Running a small business can be overwhelming at times. There are meetings with clients to attend, networking opportunities to take advantage of so that you can grow your business and then you have to actual stop and deliver your service or product or both. There is also the daily operations of the business that must be managed. This can range from maintaining your bookkeeping to managing your social media channels and other tasks that don’t seem to ever get done on your to-do list like calendar management, inbox management and managing incoming calls from clients.
It is enough to make your head spin
Have you thought of working with an online service provider that can help manage some of these activities and alleviate some stress from your daily operations?
According to a report from Upwork on Small Business Trends “55 percent of companies are seeking to increase their use of freelancers.” More companies are finding the value in working with an online service provider. This type of marketplace is getting very busy and if you have been thinking of using an online service provider then you are not alone. You only need to take a glimpse of the number of companies like Upwork, Remote.co & Flexjobs.com that cater to business owners who want to find these type of professionals. It can get a little confusing to know where to start once you do find an online service provider to work with. Here are 6 steps that will get you pointed in the right direction.
Decide What You Want
Are you looking for an employee or another small business owner to work with? This is really the first step. If you approach a professional that you would like to hire as an employee but they are a small business owner like you then the initial communication will be all wrong and can prove to be a frustrating experience for you both. So decide upfront which type of professional you would like to work with. Upwork has a variety of professionals to work with from small business entrepreneurs to remote workers. Additionally, Flexjobs.com is a great place to look for remote workers as many Fortune 500 companies have shown.
Communication Is Key
The first step to establish a good working relationship is to communicate your needs effectively. Both parties should have a short list of questions to bring up in the initial meeting to establish if you are both a good fit for one another. Be upfront and transparent and use online tools like Zoom to do a video call to help establish good rapport. If you are more comfortable talking on the phone initially that is fine too.
Deliverables and Expectations
This goes back to having effective communication with each other. If you are looking for updates daily and the other person wants to make status updates weekly then discuss an alternative that is a win-win for everyone. If you are seeking to have work completed daily and the other person wants to work on weekly deadlines then work out the deliverables and the details towards a mutual agreement.
Are you looking to hire someone by the hour or do you want a fixed price? Decide this before you start looking for help and it will help your search go much smoother.
Know Thy Self
Are you comfortable using technology to work with an online service provider? Be very honest with yourself about this. If you aren’t that is okay just don’t ignore your feelings surrounding this.
Know Who You Are Working With
Before you make your final decision to work with an online service provider ask for testimonials from other clients that you can view on their website or LinkedIn. Upwork has a feature for their freelancers that will let you see that they have been verified by Upwork and rated by previous clients.
Working with an online service provider can really help you increase productivity within your business. There are a range of professionals who are 100% remote like CPA firms, law firms, digital agencies, receptionist services and the list goes on. Technology is here to stay so why don’t you start with a small project and give it a try? Check out these online marketplaces to get started.
What are your thoughts about working with an online service provider? Share in the comments below.
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