Starting a side hustle is a common decision that many households take in order to boost their income. More often than not, the side hustle can be run during your free time. But there will come a moment when you get to the end of your abilities.
At first, you may choose to dedicate a few hours during the week. But, if your side business becomes successful, you’ll soon realise that you need to provide additional services and operative hours to your customers.
Unfortunately, until your side hustle becomes a viable business on its own, it’s never a good idea to give up your day-to-day job until you’re sure your side hustle is robust. However, it’s a never-ending dilemma.
You need to invest time to grow your hustle, but you can’t afford to quit your regular-income job. What is the best way forward?
Many households choose to abandon their side hustle when they reach a critical point. However, there is another option that can prove helpful to you and allow you to grow your side hustle without taking uncalculated risks.
Everything successful entrepreneur has started in a modest environment. Google, Apple and Windows all started from a garage before they could outgrow their premises and hire their first employees.
Knowing that Bill Gates is one of the most celebrated millionaire philanthropists, it makes no doubt that with the right direction, any side hustle could potentially set you financially free – just like it did for Gates. However, before your side hustle turns into a full-size company, you need an extra pair of hands to set things ready.
Indeed, you can’t invest more of your time into growing your activities. However, you can pay someone to do it for you. If you’ve never considered hiring a freelance contractor, now’s the time to change your mind and explore the option.
As a side hustler, you are probably going to worry about a lot of different situations when it comes to relying on someone new. Here is a quick guideline of what you need to know about freelancers and why you should hire one – or more.
Most businesses love contractors
More and more businesses have been relying on independent contractors for their company. Indeed, in a world where the work-life balance has become an obsessive quest, freelancers are taking over the work market. Their situation allows them to enjoy more flexibility.
They can choose to work when they need to, and they can schedule days, weeks or even months away from the workplace. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for freelancers to work remotely, which enables them to accumulate projects and clients. From a business perspective, contractors are a smart choice.
Ultimately, you only keep them until the project is over. In other words, you only pay for what you need when you need it. If you’re running a tight budget, you can set a relationship on a project-basis to make sure you don’t drag your budget in the red.
How do you pick a contractor for your side hustle?
You have probably developed a strategy to accept or reject clients’ requests by now. Instinctively, you can tell when a client is going to be difficult, and, being a side hustler, you’re in a position to turn down the work offer – as you don’t rely on your side hustle to make ends meet.
You’ll find that your instinct will be just as helpful when it comes to finding the right freelancer for your project. If you’ve chosen to approach freelancers through dedicated platforms, such as Upwork or peopleperhour, you should check this handy article on how to choose the right person for you, https://www.upwork.com/hiring/startup/how-to-choose-and-interview-freelancer/.
Typically platforms have a rating system which lets you set the most recommended freelancers available for the set of skills you research. Additionally, you can also check their profile to get a feel of who they are and what they can do.
You can, however, find freelancers through different approaches. Indeed, many freelancers use social media networks such as LinkedIn to promote their skills, for instance. It’s a good platform to start your research.
How do you pay a contractor?
When you hire a contractor for a one-time job through a freelancing platform, payment is going to be the last thing you’ll have to worry about. Indeed, most platforms have a payment system, which you can set to hours, days, or tasks, depending on your needs and preferences.
Typically, this is something that you will have to establish at the time of posting your job request. However, if you’re recruiting freelancers outside of those platforms, you will need to create a strict payment policy with your freelancer.
At the beginning of the project, the freelancer will have to confirm their hourly/daily rates, if you choose to use this system. You can then use a time management tool, such as https://getsling.com/employee-time-clock/ to clock in their time, which can be useful for long-term tasks. For one-time projects, it’s best to agree on the cost and payment terms before starting the work.
Some freelancers can have specific conditions, such as payments within 7 days or 15 days, for instance.
How do you work with a contractor?
It’s not easy to work for yourself. But having someone working for you is a completely different kettle of fish! Ultimately, you need to change your habits to make sure someone else can work alongside without wasting your precious time.
Whatever you’re working on, remember that your freelancer is likely to work remotely. Therefore, you need to digitise everything you do and put it in a place that is manageable, accessible and editable for both of you.
Google Drive, for instance, offers a variety of tools for writing, reporting and building projects. It’s also recommended to stick to tools that are also mobile-friendly, as freelancers can work on the go.
In other words, the easier you make it to your freelancer to access information and work, the smoother your relationship will be.
How do you pass information?
Sharing documents is one thing, but it’s not quite the same as passing on information effectively.
You need to communicate effectively – if you’ve been running your side hustle alone until now, this is going to be a massive change. Your freelancing contractor may not live in the same time zone.
If you are planning on running catch-up calls or video conferences, you need to agree on a time that is suitable for both of you. Stating your availability clearly will make a big difference!
Communicating in writing is a life-saver. Writing instructions, decisions and necessary data ensures that you can trace back everything. Lastly, remember to be a good boss even if you’re only dealing with freelancers.
While it might be tempting to check on your contractor, don’t turn into a control freak: you’re only going to cost your side hustle precious time.
How does it look like from a tax perspective?
If your side hustle doesn’t hit a taxable level every year, you may not even need to fill up a tax self-assessment form. However, even when your side hustle doesn’t deliver a high income, if you’re running an official business – a limited company, for instance –, you will need to fill up your corporate taxes.
Regardless of your tax choices – aka of whether you’ve formed a company or running a self-employed business –, hiring a freelancer will transform your tax return. Ultimately, the costs associated with the recruitment and payment processes need to figure on your tax return as they affect your overall profits.
If you are unsure about how to share the information from a tax perspective, you should work with a certified accountant to handle the matter safely.
How about building a long-term relationship?
When you find a talented freelance contractor, you want to make sure you can keep them!
Most freelancers are experienced with long-term working relationships so that they will most likely shape their tasks into a recurring project if you both agree on a regular commitment.
However, there are a few things you can already do to encourage them to work for you again. Make sure to give your contractor a tour of your side hustle – virtually or physically, depending on the situation.
It’s the perfect way of introducing your goal, your skills and your resources.
Good freelancers bring growth
You need freelancers to create growth, but you need growth to afford freelancers. Is there a way forward to solve the eternal outsourcing dilemma for small side hustlers? The answer is yes.
Tyically, you can work closely with dedicated marketing experts to drive more business. Indeed, content marketing freelancers are your best go-to contacts when you’re in the process of growing your business.
They can not only create appealing content, but they can also help you to reach out to new customers. From a blog post to an entire online course, published content drives new customers over time. In other words, you want to boost your online presence before you can take on contractors to do your job!
The bottom line is that without someone to dedicate time to your side hustle, it can’t grow. Hiring a contractor and managing your work relationship can let you plan ahead without needing to give up your day-to-day job. Admittedly, it’s not going to be easy to find someone you can trust. But don’t give up! A reliable and trustworthy freelancer is your best ally to transform your side hustle into a small business.