Although it shouldn't be your only decision-making consideration, cost is a real factor in hiring the right freelancer.
There are a number of old sayings that ring true regarding evaluating cost, but the one probably most applicable to hiring a freelancer is, "If you think it costs a lot to hire an expert, wait until you see how much it costs to hire an amateur".
So, as a business looking to hire an expert there are two considerations when assessing cost:
- What can you afford?
If your budget is fixed at £1,000 you're wasting everyone's time discussing anything over that.
- What is a realistic price to get the work done?
Experts in things like web design or mobile app development are in short supply. The work they do is also complicated and takes time. Posting a project to "build a mobile app for £200" is unlikely to generate any responses.
Freelance Project Costing Matrix
Here is a matrix to help you decide what you are prepared to pay for a particular type of project.
Business critical projects
These are tasks that you do not want to penny-pinch on. They will typically be tasks that impact either your customers, your staff or your P&L.
For example, if you're an ecommerce business moving from Shopify to Magento, you want to ensure you get the very best freelancer on this project.
Regular projects with a similar output
Here are tasks that take a degree of expertise but have a similar output each month. For example, VAT returns or book-keeping. The freelancer needs to know what they are doing, but the work is ongoing so you should consider this in what you are prepared to invest.
Low risk repetitive projects
These projects are things that need doing consistently but don't require anything too complex. An example could be regular admin that involved backing up photos by uploading them to dropbox.
Avoid these projects
Any project that's high-cost and requires little or no expertise should be scrapped. There's bound to be 101 other projects that are more deserving of your time and effort.