Finding Affordable Help for Your Business

This post is for all you small business owners. It should help you learn to find employees for free, find a freelancer, and work with your unemployed friends and family to get affordable help for your small business.

As a budding entrepreneur, I have been challenged to find help for critical roles in my business. My husband and I run a manufacturing business and have had to discover different ways to find additional employees, while our profit catches up to our desired budget so that we can hire permanent new employees.

In the process of being resourceful, we have managed to secure very talented professional help for a variety of needs—from website design and setup, to sales support, to bookkeeping and office administration. Here are a few of our budget-friendly tips for finding talented employees at a fraction of the costs for your temporary and ongoing projects:

Find Employees for Free at Local Universities

Contact the career centers at your local top universities. Every college has a career center and an online job depot, where employers can post jobs and temporary work projects. These are almost always free and are distributed to current students and alumni. Tapping local college students is a fantastic way to find eager and excited young employees ready and willing to get real world experience. Also, with the added benefit of alumni distribution you get the combined benefit of finding someone with professional work experience and the educational background you need.

Some schools are known to have better academic programs or specialties and you should do your homework on which schools offer majors in the field you are recruiting for. For example, I recently needed someone to help with web design and programming and found that USC in the SoCal area seemed to have the best talent in relation to other neighboring schools. Conversely, when I needed some marketing and business consulting, I found the alumni at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business to be quite talented. Every school has its niche, and each career center’s staff will be happy to match their students and alumni with a budding business.

Utilize Family and Friends

With so many people unemployed, or feeling anxious about losing their jobs, I know many people looking for side gigs. Ask your friends and family if they know any reliable people looking for a short term assignment, like helping you get your books in order for taxes or someone to proof your marketing materials for an upcoming business campaign.

Find a Freelance Writer, Designer, or Developer Online

Check out the available freelance websites. There are plenty of people trying to make extra money with freelance writing. If you need writers, web developers, web content, brochures, press release, etc., there are a several websites that can broadcast your job ad to help you hire a freelancer. These sites are very popular and are sure to give you a pool of talent to select from. Also, with the benefits of computer technology, you can find a freelancer to use virtually. Location no longer is a barrier, widening your pool of talent.

Editor’s Note: A site that I’ve recently fallen in love with is oDesk. At oDesk you can get a freelancer from anywhere in the world who will help you with just about anything for extremely reasonable prices.
– I recently hired someone from the Philippines to work on a tweak of my site design. Three hours work cost me an embarrassingly low fee.
– The great thing about oDesk is that you are connecting with a real entrepreneur from across the globe and helping them to make a nice income.
– Do More with Less on oDesk

As an entrepreneur it’s critical to your success to realize that you cannot do everything and be effective. For those tasks that do not require your oversight, delegate them to a freelancer or temporary employee. Finding freelancers, students, and temporary employees gives you the freedom you need to drive business sales, while still getting other needed jobs completed. So stop being a superwomen and man, and start being a smart entrepreneur focused on your core business needs.

This post was contributed by Yasmeen Muqtasid, a fanatic for of all things frugal and fabulous.


  1. These are great. But I prefer getting students since they are free totally.

  2. You’ve made some great suggestions here! I would add other bidding sites though such as and because each one specializes unofficially in a different niche. Also you could hire a virtual assistant to do several different tasks if you have ongoing work.