In my last article, I mentioned why you shouldn’t spend too much time on learning ‘non-core’ skills. If you finally agree with it, and are now looking to find ways to work with the experts, this article may be helpful.
Before beginning, I am assuming that you are an entrepreneur, of a bootstrapped business, that does not have enough funds to hire specialists, yet want to make it big. I have been there and I get you!
Experts or specialists can get the job done like no makeshift arrangements can. For non-core jobs, you need to engage specialists only for a short duration, until the job gets done. So here are 4 ways in which you can get specialists to gleefully freelance with you.
1. Ask for a favour:
Easy right? Wrong! If you are like me, you will agree that asking for a favour is like displaying vulnerability. You hate to be vulnerable, and asking for help feels demeaning. Well, it is time to change.
The sooner you realise that you cannot make it big alone, the better. You need help all along. Remember that people perceive you like an underdog hero, taking on the big bad world. They love to help the underdogs. And once they help you, they do not want that help to go in vain. They will want you to succeed, so that one day, when you become big, you will recognise their contribution. The more people help you, the more well-wishers you have for your business.
So the next time you have a reasonably small job which you feel a specialist can help you with, ask for a favour. Be humble and tell him / her that you cannot afford to pay them at this time, and you will be happy to repay this debt in cash or kind as soon as you can.
Most importantly, always remember their contribution
2. Offer exchange of services / products:
If you provide something which you think would be valuable for the specialist, offer exchange of services or products. If you want a photographer friend to shoot a portfolio for a resort you are planning to start, give him a free stay with his family. People happily work when they get something of equal or greater value in return.
Always make sure that you strike the deal in advance and communicate the details of the offer clearly. Unclear communication can leave either one of you feeling like you got a bad deal.
3. Pay small amount in cash and a large amount in gratitude:
This arrangement will be very similar to the first one, with one important difference. A percentage of fee that the specialist would have charged in normal contracts. If you want to hire someone with higher skills but have the budget of someone with lower skills, you can go with this arrangement.
Communication is the key here again. You need to tell the specialist that you can only afford to pay a fraction, and that you will remember his / her contribution. You can only ask for a favour once or twice, but you can run with this arrangement several times, as both parties derive some tangible benefit out of the arrangement.
4. Save up until you can afford them:
Sounds obvious, but it is not. Often when the savings are just enough, suddenly the need for a specialist doesn’t seem as resounding, and you tend to divert those funds into something which seems important at that specific moment.
It is important to remember why you saved up in the first place, and what a huge value addition a specialist would be, in the long run.
Specialists or Experts always add value. They bring in stability and predictability of outcomes and bring about peace of mind in the life of the entrepreneur.