Nicola Anderson joins The Passionate PA

PRESS RELEASE: May 2022

Business Launch Success: 14 days, 3 new clients

Leading freelance business support company, The Passionate PA, welcomed a new face to the team in May and within 14 days have celebrated the onboarding of not one but THREE new clients.

Nicola Anderson joins the team from a 30+ year career, predominantly in Operations and Commercial Management. She’s very much looking forward to partner with clients who are looking to grow at pace whilst operating as efficiently as possible and to impeccable standards. 

She joins The Passionate PA as a franchisee based in Nottingham, fulfilling her own ambition to be a business owner but adopting the company’s very clear mission; to assist ambitious business leaders and entrepreneurs in their pursuit for business success. Working in partnership with clients, each Passionate PA offers a unique and valuable set of skills to help create the momentum and results their clients desire. Services range from Business Admin and Organisation to Event Planning and Project Management, right through to Marketing and Business Development activities… there is no end to the skills and commercial experience offered by the team at The Passionate PA!

Before Nicola had finished franchisee training, she and franchisor Kate Chastey, had successfully found and onboarded three wonderful clients for Nicola. Benjamin Drury, Founder and CEO of The Culture Guy said “Anyone looking for not just admin support but business support should chat to Nicola. I’ve been working with Nicola for less than two weeks and she’s made a huge difference in that short time. I can’t recommend Nicola and The Passionate PA enough. So glad to have them on my team.”

Nicola brings an added layer of knowledge to #TeamPassionatePA with nearly two decades spent within the construction industry.  In her last employed role, Nicola was responsible for leading sustainable growth, identifying and developing the people, products and processes needed to establish the business as a ‘go to’ supplier for turnkey solutions. In her last 12 months in this role, Nicola grew her division by approximately 40% which had a significant positive impact on the company’s reputation and visibility.

Nicola says: “I am so thrilled to have found an exciting new challenge that allows me to bring together all of my commercial experience to assist ambitious entrepreneurs in pursuit of their business goals. I have a genuine passion for business and achieving goals and targets is in my blood. Becoming a Passionate PA has given me the launch pad and team ethos I need to thrive!”

Flexibility is key to the success in entrepreneurial businesses. 

Franchisor, Kate Chastey says: “Nicola is an exceptional addition to our team of commercially savvy, career-minded individuals. I have been really impressed with Nicola’s determination, approach and personality so far and with three client wins under her belt, I just know she is going to create the business she desires and work with some wonderful clients along the way. Flexibility is the key to entrepreneurial business and that is exactly what we offer – it’s a win/win for clients and my franchisees. The future is freelance!”

If you would like to work with Nicola, visit her webpage or call her directly on 07580 068 634.

 


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

Claire’s Project Management with Julia’s House

Claire Bartlett, our Passionate PA based near Ringwood, Dorset, is currently working with children’s hospice charity, Julia’s House. The charity provides clinical, practical and emotional respite care and support for families caring for a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.

The charity’s CEO, Martin Edwards (pictured above with Claire), has been a long-term supporter of The Passionate PA and when the opportunity arose for him to find a Project Manager to assist with their office move, Claire jumped at the chance to partner with him.

Bournemouth-based interior design company, KTM Design, are also working on the project and have shared their news here!

Claire commented; “Workspace needs have shifted since the beginning of the pandemic, as many people have become more accustomed to certain ways of working to suit their personal needs. We wanted to carry this flexible mentality through to the new office and believe KTM Design’s ideas effectively capture what we’re trying to achieve. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working closely with KTM Design on this project and I am very much looking forward to seeing the end result. Julia’s House is excited to introduce the new space to its staff and I hope it will help them continue doing a fantastic job for hundreds of Dorset families in need of their lifeline of care and support.”

TAKE ME TO THE FULL ARTICLE

You can find out more about Claire by clicking here!


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

6 lessons learned to celebrate 6 years in business

In 2022, Debbie celebrated 6 years in business as a Passionate PA. She decided to celebrate the milestone by sharing some of the lessons learned over her business journey as a franchisee with The Passionate PA. Debbie shared these lessons with the intention that they may prove useful to anyone embarking on their own journey as a business owner.

