For businesses, big or small, startup or well established, freelancers offer a wide range of benefits. With freelancers, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well! Because freelancers usually handle everything from bookkeeping, budgeting and billing to marketing, social media and branding for themselves; they have an understanding of the everyday tasks and challenges a business faces.
Freelancers offer a flexibility that full-time employees do not. Business demands can suddenly increase or decrease in ways a the business can not predict. Freelancers are an on-demand, work-ready, skilled resource that can help a business meet unexpected demands. Freelancers are also known for working odd hours and can often complete projects quicker than a regular employee. And because of their flexibility, they can often take care of tasks at times that do not disrupt other business follow. For example, updating your website late at night, when traffic is low or posting to social media in off hours when your target audience is more likely to see the post. With a freelancer, you just need to be clear about what you want done and in what time frame, and they will create time to do the work optimally.
Hiring a freelancer offers affordability and freedom that are not possible with a full-time employee. Rather than employing a full-time staff member, you can work with a skilled professional on a project-by-project basis, which will save on salaries, insurance costs, vacation pay, and other benefits. Hiring a specialized freelancer can help streamline your business and stretch limited resources.
A freelancer's income depends on being reliable and meeting or exceeding expectations. And their success is based on being efficient and effective. When dealing with a freelancer, you are dealing with a specialist in his/her field that is motivated to do a good job and get the job done.
Freelancers can also offer a savings over temp services or consulting agencies. Freelancers usually have little or no overhead costs, no vacation costs, no HR costs, etc. This means that you have the opportunity to get a very skilled professional at a much lower cost than you would through a service or agency.
But, you should also be careful when hiring a freelancer. The number of freelancers in the workforce is constantly increasing, especially with technology that allows more and more people to work from home. Research suggests that there are about 42 million freelancers in the U.S. workforce. Whether you are hiring a copywriter, graphic designer, CPA, or social mediastrategist; you should be cautious. Ask for business references – people you can contact directly by phone or business email. If applicable, ask to see a verifiable portfolio of recent projects or clients. Check their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles and business pages. And as with much of the rest of life – you get what you pay for. While cheap might fit nicely into your budget, the results may not be what you expected or needed.
When your business needs a skilled professional, consider a freelancer first.