinate project details with your freelancer. Consider their working hours, their different time-zones and whether they are doing this full-time or part-time.

Can they meet deadlines and do revisions?

Deadlines are crucial to meet, especially when you have products and services to deliver to clients. Freelancers should be given a time frame that they are comfortable with, and you both can agree on. On top of that, if the end-product is not satisfactory, they should be able to do revisions on time.

Do they work by the hour or by project completion?

If you have a bigger project and the work involves a lot of different tasks, you would be better off working with a freelancer that charges by the hour. If however the work is finite and you can clearly measure the scope of the deliverables, a fixed-rate would be ideal instead.

What is their background?

When hiring, you should ask about their work history and if they've done similar projects recently. If you're hiring a content writer, their passion or expertise on the topic of your business will result in better articles. This will be true for other tasks you might need as well, so always ask for samples or a work portfolio.

Do you require any other skillset from your freelancer?

If you're looking for a long-term freelancer, you might ask yourself what other complementary skills that your freelancer has or can learn down the road. For example, a content writer can do on-page SEO content optimization for your site. Or maybe you require them to conduct interviews with experts to be published on your newsletter.

Finding good freelancers can be tough at times, so if you can find someone you trust, it would be logical to rely on them for additional tasks.

The Takeaway

In a growing freelancer economy, it would only make sense that you should leverage the freelance talent pool. Asking the questions above will not only help you find the best talent but also get whatever job you need doing fast.

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