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September 27, 2012 1:18 PM Subscribe
How can I expand my business from a 1 person independent freelance/contractor to a few people (or with an assistant?) While simultaneously maintaining high quality and being able to trust the project or parts of the project to others.
posted by Dances with sock puppets to Work & Money (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm self-employed and have done what I do now for a couple years now; I'm able to pull in a salary similar to what I was paid before and have a few long-term clients.I could pull in more but I do enjoy my time and cherry pick the projects.
My business is very cyclical and there are times of the year when people really want to work with me and because it would compromise quality and/or I would be working 7 days a week, round the clock.
So I have considered either subcontracting or getting a part-time employee at least during a few months of the year to take on the extra work.
Some of my concerns, however, are about the quality of the work. I do know (please don't think that I have a big head) that I do get some work and/or am often preferred to be the person working for larger companies because of the quality of my work (via feedback from my clients and sometimes even their clients). In one case, someone inside a company told me that their company had failed to deliver anything that their client was happy with over the course of a year, but they loved whatever it was that I did or developed.
So....although I would love to expand and hire either independent contractors during this time of year:
• One of my main concerns is how to maintain quality (especially if larger companies can't do this sometimes). If quality drops, I may lose clients.
• Another concern is how to even trust other people to hand over a project to them. I have subcontracted twice: in the first case the quality of what was handed back was horrible and I redid 90% of it and another time it was person who insisted that they never had heard they should do X, Y, or Z (it would be impossible to be in my industry and not do those things and stay in the field as a freelancer).
• Yet another concern is that in all honesty I am not really a people person. I have found that I LOVE not having a supervisor or having coworkers. So this may translate into being a horrible person to manage projects, too.
• I'm really concerned about dropping $ that goes nowhere for this (I'm happy with what I earn now, but if I pour tons of extra hours/time to get $10 or $20 an hour over the course of a few weeks, it may not be worth it.
My question comes down to "How do you hire (even part time, or assistant, or trainee, or colleague) a person and still maintain quality and ultimately trust the person to do good work? Is there an organization that I should talk to? Or is there a way to think about this? (To go independent, a person or two gave me a good way to think about it and...it gave me the courage to jump). Would something like therapy really help with this?It seems like it would be a strange reason to request therapy, but maybe it is emotion underneath the concern about hiring someone.
Even if I ended up hiring a part-time college student for seasonal work, I'd be happy with that because I can't wrap my head around the next step.