Lesson 1: Be yourself…

I was new to The Passionate PA, I was new to the Dorset network and business scene. I was scared of being myself in case no one liked me. So I was, I guess, holding back. Holding back from letting the full me be on show. Was Dorset ready for me?!

Well, yes, it seems it was. It took time and a pair of big girl pants, but gradually, being me seemed to be ok. There were lots of other people like me out there, as in, there were lots of other people in the same new to business boat, some of them with less confidence and experience, so hell yes, I could put myself out there if they could!

What it took was time. Time to understand, to listen, to appreciate, to experience, to learn.

One of the biggest things I learned is that people inherently don’t want you to fail. People are generally bigging you up, wanting you to succeed, cheering you on.

Once you realise this, the world is a far less scary place. Embrace it. Throw yourself in wholeheartedly and enjoy!

Lesson 2: Think like a business owner

Prior to being a business owner, I was a senior manager for years with significant responsibility for people, profits, quality, service and standards.

Though I was a senior manager, I still had a boss, and I was still an employee. We were given a high level of autonomy and held responsible for it, this encouraged a sense of ownership for my work which remains deep-rooted in me. Ultimately though, there was always someone else above me who had more accountability than I did and a greater degree of responsibility.

When you’re running your own business, I have learned that the buck stops with you and no one else. I may work within a franchise, but it’s up to me how I implement that successfully within my business. The franchise provides a framework, within which I must operate. That framework is created from valuable experience and is tried and tested for success.

With my business owner mindset, I must make that framework work for me, drive my business forwards, seek out opportunities, learn and develop – to innovate and create new value.

A business owner mindset is a fundamental tool I use to improve, grow and strengthen my business. It’s so much more than achieving the daily to-do list.

This mindset must not get complacent though, it must be kept sharp to keep up with the demands of an ever-changing marketplace.

Lesson 3: Be consistent

Life is a rollercoaster; you’ve just got to ride it! Sang good old Ronan Keating back in the day. He wasn’t wrong, was he!

But, notwithstanding the ups and downs of life, the sharp turns and sometimes total upheaval faced (and my goodness the last 2 years has thrown a goodly amount of that our way) being consistent is key:

  • Being consistent is habit-forming. Habits that almost become second nature. And when that happens, you don’t feel like you’re even trying, you’re just doing what you do. Showing up consistently.
  • Consistency will help you to create your own accountability. You can adjust your actions and behaviours and progress towards what you want to achieve.
  • Consistency doesn’t take masses of effort. Small things done consistently can add up to big things over time. They will also differentiate you from others who are not being consistent.

My experience is that being consistent builds trust and momentum which in turn helps me feel positive about what I’m working towards.

Lesson 4: Act decisively

This means that decisions can be made, and action taken quickly for maximum impact. I’ve got a great support network to help if I want to bounce an idea around, or check that I’m not completely off track – I use that network frequently to do just that:

  • Decisions as a sole trader will often revolve around finances, health, and family
  • Work out what’s important to YOU and act promptly
  • Indecisiveness consumes energy

That saying ‘be the change you want to see’ is bang on point!

The decisions I have taken over the last 6 years have all contributed towards making me happier and more fulfilled in work and in life. Ultimately that’s my goal.

Lesson 5: It’s not all about the money

Recently I was asked to reflect on my previous year of business and talk about 3 achievements that I was particularly proud of.

One of those highlights was achieving a record turnover in one month; the highest turnover in a single month in my six years as a Passionate PA.

I keep a close eye on my finances, so it was no surprise to me what would be achieved by the end of the month, I had plenty of work to do, in actual fact, it was almost too much. The lure of £££ was attractive and spurred me on, but the cost to my sanity was also high.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson and as a result, I reorganised my client mix and workload into a position that was far more manageable for me, my business, my family and my health.

So, whether you’re a plate spinner, a serial list-maker or a fly by the seat of your pants kinda gal/guy, my advice to you is to find a balance that works FOR YOU, not for anyone else.

