For most of us our workloads fluctuate during the year depending on what kind of services we offer and who our clients are. Sometimes our workloads fluctuate for no reason at all. It’s important to have a plan in place to accommodate the influx of work so we’re not working until 3am every day or stressing out wondering how we’ll get the work accomplished. It’s not easy finding dependable people to work with so planning ahead of time, setting up interviews and reviewing portfolios will save headaches when you need the help. Once you find someone you’re comfortable working with, make sure they’re familiar with how you manage projects and communicate with clients. Add them to your project management software ahead of time so they’re familiar with the platform. Show them past projects and your process for completing projects. This way they won’t be a fish out of water when you begin a project. The following are 4 reasons you might be ready to ask for help.
Your client list is growing
If you’ve been freelancing a while you may find your client list growing with each project. Referrals from past clients are a great way to grow your client list. With more clients you have more work and potentially longer days. Each new client means more emails to send throughout the day, more project estimating to provide and more communication in general. With only so many hours in the day it’s easy to find ourselves behind on emails which can potentially leave clients hanging. If you have someone on your side taking on work to lighten your workload, this frees up time to take care of the extra communication required to manage more clients.
You’re working a lot of hours
One of the first things many freelancers do when they get busy is work more hours. Rather than working 9 to 5, they work 8 to 6 or even more. Working long hours can help in the short term but isn’t a good solution in the long term. We risk getting burned out and losing focus during our day due to lack of sleep. Keeping regular hours during our workday is important for planning schedules, determining deadlines, and meeting client expectations. Having others to give overflow work to can keep us on a more regular schedule and allows us to stay in our daily rhythm which is the key to staying creative and productive. Work hard to establish a rock solid routine.
You’re taking on larger projects
A huge benefit of working with others with different skills is the ability to take on projects you wouldn’t normally accept. If you’re stronger in the area of design rather than coding, working with a developer would give you the ability to take on web projects with bigger functionality needs. Offering a wider range of skills gives your clients a much wider selection of services to work from. It reduces roadblocks and workarounds you might have had before by not having sufficient skills to get the job done correctly. You’ll find you also grow your own skill set by working and being around others with different skills. Your friends will also learn from you, so it’s a win win situation.
You decide to take on a different role
In your journey as a freelancer you may find yourself wanting to do more directing than actual work. Having someone you can depend on can allow you to take on more creative direction, marketing, and big picture decisions you may not have had time for before. This also means that you’ll have to let go of some control of the everyday details. As we all probably know, no one likes a micro-manager. With extra time to see the big picture, you can think more about keeping the work coming in, seeking out new business, and strengthening relationships with existing clients. We’re able to see things more from a CEO role rather than account executive.
Take a step back now and then to look at how much work you have coming in and how many hours a day you’re working. Ask your clients if they’re happy with turnaround times and client services. If your responses are negative, it may be time to look for some assistance to increase productivity or to offer better client service.
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