Skip to content
Home » Blog » Finding a Freelancer or Contractor for Startups

Finding a Freelancer or Contractor for Startups

woman finding freelancer or contractor on phone

Starting a new business is a lot of work for one person. Maybe you can do things faster if you find a freelancer or contractor to help. But what types of jobs are appropriate for them? When should you do the job yourself instead of hiring out? Where do you even find them?

This is what we’ll be exploring in our next series of articles. Below, you’ll find the links to the more detailed articles about specific aspects of this process. As always, this blog post is the glue that binds and makes sense of it all.

So let’s start with the big picture: Why do you need to find freelancers and contractors and how to use them to get your business started.

A Fork in the Road in Starting a Business

In the business startup process, we’re at the point where you’ve decided the type of legal entity you’re going to run your business under. You’ve also set up your bank account. Somewhere along the line, you’ve probably bought your domain name too. Depending on the type of business you’re starting, what you do next is going to be a bit different.

If you plan to run a business with a physical location, the next big thing you’ll have to do is to go look for a location and lease a place. At the same time, you might also be looking at, pricing out, and possibly putting a deposit down for the equipment you’ll need to run your business. You might be buying or at least gearing up to buy inventory too. This would be true no matter if you’re planning to open a magic shop, a restaurant, or a dentist’s office.

If you plan to run an online business—whether it’s a blog like this one or an online store—you’ll be looking for a hosting company and pricing out hosting plans. After that, you’ll be building your blog or your webstore.

Depending on the path that is waiting for you, your focus from now on will be very different.

Different Paths, Similar Solution: Find a Freelancer or Contractor to Help

Despite the divergent paths, there’s something fundamentally true about both: you probably won’t be able to do all of the work yourself. Often, it’s because you simply don’t have the time to do the work. Other times, it’s because you don’t know how to do the work (or have time or maybe inclination to learn it). Either way, you’ll need to find a freelancer or contractor to help.

Contractors and freelancers are the ideal solutions for getting help fast without having to hire them as employees. After all, you might only have a one-time, small project. There’s no reason to hire a full time or even part time employee for the job.

A contractor or freelancer comes with the knowledge and training needed to complete the job. You won’t need to train them. They’ll hit the road running.

What Projects are Ideal for a Freelancer or Contractor?

While the words are often used interchangeably, there’s a difference between a freelancer and a contractor. A freelancer tends to refer to a one-person business. Often, they’re professionals with specialized knowledge. A contractor can be a freelancer, but it can also be a business with multiple owners or workers.

You can use a freelancer or contractor for anything you can think of to help start your business. Here’s a non-exclusive list of projects typically reserved for freelancers or contractors:

  • Design a logo
  • Set up your website or webstore
  • Design the interior of a store or office space
  • Build the interior of a store or office space
  • Photograph your products for your webstore, flyers, menu, etc.
  • Graphic design for your website or other marketing materials
  • Write up product descriptions
  • Market your product or services (flyers, mail or email marketing, social media marketing)
  • Write for your website (blogs, written description of what you do, company exec bios)
  • HR and payroll consulting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Optimize your website for search engines (SEO)
  • Build a mobile app for your business

How do You Find a Freelancer or Contractor?

The hows of finding a freelancer or contractor are what our detailed articles in this series will focus on.

For each project, you’ll need freelancers or contractors with different levels of knowledge or experience. Maybe you’re OK with paying $10 to an artistically inclined high school kid to make a logo for your business. But maybe you want someone with at least five years of bookkeeping experience to keep your books at a much higher hourly rate. You’ll have to play some of this by ear and decide for yourself.

But there are some tips common to all contractor or freelancer hires that can save you time and grief in the long run. Believe it or not, a successful working relationship depends a lot on you instead of the contractor or freelancer.

So, our first article is on general tips on how to hire and work with freelancers and contractors:

Next, we’ll explore a few places where you can look for certain types of contractors and freelancers:

Now that you know how to find freelancers and contractors to help you with various aspects of setting up your business, you can move quickly down your to-do list and towards opening your doors.

If You Can Find a Freelancer or Contractor, Why Continue Reading This Blog?

It’s dangerous to use contractors and freelancers for jobs that you have no idea how to do. For one, you’ll want to figure out who has the real knowledge and who is merely a fast-talking salesperson promising you the world for a buck.

During and at the end of the project, you’ll need to be able to evaluate if the person did a great job or catch them doing a shoddy one. This is why, most of the time, you’ll still need to have a general idea on how to do the project.

And that’s what this blog is for. As time goes on, our articles will focus more and more on the DIY aspects of running a small business. You’ll find that you can use a freelancer or contractor to do some or all of these projects.

But, even if you do find a freelancer or contractor, we hope our articles will give you enough information so you’ll be an informed buyer of the freelancing or contracting services. And, yes, if you decide to do the project yourself, our articles should give you enough information to help you smoothly finish the project.

And, realistically, unless you have a lot of startup funding, you’re going to have to do a lot of this yourself. So, we hope you keep reading this blog even after you’ve found your contractor or freelancer.

Next: A Quick Word on Bookkeeping and Company Financial Records

Before we move on to the nitty-gritty of DIY, let’s quickly address your business’s accounting/bookkeeping needs. Keeping good financial records and paying the correct amount of taxes at the correct time is important to any business. But, at this startup stage, we don’t think you’ll need anything fancy. We’ll explain in the next blog.

Interested in starting and running a small business? Here’s the beginning of our step-by-step guide: What to do right after getting that great business idea.

Questions? Comments?