You’re freelance business is moving along and you’ve been wondering if you need to hire subcontractors to help with the big jobs. You may not be making much money yet, and aren’t sure of the pros and cons of taking this step. Is it worth it financially to hire subcontractors?
To answer this question, you have to ask yourself these questions first:
1. How much do you want to make per piece, per hour, per job?
Without the answer to this question, you shouldn’t commit to anything. If you have a fixed amount, then you need to answer the next question. And, be sure not to undervalue your time and effort.
2. Can you complete each piece in the allotted time you allowed to make the amount you want?
Using articles as an example, if you quote a fee of $25 per article based on an hour of work, but you find the articles are averaging 90 minutes each, you have a problem. My suggestion is to always offer an initial quote that can be renegotiated after you are familiar with the amount of time and effort that will be involved.
3. Is the fee enough to warrant hiring subcontractors?
Keep in mind that you will need to proof (and possibly edit) the outsourced content. You will need to determine what you can offer the subcontractors in order to cover the managing aspect of the project. If you are getting $25 per article and you subcontract the piece for $15, $18 or $20, it may be worth the investment. Whether it’s enough or not will depend on the amount of work and time it takes you to keep things running smoothly.
4. Will organizing and managing the project, with subcontractors on board, still allow for you to earn what you want?
If the project involves a lot of posts or articles, aside from the actual content writing the organizing and managing of the project will be time consuming. You will need to create multiple spreadsheets for each subcontractor that will contain: what specific job each subcontractor is doing; the specifics of that job; when it’s due; when the content is received, keeping track of all the titles or other information; when it’s submitted to the client; when you’re paid from the client, when you pay each subcontractor.
It would be a good idea to also keep track of how much editing you need to do for each subcontractor.
You will also need to organize and manage the content. Each subcontractor will need his own folder on your computer within the project folder.
Then there is the bookkeeping aspect of the job. There will be invoicing to the client, along with making sure you are paid, and invoicing and payments to subcontractors. You need to keep track of income and expenses-this is a must.
And, don’t forget about the all the communications between you and the subcontractors, and you and the client.
You may begin to realize that all the time spent on organizing and managing the project could be spent writing your own content.
5. Is it possible to do the work yourself? Or, do you feel you won’t get done on time without the help of subcontractors?
In regard to these two questions, it’s possible you think you have less time than you actually do. Maybe the client wasn’t very specific in regard to a time frame; this is where you need to request a specific time period and amount of content per week. Another possibility is to negotiate with your client for an extended time period so you can complete the project on your own without being overwhelmed.