Gig economy, a popular buzz phrase in the business world, refers to an environment where hiring independent consultants for temporary positions is the norm rather than the exception. Workforces across North America are shifting toward a gig economy, and if you own a small business, you may want to leverage the gig economy to boost profits, productivity, and success.
Generally, as a small business owner, you want to spend all day doing something you feel passionate about. It may be woodworking, baking, planning weddings, painting, taking photographs, or a long list of other pursuits. However, you cannot just focus on your passion. You also have to focus on marketing, accounting, branding, and multiple other aspects of running a successful business.
Cue the gig economy. If you have questions, need help with a project, or want someone to handle random tasks, you can find the professionals you need from the gig economy. Lawyers, financial experts, marketing gurus, administrative professionals, and countless others offer services to guide you in the right direction. To find experts, check out websites for freelancers in Canada, get recommendations from colleagues, and do internet searches; many consultants or “supertemps” have their own websites.
Focusing on Results
Initially, you may simply want to hire experts when you have questions or need a bit of guidance, but eventually, you should consider shifting your focus to results-oriented projects. Outline goals for your company, and leverage experts to help you reach those goals. For example, if you want to increase traffic on your website, hire a search engine optimization professional or online marketing consultant to engineer that result. These professionals look over your current situation, give you advice on what needs to be changed, and implement the changes for you.
This is one of the most effective aspects of the gig economy. Instead of acting as a boss over an employee, you work alongside an expert who is committed to producing results. And the results these experts provide for you help them get jobs with future clients.
Saving Money on Employee Expenses
While experts can be essential, you may occasionally need people to do the grunt work. Luckily, the gig economy can also help with that type of work. If you need something done but aren’t ready to commit to a full-time employee, you may want to consider hiring an independent contractor.
When you hire an employee, you have to remit payroll taxes to the Canada Revenue Agency, and pay employment insurance premiums and Canada pension plan contributions on behalf of the employee. That can drive up the cost. In contrast, independent contractors take care of their own taxes, EI premiums, and CPP contributions. You simply write a cheque for their services. Note, however, there are legal differences between employees and independent contractors, and you should understand these differences before you hire someone from the gig economy.