Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Start your own agency for freelance work

Here's a nice idea: make money getting other people to do you work. Do I hear echoes of disbelieving sighs?  Well, it's not such a crazy notion at all. Nor is it as easy as it sounds, but yes, it can earn you a lot of money if you're any at good at managing people

You see, about a year ago I decided I finally had enough of my 9 to 5 office cubicle. I wanted to do something for myself and give more time to my family. I started doing part-time work as a freelancer until I was confident I could match my current paycheck working out of my living room. 

Pretty soon, I was passing on work to other freelancers. I opened an employer account (known as an agency) and started recruiting workers into my shop by posting openings in the relevant areas, such as accounting.

Eventually, I had a team that could take on almost any business project. As soon as I saw a job that one or more of my team members could tackle, I would apply for it and get my team working on it. Eventually, I simply put the relevant team member directly in front of the prospective employer to complete the end-to-end process.

While I put my own two feet in the choicest projects (mainly business plans for start-ups), my agency workers are busy with their own contracts and earn me something of a passive income, since all the payments for their work come through my agency and I keep a percentage of the proceeds. All I do is facilitate the matchmaking and the initial training and development.

It's quite easy setting up your own agency. Simply find your way to one of the freelancing sites through the site links and banners on my website, or click one of the ads below. All you need to do to open an account is to register as an employer but you don't pay a cent till you've actually hired someone.

Setting up an account will require you to provide your name and payment details so you can pay your contractors. Once you set up your firm, you can hire freelancers and try to secure bids.

You will need to be an excellent negotiator and sales person as well as a talented recruiter to pull this off since the competition is quite stiff. However, agencies always have an upper edge since they have a pool of resources that can do the work.

Beware there is a steep learning curve, particularly if you do not have much experience managing people or driving sales. The rewards too are quite reasonable. Over time, a smooth functioning agency requires little more than a few hours of administration in the week (and this too can be easily outsourced) while it can earn a revenue stream of thousands of dollars in the month if there are a lot of projects being worked on.

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