Lesson 6: Build a network

Being a sole trader can be a lonely existence. Actually, being a business owner can be a lonely existence full stop.  When leading a team or working on your own, it can be a similar feeling.

People often ask me ‘what do I get out of networking?’ they mean what clients have I won through networking, or how much business revenue can I attribute to the time I spend networking.  I surprise them by saying this ‘I don’t network to win business; I network to grow my meaningful connections’. Those new to networking are often taken aback, those that are more experienced get it.

Of course, it’s great when someone in your network becomes a client, this gives you a financial reward for your networking endeavours. But personally, I’m looking for something more.  I’m looking for, and have found, an absolutely brilliant bunch of people from all walks of life, doing all sorts of things, located all over the UK and overseas.

Ask me do I know someone who can…. and I probably do. These people have opened my eyes and my mind to all sorts of different perspectives, they inspire and motivate me every day. If I need a little pick me up, a swift scroll through my LinkedIn feed will generally throw something up that helps. If I’m feeling lonely working on my own, book onto an online networking session (or even one in person!) and those couple of hours will give me an emotional and mental boost that delivers real impact.

I’ve been able to refer countless people to each other, someone said to me recently – you’re a connector Debbie, a connector of people. Yes I most certainly am. I love putting people together and seeing it work!

Give it a go yourself, stick at it (see a previous lesson about consistency) and enjoy!

So, that’s a wrap, my 6 lessons learned over my 6 years as a business owner shared with you. I hope at least one person found at least one post useful, and it made a difference to their day. That’s enough for me.

To find out more about Debbie, click here. 


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

Let’s talk about the cost of delegating…

Is there a risk that delegating tasks or responsibilities in your business will cost you more than if you did it all yourself?

Let’s explore with Chris Croft, one of the world’s leading trainers who provides a wide variety of courses. To date Chris has trained some 87,000 people face to face and eighteen million online.

Chris regularly delegates to his Passionate PA, Claire, click here to read his blog!

 

TAKE ME TO THE FULL BLOG!

You can find out more about Claire by clicking here!


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

Choosing the right CRM for your business

In this blog, systems specialist and Passionate PA, Louise Cummins (pictured) shares her top 5 tips for choosing the right CRM system for your business.

There’s no shortage of business owners who want to be more efficient and provide their clients with an awesome client experience. Are you one of them?

But, do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work in your business and it’s growing faster than you can keep up with?

Implementing the right CRM system into your business is a gamechanger.

As Passionate PAs, we work with our clients to decide on the system that suits their needs and not just to sign up with the latest system to hit the market. As, let’s face it, what one person is using is irrelevant to the next! It’s all about identifying what YOUR business needs, implementing that system effectively and ensuring it’s embedded in your daily routine forever more.

We know it’s a challenge. You might well be thinking…

  • How do I know what I need?
  • Will it connect to my other systems/apps?
  • Will I have to change everything I already have in place?
  • Will the free version fit my needs?
  • How long will it take to implement?
  • Who can help me with that?
  • and most importantly… Will it actually do what I want it to?

Firstly, you need to know where you want to take your business. Then, follow Louise’s 5 simple steps to choosing the software that’s right for you and your business to create a seamless customer journey for your own clients and ultimately more efficiency and profit!

  1. Brain dump a list of the essential elements your CRM system has to include and then a ‘would be nice to have’ list too (such as integrations with mailing and accounting software, video hosting, branding etc).Don’t start with Google – it will throw up thousands of suggestions which just creates noise and confusion! Start with your own head and your knowledge of your business.
  1. Ask for recommendations and pros and cons of each system. Liaise with clients, suppliers, networking buddies etc and ask the same questions so you can make a comparable list.Then do some Google research and see what other systems match your spec.
  1. Create a short list of the systems that fit best with your requirements including the price of each level of access.You’ll now need to strike off the list those that aren’t of interest or giving enough value for the investment. Ensure you look at all price points to ensure you do a true comparison.
  1. Trial the system you think most suited and make use of all the features. We’d suggest this trial is done over a month! Things change in business and doing just a week’s trial won’t really give you a good indicator as to whether the system will suit your business in the long term.Ensure you keep all your ‘must-haves’ at the forefront of your mind when carrying out the trial.  All systems have a support team that can help you through the trial too.
  1. Analyse the results of the trial and make your decision to go with it or start another trial.Did it meet your requirements? Is the price right? If not, set up another trial until you find the correct system for you. Keep going until you find THE ONE! We know this sounds really time consuming, but, the rewards are great. The right CRM will be a total gamechanger for you.

