Is hiring a freelancer right for your business

Is Hiring a Freelancer Right for Your Business? (three Reasons Say "yes"!)

Who are they?

Freelancers work in almost every industry: construction, translation, finance, management, sales, design and many, many more. They’re your neighbor, your friend, the nice lady down the street, the man in the coffee shop always typing away on a computer. Many surveys indicate that most freelancers are male (according to Labor Statistics, by 2005 about 65% of the freelance population) and over thirty years old.
While many independent contractors work from home, just as many go to physical locations to work, either a private office or wherever the hiring company needs them. They are professionals just like you and I; a large percentage received on the job training or went to college to do what they do. Several hold degrees. Many stayed in typical work environments for over seven years before working for themselves.
In short, freelancers are business professionals who chose to, not work at home, but work for themselves. They are as trained and skilled as an employee would be, if not more so in some instances, and serious about their business.

Is hiring a freelancer right for your business?

Many business owners think hiring a freelancer just won’t work for their particular company. More than a few really do believe that independent contractors are a waste of time, money and resources. However, if this were so, if that basis of thought were true, would there really be ten million freelancers running around? Would anyone who performed contractual jobs even have a business? For that matter, why are freelancers so in demand?

Reason #1: Cost

Monetary considerations are usually in the forefront of any business owner’s mind. Can we afford this? What are the initial costs? What’s the ROI? These thoughts come to mind in every area of business, including hiring a freelancer, but you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
How much a particular freelancer will cost you depends on several factors: length of the project, difficulty of the project, location of the freelancer and level of technology are just a few. For instance, a freelance web designer may charge $30 an hour or $1000 for a project no matter how much time they put in. As in any hiring situation, you’ll find those that cost less and those that cost more.
However, the difference between employees and contracted individuals is that the individuals can afford to charge less, and often do. Freelancers usually don’t have to worry about transportation, gas, or clothing (for work) costs. Business owners will not have to pay employee benefits or wage taxes.
In addition, freelancers come from all over the world. Depending on your monetary needs, you can use offshore outsourcing (contractors from out-of-country), national outsourcing or homesourcing (contractors are in your locality).

Reason #2: No direct employees

It isn’t normal practice that a business is built with nothing but freelancers, but it does happen. More than a few Internet-based businesses use strictly freelancers, either on a by-project basis or as a loose-knit company.
One of the main reasons is the lack of direct employees. There are no W-2s to worry about. If a contractor doesn’t perform as expected, there are no hire/fire policies to follow; you just don’t use them again. The working “atmosphere” tends to be more relaxed, while still maintaining professionalism. You are not their boss; you’re their client. It does make a difference.
In addition, there’s no need to hire office space; the Internet is the office space. With collaborative software, VoIP capabilities, email, messenger and many other online programs, it’s extremely easy to create a working atmosphere without the need to be physically there. There are no office politics and no personal dynamics between employees to deal with; the only “requirement” is that they get along with you.

Reason #3: Broad spectrum of specializations

There is, quite literally, a freelancer out there to meet any need. Freelance web designers who offer SEO/SEM2 as well; copywriters who also provide logos; virtual assistants who perform sales work – the list goes on.
Specialization is an excellent tool. Someone who knows web design forwards, backwards and inside out is an excellent resource; if you have all your content, this is the person to hire. If you have the design but need copy, a specialized copywriter will fit your needs. However, if you need website design, copywriting and SEO/SEM, you need a company – or a freelancer who has decided to learn as much as they can of fields related to their chosen area.
So, are freelancers right for you? Are they right for your business? The only person who can answer that is you. However, if you’re looking for ways to tighten the budget, narrow down the issues and broaden that bottom line, look into freelancing. You never know, you may just end up hiring that nice lady down the street.

1 http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/jul/wk4/art05.htm
2 Search engine optimization/search engine marketing

Written by WALSAQ.com. Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. WALSAQ’s Business and Freelance Series is independent of their services and free to all. If you’d like to place a bid on a freelancer or increase your professional career, browse through our high-paying projects

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