How Can Small Businesses Grow With Freelancers?
Many small businesses are collaborating with freelancers to get their work done effectively. A study by Intuit in 2018 suggests that 40 per cent of the American workforce will be engaged in independent jobs by 2020. A report from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) in the UK has mentioned the number of freelancers in the UK has increased by 46% from 2008 to 2017. This rise in the number of freelancers is visible in many countries.
Freelancers are the people who have transformed their hobbies into their livelihood. When they pursue their passion, their chances of succeeding at what they are doing increases. This also contributes to the success of other businesses with whom they collaborate.
The gig economy has become a commonly used term in the vocabulary of businesses and freelancers. For many economies, contract employment is playing a contributing factor. Technology has given this phenomenon a significant boost. Many large companies are also taking the help of freelancers to get work done these days. However, small businesses stand a great chance to grow and expand their workforce and business with the help of freelancers. Also, many freelancers earn handsome money while working with small businesses.
Hiring freelancers is a new normal
For small companies, it could be challenging to compete with large corporates who have unlimited resources. Instead, they can collaborate with freelancers and stay within their budget.
According to a survey by LinkedIn,
- 70 per cent of small businesses have hired a freelancer in the past.
- More than half of these companies hired them in the last three months.
- 81 per cent of these businesses aim to find and hire more freelancers soon.
- 52 per cent of small business hiring managers are of the opinion to increase freelancers and contractors in their company in the next five years.
- 83 per cent of small businesses get their jobs done with the help of freelancers and contractors.
- 64 per cent of small businesses who regularly hire freelancers say that having freelancers (located off-site) has helped them grow their business as a virtual team.
Freelancers increase flexibility
When you decide to collaborate with a freelancer, your and their geographical location does not become a reason not to work together. Based on LinkedIn Workforce Report, you can face skill-shortage because of the region, but with remote freelancers, you can take benefits from a person’s expertise who could be living a few time zones away from your time zone.
Getting a freelancer onboard allows you to be flexible with hiring someone only for a particular project and then continue working without them. If you plan to hire a full-time employee for a specific project and some temporary work, it might not yield good results for your business and the employee’s career when the work is over. Many companies refrain from such practices. In such cases, you can handle your business requirements by giving the job to a freelancer.
68 per cent of small business hiring managers say that they engage with freelancers on average for a year or less. When small businesses work with freelancers, the freelance project allows them time to think if they want to hire the freelancer permanently or offer them more permanent work.
How freelancers make businesses productive?
Small businesses usually have small staff due to budget restrictions. The kind of talent they need might not fit in their budget, and this could result in full-time employees with a limited skill set.
There is no doubt about the fact that a strong team will help your business grow. Your budget might be strict about hiring a full-time specialist, but you can always opt for expert freelancers.
Working with an experienced freelancer would save you from the time invested in training and managing them. Many freelancers have already been in different businesses, organisations, and managed various positions with different managers. They would quickly understand the project and start work with lesser or no errors.
Freelancers are keen to please their clients as this helps them in earning a reputation along with repeat work. This might not be true for an in-house employee, as there could be various distractions in their work life.
Freelancers are more serious about deadlines, and they strive to exceed expectations. This reflects in the quality of work they create.
Hiring a permanent employee could be a lengthy task demanding continuous-time and efforts, and of course, more money. Whereas hiring a freelancer requires less time, paperwork, and training.Without wasting much time, you can get the work on the project started.
Freelancers are not limited by your company’s policy, culture, and environment. They do not follow the norm of “this is the right way of doing work.” This allows them to think outside the box and deliver solutions that you might not have thought about. Their creative freedom can lead to brilliant solutions for your small business.
This is one of the primary reasons why small businesses opt for freelancers or contractors over a full-time employee. Small businesses already have financial restrictions in many areas, and they try all methods to reduce their overheads. Managing an employee, their equipment, office space, salary, benefits, and well being, among other reasons, could be costly.
When you hire a freelancer, you only have to pay their project fees. You do not have to get bothered by the additional costs.
Most of the small businesses always priorities acquiring new customers and growing their business. The easy access to a vast talent pool with the help of technology has made it easier for companies to find and hire freelancers. Freelancers can help them become more robust and support them in achieving their objectives with fewer hurdles.