If you’re a small business owner, a day in your life probably looks like this: rushed coffee, breakfast meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, finance reviews before noon, dealing with human resource issues and assisting customers in the afternoon, thinking of website design options in the evening and organizing the logistics for a local event after hours.
Clearly, time is of the essence. Working smart is not a choice but a necessity for survival. But what does it take to work smart? And how can you meet your goals without breaking the budget or over-stretching your employees? There’s a ton of advice out there for small businesses to manage their productivity, but one trend that is truly redefining the modern workplace and helping solve day-to-day small business problems is hiring freelancers.
According to a recent study by Intuit and LinkedIn ProFinder, freelancers made up a mere 6% of the workforce in 1989 but are expected to represent 43% of the workforce by 2020. Have you considered leveraging this robust pool of talented industry experts to assist with project needs? Here are 5 reasons why freelancers are a great fit to meet your small business needs:
1. Freelancers are a great option for urgent and/or unexpected projects:
You probably spend hours in quarterly planning but there are always urgent needs like setbacks with a client or changing market situations that can’t be anticipated or planned for. Hiring a freelancer is an efficient way to resolve immediate business needs like quick market research to inform business plans or a copywriter to improvise on a sales pitch.
2. Freelancers work on demand so you can focus on what you do best:
This is because you can pick and choose “ready” talent with the specific skills you need and avoid the time spent on annual reviews, coaching and training that full-time employees typically warrant. However, it may take some time to onboard a freelancer on the business context. It’s important to be selective and look for professionals that have the right industry experience, preferably with similar companies.
3. Freelancers are usually a great economic choice:
Not all jobs can be done via freelancers but there are a few business needs that are better addressed by part-time or project-based hires. For example, you probably don’t need an accountant all year round. But when tax season is around the corner, hiring an accountant will save you time and money. You can avoid the fixed cost of a full-time hire and optimize your tax obligations.
Do your homework when determining what your project may cost. Freelancers can charge an hourly rate (anywhere between $50-$150 an hour) or by project, so be sure to know what the industry standard is for your location. This will help you set realistic expectations on what you should budget and will help avoid sticker shock. Based on a recent LinkedIn ProFinder survey, 55% of freelancers charge on project basis: