With more than 50 million Americans now freelancing, it is easier than ever for companies to find the freelancer that best suits their business.
Go back in time a few decades and hiring a freelancer was extremely uncommon. Instead, most companies were only interested in full and part-time employees. In today’s world, everything has changed. Thanks to the job market, economy, and advanced technology, freelancing is more popular than ever before. This has led to the following:
- An increase in the number of people offering their services as a freelancer.
- More companies interested in hiring freelancers, as opposed to traditional employees. According to a SurePayroll 2013 survey of small businesses nationwide, 22% of small business owners were more likely to hire an independent contractor than a full-time worker.
What are the benefits?
As a small business owner, you need to understand the benefits of using freelancers. This is a great way to grow your business, but only if you take the right approach.
If you’re strategic about the freelancers or independent contractors you use, you can gain expertise you might not have in house and save money at the same time.
Below are five of the top benefits of using freelancers to grow your business:
A freelancer can provide you with a specialized skill set that is meant to address a particular need.
For example, it is commonplace to hire a freelance web designer to work on projects such as designing a new website, logo, and other related material. This person’s primary focus is on web design, nothing else. For this reason, you know you are hiring somebody with specialized talent who has what it takes to provide you with top-notch results.
Do you lack space in your office for a new employee? Are you wondering how you will afford to pay for his or her equipment? If this is a problem, if the headaches of onboarding a new employee are too much to handle, consider a freelancer.
With a freelance professional, you never have to concern yourself with office space, equipment, and other similar details. The person should be able to work remotely, while still providing a high level of service.
The costs of hiring a new employee can be prohibitive in some cases. From recruiting to interviewing to onboarding, you have a lot of expenses before the person ever lays foot in your office.
Once he or she is on staff, you are then faced with expenses such as: salary, benefits, equipment, office space, and much more.
When you hire a freelancer/independent contractor, many of these expenses never come into play. You’re not required to pay Social Security, Medicare and other payroll taxes.
The IRS website can also help you sort out the difference between an employee and contractor.
Generally speaking, this means two things:
- The ability to move the freelancer from one project to the next, without any concern of impacting other areas of your business.
- The option to use the person’s services as needed.
With an employee, you need to keep the person busy at all times. With a freelancer, you can use their services for a set period of time and then let them go on their way. Of course, if you need their assistance again in the future, you can always reach out. This allows you to get the help you need without keeping somebody on payroll.
For most companies, there is nothing quick about hiring an employee. There are many problems with this, including the fact that it can take a long time to get the help you need.
With a freelancer, you can get up and running in a more efficient manner. There is less paperwork. There are fewer hassles in regards to training.
Hiring an employee could take many weeks or months. Hiring a freelancer could be accomplished within a matter of hours or days.
There are times when hiring an employee, either full or part-time, is the best decision for your business. However, don’t let this cloud your judgment in regards to the benefits of using freelancers to grow your business. From the affordability to the flexibility, a freelancer (or two) may be just what your company needs.
Upwork.com; SurePayroll.com; IRS.gov
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