Getting the help you deserve

Notice up there in the title, I said “DESERVE” and not need. As small business owners, we think know we can do it all. But we tend to exhaust ourselves until the wee hours of the morning working only to get up early the next day and do it all over again. I am here to tell you that you don’t have to do it anymore! At least not alone.

I know what you are saying to yourself right now. Lisa, I have no extra funds…how in the world will I find help? Well, there are several ways you can go about doing just that…whether you have the funds to or not.

Everyone loves the word free. As a small business owner, this is music to my ears. Finding free help can be a bit challenging if you don’t know where to look. Here are a few resources that may help.

Local Colleges
Do you have an art school or local college near you? Try contacting their intern department and see if they have any students that would be a good fit for your business. Most of the time, they get credit for the work they do so it benefits both of you. Some art schools even have a “Portfolio Open House” type event where you can actually meet students and see their work.

High School
Try contacting the local high school Art or Marketing Department and see if they have anyone that would be interested in learning the ropes of your creative business. Sometimes, these kids can also get school credit by working.

In my opinion, you are probably going to get the best workers if you are able to pay them. Remember, when you are fresh out of college you have bills to pay!

You can create a free local want ad for the type of position you are looking for.

Local Paper
Sometimes, the local paper is the least expensive way of advertising your need for help.

Local Colleges
Again, these can be a great resource for both paid and free help. Contact the school and see if they offer an online jobs board or something similar. Most of the time, you can post an ad for nothing.

*You can also try to put out the word on all of your social networking sites. A friend of a friend may know someone in your area that would be perfect for the job!

Make sure that when you create your ad, you are very clear in the type of work/position you are looking for. That may mean taking a few minutes to really think about what tasks you would like for your new assistant/intern to perform. Are you looking for someone to assist in the actual production of your product? Someone to help with paperwork? Someone to run your website? Someone to help with marketing? Someone to tackle your inbox?

So your phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting to work with you. Sweet! Now, it’s time to do some weeding.

Start with the Initial Call
You can ask a few questions when you receive the first call. The specific questions will depend on what type of work you will need them to perform. If the person seems confident and you get a good vibe, invite them for an actual interview. Make sure to ask them to bring in their resume and references.

Sit Down Interview
I would recommend meeting at a local restaurant or coffee shop. If you work from home, you don’t want every person that comes in for an interview to know where you live. Not that they are serial killers but it’s best to to cautious anyway!

Ask appropriate questions that relate to the job at hand. Don’t go into personal details unless they offer it first. It’s always good to have a list of questions prepared beforehand just so you aren’t stuck for what to ask.

This is a biggie, especially if you work from home. No matter how qualified a person may sound, if they give off a weary vibe you don’t want to take chances.

Just in case things don’t work out with whomever you have chosen, make sure to keep resumes on file so you have a few backups.

Independent Contractor or Employee?
I didn’t go too much into this because I know we have some readers that are from our sister country Canada as well as across the pond (and the world for that matter). It is very important that you check with your local government to see what the procedures are for hiring someone. Here in the States, it’s quite involved and there are certain rules that must be followed.


  1. Angie Green says:

    This is such a timely post! I’ve been thinking about hiring help for my business, and have struggled with where to find it.

    For others in the same boat, don’t forget that not everyone needs to be in the same city as you. I’m looking at hiring a remote Virtual Assistant – it’s much cheaper, plus I will only be paying for the time I need.

    Great article! Thanks so much.

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