If implementing a CRM system into your business is something you are considering but need someone to support you and keep you on track with trialling and through to implementation – then please do get in touch. Louise has huge experience in this area and takes on project work to help ambitious business leaders achieve their CRM goals.

You can connect with Louise on LinkedIn or, why not book a Discovery Call to see how you could work together – email her directly on louise@thepassionatepa.co.uk.

You can find out more about our team of business support professionals by clicking here!


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

Are you a value seeker or a bargain hunter?

In this blog, seasoned freelancer and Passionate PA Debbie Frith (pictured) explores why business owners looking for freelance business support need to focus on more than just hourly rate… price is what you pay, value is what you get.

Whether you sell a product or a service, have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been asked to lower your price? Have you ever been told that you’re too expensive? Or been asked for a discount, to do a deal or to give more for less?

I expect that somewhere along the line you have, and I’ll wager that you were pretty cross about it. I imagine that you were told that your product or service was available elsewhere cheaper too.

When price is a driver, value becomes unimportant

Price is simply defined as the amount of money expected, required or given in payment for something.

Whereas value is the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth or usefulness of something.

Focusing on price is a short-term consideration, delivering short term wins. When you’re looking for a longer term and more stable strategy, then focusing on value is the way forward.

In the words of Warren Buffet, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get”. 

When something is offered at a cheaper price to your own product or service, there’s usually a reason why it costs less, reasons such as:

  • Lower quality and standards
  • New to the market
  • Lack of skills or experience
  • Mass produced
  • Lacks longevity
  • Desperation for customers

Those seeking value in their purchase are more likely to be looking for:

  • Unique strengths
  • A personal connection
  • An excellent overall buying experience
  • Values aligned with their own
  • Quality and consistency
  • Trust in a brand or concept

When being cheaper is more expensive

We’ve all done it though, haven’t we. Bought that cheaper version of a product or service whether it be a buying clothes from Primark or using a casual tradesman that’ll fix that leaky pipe for just £10 cash.

What happens?

The clothes don’t last very long, they’re cheap and cheerful yes, but they’re not likely to be your wardrobe staples that you can rely upon, wear after wear, wash after wash. That leaky pipe, may well be fixed for now, but when it springs a major leak, just before you’re about to go away for the weekend, where’s your £10 tradesman now? Disappeared I expect and what will you have to do? Call out a certified professional, Friday evening at what might seem an extortionate rate – oh how you wished you’d called them out in the first place and got the job done right first time.

So why am I talking about leaky pipes and Primark in the realms of freelance business support?

Let me tell you… If your business is as important to you as mine is to me, then you want to do your absolute best for it. If you’re in the market for some freelance business support to help you progress and develop your business, then you need to find someone who perfectly aligns with your own values and who is a good match for your own personality.

Buying this type of service on price is not advisable, it’s much more important to find and identify the right person with the right skill set (here’s a handy blog that will help you do this).

Invest in that person and you are by default investing in your own business (#winning)

That person charges a price which isn’t plucked out of thin air. It’s a price which is derived from experience and skills (though it’s up to you to do your homework on this), it’s a price derived from that person knowing their value and being prepared to stand by it. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself – isn’t that a great mantra for life and business!

If you’d like to find your perfect match with a Passionate PA, then the best person to talk to right at the start of your journey is Kate Chastey, our Franchisor, she knows each member of our team very well and is a skilled match maker! After a discovery call with Kate, she’ll put you in touch with the person most aligned with your requirements, always based on experience, skill set and personality – in that way delivering the best value for you.

