Work, like the seasons, tends to follow a certain pattern.

In the public sector, January is all go. There’s pressure to spend budgets by the end of the financial year, projects are reaching the end of their production cycle and there’s proofreading galore to get publications to print, not to mention final stage testing for websites.

Surviving this quarter is no mean feat, but understanding the seasons of your work cycle can make your life much easier when it comes to hiring freelancers.

Booles rules for seasonal success can help:

  1. Don’t panic. In the chaos it’s not uncommon to find someone has forgotten to hire a writer, editor or proofreader. Don’t panic. Clients are rarely busy at the same time so last minute requests can usually be accommodated. Only at major holiday times like December will everybody be busy.
  2. Be brutal.  If you have skills in-house but you don’t have capacity, ask yourself if the project is ready to go out. Be brutal. Do you have time to properly brief a supplier? Are you skipping a necessary stage or cutting corners? Sending content out for edit which should go back to the provider for further work only causes further delay – a hasty copyedit will become an additional set of proofs and another week on your schedule.
  3. Refresh your pool of freelancers. Use quiet periods to look at freelancers’ portfolios or their websites. Use the time to give them small projects to test their abilities. Then when you are overstretched you can be confident in the people you are using. Set up spare capacity for your busiest times when you won’t have time to explain the house style to an inexperienced proofreader.

Keep soldiering on. The new financial year is in sight.