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Growing A Small Business: Hire an Employee or Subcontractors?

Posted by Ilise Benun on

If you need some inspiration, the new-to-freelance Jeff Tara, from Brand Vue Design, is back with his upbeat attitude. Jeff has been in business only 4 months so far. He’s been reaching out to companies he’s wanted to work with — and his efforts have been warmly received and are evolving into actual business!

Guess what else? Jeff already has more work than he can handle, is already subcontracting, and is actually considering his first hire.

In today’s interview, we talked about how to hire employees…

I told Jeff:

It’s not an automatic given that when you need help, you hire someone full time.  Often, what makes the most sense to start is giving people subcontracted/freelance jobs to see if they’re a good fit … from there, perhaps you move to part time. If that works well, then you think about maybe bringing someone on full time … But another way many creative professionals are growing now is by putting together virtual teams based on the project. 

On the topic of when to hire employees, things are less exact. I don’t think it’s based necessarily on a certain amount of money in the bank, or a certain number of clients on the roster. As a matter of fact, I have seen people wait too long to take that next step because they weren’t sure when to take it. Sometimes you have to make the leap of faith. Surrounding yourself with a virtual team can be the least risky approach.

Listen to this 14-minute interview here.

Are you a virtual agency? How has it worked for you? 

Have you hired employees? When did you know the time was right? 

For more on this topic, don’t miss Luke Mysse’s session at the Creative Freelancer Conference, Options for Growth (June 21-22 in Boston)! And when you sign up, be sure to use “CMM12” promo code for an extra $50 off. 

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