You can find out more about our team of business support professionals by clicking here!


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

Getting to know Claire

Claire Bartlett is a font of corporate know-how and experience, known best for her ability to work with directors of large teams looking to improve efficiency and profitability. Here she shares a typical day in her world.

Claire joined The Passionate PA in January 2018 after a high-flying career with an investment bank. She has proven herself to be an exceptional strategic partner with commercial focus; Business Development and Strategy are her forte. Meticulously organised and detail-orientated in everything (yes, everything!), Claire is known for her infectious laugh and can-do attitude.

Getting to know Claire

Alarm goes off at:
6.30am

Start the day with:
Coffee and checking Rightmove to give me a daily fix for one of my life’s passions – property! Then it’s reviewing the calendar for the day ahead. I always document the top three things that I need to achieve that day and try to get the most challenging one completed first. This gives me a sense of achievement and motivates me for the day ahead.

Where do you do most of your work?
Pre-Covid, it was an 80/20 split with the majority of my time spent face to face with my clients. Currently, its about 50/50 but I’m working up to getting out there more as this is when I can really get under the skin of my clients’ businesses and identify opportunities for improvement.

What sectors do your clients operate within?
Currently my clients are in management training and I also work with a fast-growing CEO and Managing Director level peer networking group.

Best part of your work:
Seeing the relief on my clients’ faces when I start taking the pressure off and organising projects and tasks for them. I love taking the lead when clients just don’t have the time. I also thoroughly enjoy bringing lessons from my prior corporate experience to the table and offering solutions they may not have considered before. Also, not forgetting the amazing feeling of being my own boss, deciding on the clients I work with and when and, also having that flexibility when I need it the most.

Worst part of your work: 
Finding a happy balance between being the greatest businesswoman I can be and the greatest mum too. I find it so hard to down tools at times, but it is so important to look after yourself to ensure you are the very best you can be. Champagne Friday’s help a lot!

Clients you add most value to:
Two of my current clients are looking to grow their business rapidly over the next few years and I am helping them identify and implement strategic initiatives to move them towards achieving their goals. This is the work that I really love and being part of their Senior Management Teams allows me to challenge ideas together with suggesting different approaches at times. Taking the lead with some of these initiatives greatly reduces the strain on my clients, enabling them to focus on what they are brilliant at knowing that there is a trusted pair of hands helping them along the way.

After work you’ll be:
Since Covid, I’ve taken a hard look at how I spend my personal time. I love nothing more than a walk on the beach with my family – you’ll often find us at Hengistbury Head enjoying pizza on the beach. I love to read, cook and have dinner with friends. Life is so precious, and I love spending time with people that inspire me and lift me up.

Why a franchise with The Passionate PA and not go it alone?
I didn’t want to go out and do this on my own as I love the support of Kate and her guidance and understanding of the role. The other Passionate PAs are invaluable not only in terms of support but in our shared knowledge and experience! I did not appreciate just how well-known our brand was until recently, this has opened so many doors which, had I gone it alone, would not have presented themselves.

What did you do before:
18 years in various management roles at JPMorgan including a four-year stint in Luxembourg. Working on major clients, I was a key player in retaining and turning client relationships around. Management experience, risk and compliance management… big job, fun at the time. But this is rewarding on a very different level.

Favourite drink:
Champagne!

Favourite location for a business meeting:
I really enjoy going to clients’ houses or offices as I believe this enables me to really get to know them and provides valuable insight into their lives. We can tell so much by what’s on someone’s desk or dining table! Otherwise, it has to be The Olive Branch in Wimborne or anywhere with a good, comfy sofa and a delicious lunch.

What are you reading?
“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers.

Your guilty pleasure:
A monthly massage with the amazing Fran. Check her out on Instagram!

Favourite hobby/past time:
My new passion is on the water, on a gorgeous boat with a glass of bubbles. Failing that, a good walk at the beach or in the New Forest with my husband and boys.

