How to find the best freelancers
After leaving their jobs two years ago at Time Inc., to launch Altruette, a small jewellery startup that donates half of its profit to charitable causes, Ms. Clifford and Ms. Schlosser were in a bind to find talented, flexible freelancers. They began by taking to Craigslist to find temporary employees, but they have since moved most of their hiring to LinkedIn.
The pair emphasized how important it is to meet each candidate in person, and said they often meet six or seven people before settling on a freelancer. One of the big red flags is prospective employees in search of a full-time job, which could leave the duo high and dry if something more permanent comes up.
"It's not necessarily a deal-breaker for us," the pair writes, "but having been left in the lurch twice, we now need to get a commitment, at least to a given project."
They also stress the importance of being on the same page as their freelancers when it comes to timelines.
"We've learned the hard way that 'spend a bit of time' on the project means 40 hours to one person and 15 minutes to someone else. You learn that finishing a project 'soon' means anywhere from three hours to three months."
Small business confidence dips in April
The measure of small business confidence dipped in April, the first decline since last August, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The CFIB "business barometer" slipped slightly to a confidence level of 66.4, down 1.3 points from March. The barometer is measured on a scale between 0 and 100, with an index above 50 indicating that more business owners expect performance to be stronger in the next year. Despite the drop, the results still indicate that business conditions are stable and there is modest economic growth, according to the CFIB. The sectors with the most optimistic outlook were manufacturing, natural resources, business services, and health and education.
New immigrants more likely to start small businesses: report
According to a new Small Business Administration report, immigrants to the U.S. are more likely to start their own business than those born and raised in the U.S., reports Portfolio.com. The report, which analyzed U.S. Census Bureau Data, concluded that 10.5 per cent of the immigrant work force owns a business, compared with 9.3 per cent of the U.S.-born population. the study cocluded that immigrants have "a proclivity towards entrepreneurship," and that immigrant-owned businesses launch with higher levels of startup capital than non-immigrant-owned businesses. The full report is available here.
EVENTS AND KEY DATES
Globe and Mail/Telus Challenge contest
The Globe and Mail and Telus are once again offering an opportunity for entrepreneurs with the Globe and Mail/Telus Challenge Contest. Explain the biggest challenge your business faces today and how a $100,000 grant would help you overcome it. Our panel of business experts will review every entry, and if the most compelling is yours, you’ll win a $100,000 business grant from Telus. Plus, your company will be profiled in the pages of Report on Business. Deadline for submissions is May 28, 2012.
Marketing and Entrepreneurship seminar
This evening seminar by BCN Young Networkers of Waterloo Region in Ontario focuses on connecting young entrepreneurs with industry experts who can advise them about how they should approach the marketing and entrepreneurship aspects of business. For more information or to register for the seminar, visit the event listing.
EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
Success Stories: ‘Geek at heart’ on track to double revenue
In the newest installment of this recurring feature, the Report on Small Business looks at Jason Cottrell and his successful Toronto startup Myplanet Digital, which works on digital solutions for businesses. Myplanet Digital has already attracted high-profile clients such as the Royal Conservatory of Music, Warner Music and Carnegie Hall.
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
Not every energy bar's got the power.
It takes more than a good product and local success to reach big retailers. The struggles of three firms to get noticed.
Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at email@example.com
Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT
Our free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe's website, you can sign up here. Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit 'save changes.' If you need to register for the site, click here.