When you run your own business, it’s important to get help when you need it. Hiring an assistant can be costly, so many business owners try to do as much as possible themselves. This can lead to burnout, though, and it can be a challenge to get everything you need to accomplish finished on time. That’s where interns come in.

Did you know you can hire interns to help you with your business for free? This is a great way to get help with short term projects all while imparting some knowledge to someone younger who is interested in your field.

Here’s how to find an intern:

Inquire at a College or University

If you own a business, you can call and speak to the business department at your local university and ask them about finding an intern. Some universities even offer students credit in exchange for interning at a local business. This is a win/win for students and you business because they will be getting college credit instead of feeling like they are simply working for free.

When you inquire at a college or university, make sure you’re as professional as you would be when recruiting a client. There might be several other businesses who are interested in hiring interns and you want to make sure students are interested in helping you. Be sure to tell them some of the tasks you need help with, such as social media marketing, and the types of benefits that students will gain from it.

Post to Job Sites

If you don’t have much luck finding an intern at a college or university, you can always take to listing a job on Craigslist. There are many people out there, not just students, who want to switch career fields but don’t have the skills necessary to do so. This would be a situation where an internship could be valuable not only to them but to you too.

There are also several websites where you can post internship jobs. The most popular one is aptly named www.Internships.com. Here, you can post the type of intern you’re looking for and what their responsibilities would be. Then, hopefully you’re flooded with resumes and quality applicants.

Don’t forget that social media is also a great place to seek interns, especially if you want interns who are savvy in the digital marketing space. Using hashtags like #internship and #intern can help you to find people who are searching for an opportunity like the one you’re offering.

Keep in mind that while having a free intern is cost effective, you will have to spend time training them if you want them to be helpful. The more work you put in in the beginning of the internship, the more helpful they will be. Try to treat them as well as you would any employee because you never know if you’ll be able to hire them down the road. Who knows; they could be the best thing that ever happened to your business so go ahead and try to add someone valuable to your team.

Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. Named the Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance in 2014, her writing and expertise have been featured in dozens of notable publications and in national media.

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