Most inspirational/influential person in your career:
My Dad. One of the strongest, most intelligent, hardworking and honest businessmen I know. He built a successful company and survived a recession when most local building firms did not. He taught me integrity and respect, and to always go to bed with a clear conscience.

Favourite animal and why:
My cats. Love their independence and calming presence.

Greatest contact/supplier that deserves a plug:
Heidi Roper, View HR. Heidi is not only incredibly knowledgeable and amazing at what she does, but she is so much fun to work with and gets amazing results with the clients that she works with. She has true passion, and it shows.

Your business plan (in one sentence!) for the coming year:
To build strong, trusting, local relationships to ensure that I am the Executive PA of choice for Ringwood and the surrounding area.

You can find out more about Claire by clicking here! Or, pop her an email and make a date to get together for coffee (or champagne?).


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

EPAA Member Interview with Kate

Last week, our director and franchisor, Kate Chastey was delighted to join EPAA’s CEO Victoria Wratten, as she continued to interview members and find out how they came into the PA profession.

In this engaging hour-long interview, Victoria asked Kate about her career journey and for her top tips for anyone looking to have a career in executive and business support – particularly freelance.

Kate found her love for being a PA at just 16. She did a work experience shadowing Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s PA and found the variety and scope so interesting. After doing her degree and an early career in the advertising industry, Kate met a lady that changed the course of her life forever. Sarah Howells run a small business called The Passionate PA and Kate, excited by what the freelance word might have to offer, joined Sarah in February 2010.

Very soon after however, Kate found herself at the helm of the business – alone and way out of her comfort zone. She spent four years learning how to be a successful freelance PA and building the business into a successful brand in its own right. In the last decade she has worked alongside all sorts of business owners from tech start-ups to global business and the thrill of business growth, even today, is what gets her up in the morning.

In 2015 Kate decided she wanted to help other talented, determined and positive individuals build their own successful careers as freelance PAs and so franchised the business.

Her role now is to lead The Passionate PA, helping her small but incredible team of franchisees in their work with entrepreneurs. It’s a varied role, one where Kate gets to fulfil her passion for business, people, creativity and entrepreneurship in equal measure.

Kate’s dedicated to helping others understand the freelance PA role in today’s business world and loves nothing more than assisting others on their journey to a fulfilled and happy career.

About EPAA

Founded in 2016 to bring together a range of business support professionals and support them through a period of industry upheaval and transition, EPAA has now become the go-to organisation for EA/PA professionals in a diverse range of roles, all of whom provide invaluable support essential to the day-to-day running of any and every successful business.

The work of EPAA isn’t just for our members, but for the EA/PA professional community as a whole. EPAA strive to establish and maintain the sustainability and longevity of the profession in UK and international business and continue to help build a diverse and technologically proficient workforce that has the capacity to endure these turbulent times for the EA/PA profession.

Kate has been a Fellow Member since April 2020.

Learn more about the Association and their work here.

 


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: 

How to find the right business support for you

Freelancers, or business support professionals, can be the solution to many modern business problems. There is no shortage of skills and experience available to businesses large and small, through the army of freelancers available in the UK and further afield.

However, a question we hear so often is “how do I find the right business support for me?”

The blog below has been created to give you an insight into finding the right solution for your needs. However, if you’d prefer to listen to a podcast, our director Kate Chastey was recently interviewed by Karen Murray and they discussed all of the below, and more!

TAKE ME TO THE PODCAST (APPLE)

Or to Karen Murray’s website to listen there

 

Ok, on to the blog…

First things first

As the business owner, you need to determine what ‘right’ looks like to you.

What problem do you need to solve?
Be clear on the challenge you are facing and your desired solution. Is this challenge the result of an immediate or ongoing resource shortage? What skills and expertise are required?

How do you want your freelancer to work/deliver services?
Are you needing to physically meet with your freelancer or will briefing/communication all be done via technology? If you are looking for a long-term business relationship, consider how you want this to take shape.

When do you need work completed?
What are your timescales/deadlines and what working routines are you hoping for?

Who is the person you are looking for?
Or, more to the point, what characteristics and personality traits matter to you?

