Whether you’re a start-up, entrepreneur, or small business owner, budgets are a big deal. Many times instead of hiring the “right” help, we take the offers of hiring friends and family to “help” us out. Although intentions are good on both ends, this situation often leads to discontent and can even break a relationship.
The offer of free or discounted help is appealing, but keep in mind what that means: “I’ll help you when I have time after I do what I’m paid to do.”
If you’ve been in this situation, or plan to be in this situation, below are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are they treating you like a regular client? Are you paying them what another client is paying them, so they set aside time to ensure your work is done? Often, help from friends and family can come at a discounted rate, which can also equal discounted services. People will do work they are being paid for before they work on what they’re either not getting paid for or getting paid less for.
- Are you being clear on your expectations? Just because you had a quick conversation over dinner touching on the work you need to do doesn’t mean you laid out expectations like you would with someone you hired.
- What are their qualifications? Cheap rates and no rates sound great until you’ve spent money only to realize they really don’t know what they’re doing. It always sounds nice when someone close to you offers to help, but do they know what they’re doing? Just because your aunt knows how to post a picture and comment on Facebook doesn’t mean she should run your social media campaign.
- What is their availability? If your sister has a full-time job with 4 young kids under the age of 5 and says she’ll help at night on the weekends…just remember she didn’t say what night or weekend. People with full and busy lives can have a hard time finding time to work on what you need, no matter how much they want to help.
- What is your relationship with that person worth to you? If things don’t work out, the work isn’t being done or done right, are you going to be able to tell them? If you tell them, will they be able to handle it?
- What is your main reason for hiring them? If your main reason is that they are the most competent person you know to do the job and you’re willing to pay for that, then it’s probably a good choice. But if you hired them because they are in desperate need of work and are offering you a discounted rate, chances are the situation is not going to end well.
- Are you trying to save money? If this is your main reason and you’re “hoping” the work gets done and done right, you’re probably going to be disappointed.
Although staying within budget is important, making business decisions based solely on your budget isn’t always the best answer. More often than not, you’ll end up paying someone to “help” and then paying someone to fix and finish that help. Hiring a professional to do certain tasks may end up being the best financial solution in the end.
Laura is the founder of Elite Virtual Assistants. If you’ve been in this situation and need some help, schedule a call with her today. If you’d like more information on how a VA can grow your business…and learn how to use one, download our free, comprehensive e-book here.