When you are just starting out as an entrepreneur, it's tempting to do everything yourself. Depending on your business model and how you get started, you might need to work entirely by yourself for a time. But as you get more experience and build your business, you may find that it's worth handing off sections of your duties to freelancers, in order to focus more time on the parts of your business that only you can do. Let's look at when it makes sense to bring on these different types of freelancers.
If you're struggling to keep up with the organizational tasks of your business - scheduling meetings, responding to inquiry emails, taking phone calls from your website - hiring a virtual assistant might be a good idea. Some entrepreneurs directly hire virtual assistants through freelancer websites, others use specialized agencies which pair entrepreneurs with VAs who will meet their needs.
Having a VA supports your business by reducing the lag time between a customer contacting you and you responding. It ensures that they are more likely to get a "live person" instead of a recording, which makes many customers much happier with their overall service.
When your business is simple, and can be managed with a simple in-and-out spreadsheet, doing your taxes is simple. When you start having employees, freelancers, invoicing terms, and more complex balance sheets, hiring an accountant to keep track of the money stuff is a good idea.
And experienced accountant doesn't just make tax time easier; they also help you identify cash flow trends in your business that will help you prepare for the future and avoid crunch times. Many of the businesses that fail in their early years do so because they just run out of liquid cash, so being able to keep track of your funds and organize them properly is a huge indication of ongoing success.
Content writers might be the first kind of freelancer that you hire. While there are plenty of webhosts out in the world that make the process of creating a simple website easy and affordable, drafting the text for that website can be more complicated. While it seems easy, and talented copywriters can quickly create the products that you need, crafting concise, SEO friendly content that reaches your market isn't as easy as it looks.
Hiring a content marketer to take this piece of your plate is often a good choice. From there, you can put them to work crafting blog articles, downloadable white papers, sales letters, and email newsletters, all of which will help grow your business.
Social Media Experts
Social media experts are often treated as if they are the same as content writers. While there is some overlap, they truly are two different jobs with two different needs. Your social media expert isn't just responsible for posting emojis on your social media accounts, but also for analyzing response, determining what's boosting traffic and what's less helpful, and responding to customers in real time.
Your content writer may certainly be able to do this as well, but make sure to have a conversation with them about their experience in this area. Social media is incredibly crucial for up and coming businesses, as the vast majority of consumers use a smartphone and get information about local events and activities through the Internet and social media. Making sure that you have an inviting and active social media presence across the most important platforms for your industry will help you get more customers and build your name recognition.
If you're reasonably comfortable with computers, managing your laptop, maybe a desktop, and your household WiFi connection is probably reasonable. When you need a server, cloud backups, and have several users sharing software, things get much more complex. If you're a business which takes credit card information or collects personal identify information, you need to maintain specific standards of storage to meet state and federal requirements and prevent hacks.
If this is all overwhelming to you, hiring an IT freelancer can help keep your company running smoothly. This isn't just about having someone to call when a computer crashes - though that is certainly helpful - it also ensures that you have someone whose job is to disable user accounts when an individual leaves the company, ensure that you have the right backups in place onsite and in the cloud, and keep all of your malware and antivirus protection up to date.
However, many freelancers you decide to hire, make sure to understand your tax liability to them. In general, you don't need to pay taxes for freelancers, but depending on how much they're paid during the year, you may still need to send them tax paperwork.
Which freelancer did you hire first?