Why is a freelancer the best option?
Are you looking for flexibility or a skill you don’t have in your team?

With all that clear in your mind, finish this sentence; the perfect scenario is…

Check this is realistic by discussing it with trusted business colleagues or a seasoned freelancer (we are always happy to talk 😊).

 

Then comes the research

The next step is to start looking for the freelancer you need. The best places to do this are:

  • Your personal business network – ask for recommendations and referrals from people that know you best
  • Social media (particularly LinkedIn if you are keen to find a professional)
  • Internet search using key words (skills and location)
  • Then there are, of course, some big listing websites that will introduce clients to freelancers. These have their plusses and their minuses – but that’s probably a different blog altogether!
     

7 brilliant questions to ask your potential freelancer

So, after you have made it clear what you’re looking for – preferably by email so the potential freelancer has time to digest and you both save 15 mins on the next step… a Zoom call – then, it’s time to really get to know each other.

Here are 7 questions, with talking points, that will sort the wheat from the chaff. Remember, the beautiful, valuable, amazing thing about freelancers is that each one is unique. It’s hard to find the perfect fit but, once you do, that’ll be partnership power like you’ve never known before.

1. Tell me about your background and your skills and experience as a freelancer

  • Ask how long they have been freelancing – just starting out or seasoned pro
  • Discuss why they choose to freelance
  • Talk about what skills and experience they have to share

2. How could you add tangible value to my business?

  • Discuss what they know that you don’t
  • Ask what efficiencies they could introduce
  • Talk about the software/tools they are confident with
  • Ask whether they are an ideas person or a completion expert – or both!
  • Really delve into whether they understand your target market and sector

3. What does a successful working relationship look like to you?

  • Investigate what kind of personalities they like working with
  • Ask for clarity on what they need from you to get started, and then what they need from you to achieve the results you have set out
  • Discuss what sort of work/responsibilities you can outsource to them, further than the initial brief
  • Also clarify whether they will be doing all the work themselves or if they outsource/have employees

4. How would we communicate during our project/work/relationship?

  • Ask what their preferred communication channel is
  • Talk about how they manage workflow and deadlines
  • Understand their boundaries – when are they contactable (business hours/working days etc)
  • Discuss whether they work virtually or are they happy to meet in person

5. Tell me about your clients…

  • Who is their favourite client right now and why?
  • Talk about who their ideal client is, and is that you
  • Ask for the back story on a testimonial you have found – talk about tangible value and timescales
  • Discuss how they monitor results and client happiness
  • Ask how many clients they work with at any one time and how this looks in terms of weekly/monthly contact
  • Ask how close they are to capacity and whether there really is space for you
  • Discuss whether it is possible to speak with a current long-standing client

6. Tell me about a business challenge you’ve had, and how you overcame it?

  • Ask them to tell you about a time when they have missed a deadline or underdelivered to a client’s expectations
  • Discuss what their clients like most/least about working with them
  • Ask whether a client has ever ended a relationship with them abruptly – if so, why
  • Ask whether they have a contingency plan for emergencies (power cuts, equipment disasters, illness etc)
  • Delve into their business ethos – who supports them in their business development and growth

7. Tell me about your contractual terms, GDPR compliance, fee structure etc.

  • Understand the hourly/project rate and how this is tracked, plus, other than that are there any additional charges
  • Discuss contract terms, notice periods, service level agreements, invoicing procedure etc
  • Talk about how they will they keep your business information secure and confidential, whether they are registered with the ICO and their understanding of GDPR
  • Are they insured, registered with HMRC and fully aware of IR35 legislation

Seven key questions to really get beyond the fluff and into the value. Freelancers can add so much to your business and/or team but, as you can see, it’s not always easy. The perfect freelancer for you is likely to be someone who will help you create the momentum and results you need to thrive. Finding them can be tricky but it is worth putting in the time so that the relationship gets off to a flying start and your business feels the benefits quickly.

Happy searching!

You can find out more about our team of business support professionals by clicking here!


Further blogs from The Passionate PA: