Technology and an increasingly globalized market have changed the dynamics of traditional business. Have you noticed the rising trend among small businesses to hire freelancers? Did you ever toy with the idea of hiring one? Let’s find out when is hiring freelancers a viable option.
Have you started new? If you have just started your own business or are testing waters by being a part-time entrepreneur, it hardly makes any sense to hire full-time employees. In order to keep the costs to a minimum, hire freelancers. After all, with employees, there are many costs attached – salary, employer-provided benefits, office space, and equipment.
Is there uncertainty?
If the long-term outlook is uncertain, hiring freelancers can prove to be a big advantage. For short-term assignments (projects that have a beginning and an end), temporary help can be the solution. You can hire one resource for a short/fixed period (i.e. just when business is overwhelming) and let him/her go when you no longer need the work.
Say in a Summer Activity Centre for kids where you teach different activities like Dancing, Art & Craft, Guitar, French, etc, it is advisable to rope in professionals on a freelance basis as the Centre will close down once the vacations get over. But keep in mind that efficiency and quality of work don’t take a hit as you use different freelancers at various times.
Is the business doing well?
Your answer might be in the affirmative, but what if you still can’t afford a full-time employee? Hiring freelancers may be viable in such a situation. In this arrangement, you can shell out projects to them and pay as you go.
Freelancers can be more cost-efficient, easier to manage and easier to fire if you don’t like their work or if the business is going downhill. A few tips to help you decide whether you need employees or freelancers:
• If your business is related to creative fields such as writing, graphic and web designing, computer programming, digital marketing solutions etc., you will find freelance talent in abundance.
• If your work doesn’t require somebody working all the time from your office space or it can be done anywhere, you’d better consider hiring a freelancer.
• If your work needs high specialization skills i.e you need some design help to update your Web site, then you should hire an expert freelancer for that project without worrying about keeping him on payroll on an on-going basis.
• If you are one of those employers who like to rely on the same workers day after day, you are better off hiring employees rather than freelancers.
A Word of Caution: Start ups in the business of producing intellectual property with copyrights like written works, videos, art and music need to take the ownership of the creations of the freelancers as the start-ups don’t automatically own the copyright. For the same, they need to sign a written agreement transferring copyright ownership from the freelancer to the start-up.
Where to find Freelance workers? There are several Web resources that connect businesses to freelancers. These include freelancer.com, iFreelance.com, guru.com and elance.com