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Freelancers - taking on sales staff?..

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by bigdave, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Just wondered if any members who work as freelancers have ever looked at taking on sales staff? I currently employ freelance writers and photographers as and when projects call for it but am now contemplating taking on a salesperson on a commission only basis.

    Would this work on a freelance basis? What % commission sounds reasonable?
  2. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Interesting approach Dave. I'd set a commission on a sliding scale based on order size. For example 10% on orders under £1000, 15% on orders under £2000 and 20% on orders over £2000. That gives incentives to up-sell.
  3. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I'm starting to think the hardest bit about taking on a salesperson is going to be finding someone who knows about design or who isn't afraid to learn.
  4. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Or who has the same passion about your business as you do.
  5. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    My sister's offered to try selling for me but she's not a natural sales person so I'm not too sure if she'll get on with it ok or not.
  6. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    I would think this a very risky strategy! It has to be someone who is self employed already - you don't want to actually employ them (too many problems, employers NI etc) An ex-print-sales person might be your best bet... and make commission on the profit not the sales price.
  7. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I wouldn't dream of employing someone. I can't even afford to employ myself yet. lol

    Having sat down and looked at the business, I've decided that I do still want to take a sales person on but the kind of margins available in print would mean taking on a huge amount of work each month to make it worth while. Certainly more than one person could produce to a reasonable standard. With that in mind I'm now looking at someone selling web services, as the potential profit is much greater.

    I think it shouldn't be too hard to find someone who knows enough to sell sites & I've got a huge amount of info for them to learn from if not. As for commission, I know that for me to make a living it needs to be a % of profits rather than sales.
  8. Russell

    Russell Member

    I've considered this in the past but looking into the figures it's just not feasible. You'd really struggle to find a freelance sales person who can be confident/ knowledgeable enough in the area to get results and to get them working on a commission only basis nigh on impossible. Say they put 2 days work a week and bought you £1000 sales per week, on a 10% of the sales basis they'd get £50 a day and you'd likely be swamped with work. Plus they'd have to know roughly what you are charging to the end client to sell to them, so put yourself in their shoes and you wouldn't be jumping at the prospect.

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