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How to Find the Right Freelancer

Hiring a freelancer can be a good move. Just be sure you know exactly what you want done.

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This story appears in the June 2010 issue of Start Up.

You don't have to go all the way to India or Asia--or be a big company, for that matter--to try outsourcing and reap the benefits. In fact, knowing when and how to outsource a project or problem by calling in freelance talent can be the salvation of a startup's harried founder or the small entrepreneur pressed for time and capital. There's always something new to learn or manage. And increasingly, stressed-out small business owners are looking for smart, cost-effective ways to profit from the new without making it an overriding preoccupation. Here are some tips:

Why use freelancers?

Most business owners need to call in additional help at some point, whether it's marketing expertise, web design, or virtual assistance to handle the backlog of emails and administrative tasks. Sometimes, employing a freelancer is the best decision so it can free you to do the things you do best and enjoy doing. At other times, you may decide to get help in an area that would be far too time-consuming for you to learn, such as HTML coding or QuickBooks.

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