Freelancing was once rare in the employment market, relegated to a minor market share compared to full-time employment. In 2019, though, some 62.2 million freelancers have brought the so-called “gig economy” to life, providing new and exciting opportunities for small businesses across the globe.
Results-minded small business owners may be quick to ask, “why hire a freelancer?” As it stands, there are a myriad of benefits that your small business can reap if it taps into the growing freelance market. In so many words, freelancers in small businesses can help to bring previously inaccessible knowledge to the table, as well as minimize the employee burden on your bottom line.
Hiring a freelancer may be one of the wisest business decisions you make this year. If you’re still undecided on the great opportunities, take these five benefits of hiring a freelancer as the durable foundation upon which your future small business success will be built.
Benefit #1: Access to Specialized Knowledge and Talent
Simply put, today’s freelancers are among the best resources for specialized knowledge and untapped talent, regardless of your small business field. If your small business has a specific need that your current team cannot address, then hiring a freelancer can help you overcome that hurdle and use it to further improve your business operations long-term.
Freelancers have long been used for a variety of necessary creative pursuits. Indeed, small business freelancers continue to find fruitful work in the website and logo design fields. In the same vein, freelancers continue to be a primary source for market-specific online content, including online store listings and descriptions.
For example, freelancers can build your website from A to Z. From creating graphic design to producing the content, and even managing the complex processes of getting your business website online.
These freelancers can be a special asset for your small business as they provide essential knowledge about optimizing your online presence. Online sales and advertising simply cannot be ignored in the contemporary marketplace, so a freelancer can go a long way towards bringing your small business into the 21stcentury.
Regardless of their field, you can be certain that the freelancer you hire will bring in intuitive insights and top-notch results, often based on their unique ability to see a project through to its fruitful completion.
Benefit #2: More Affordable with Less Overhead
Small business owners are often faced with limited resources as they grow and stabilize. This can make hiring specialized in-house talent a difficult prospect, especially if it means taking a cut of the bottom line. Freelancers for a small business can solve this impasse simply because their employment is more affordable and requires nearly no overhead.
From gathering applications to interviewing candidates and beyond, the hiring process can be tedious for many small business owners (not to mention expensive).
After an employee is hired, the company is saddled with the new salary, training, and benefits costs. Freelancers forgo a great deal of this financial burden because they don’t receive the same level of pay as full-timers, nor are they entitled to any specialized benefits (in most jurisdictions).
Also, freelancers generally require less overhead. Small businesses are usually limited when it comes to workspace. Hiring freelancers can help keep the need for more space in check because they usually do not require devoted in-house office spaceor company-supplied equipment. Instead, many freelancers work remotely in order to provide top-tier services at a fraction of the cost.
Benefit #3: Minimal Onboarding
As any small business owner surely knows, onboarding can be a long and tedious process. Adjusting new employees to your team structure, filing process, routines, and more can really cut into their productive working time.
Freelancers often do not require this extra introductory process simply because they are not likely to become long-term members of the core team. Freelancers are generally hired for short-term engagements and specialized projects. As a result, they tend to only need to know about the key processes related to the individual project’s completion and little more.
While the exact parameters of this minimized onboarding process will vary from industry to industry, you can bet your dollar that your new small business freelancer will provide more flexibility when it comes to bringing them into the fold.
Benefit #4: Freeing Up Core Staff
Though it may not be the first benefit a small business owner thinks of when they ask, “why hire a freelancer?”, such an individual can be certain that their new hiring choice will free up their core team to take on more productive tasks.
Small businesses often feature tight-knit teams of devoted employees who must complete every single aspect of the business’ operation – from inventory to marketing to taxes and beyond. A freelancer can break this often unproductive gridlock by transferring some burden of day-to-day tasks to an outside individual.
For example, many industrial small businesses use informational blog posts as a means of generating website traffic. Freelancers can be hired to write these posts, which frees up core team members to work on projects that grow and enhance the business as a whole.
This same delegating process can be applied to a variety of tedious but crucial small business jobs, including web design, social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and more.
Benefit #5: Access to the Global Market
Though small businesses used to be limited to hiring within their local market, contemporary small businesses have the opportunity to tap into a global employee market via freelancers. Thanks to improvements in remote-access and video conferencing tools, hiring a remote employee such as a freelancer has never been more streamlined.
Decades ago, the perfect freelancer for your business might have lived far away, with no chance that you would ever contact them. Today, websites like PeoplePerHour help connect needful employers with skilled, knowledgeable freelancers across the globe.
Though it may feel unusual for a small business, outsourcing opportunities to areas with lower labor costs can really help your small business get off the ground.
In addition to financial benefits, a global employee base allows you to maximize the amount of work your small business can accomplish using 24-hour planning and scheduling.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, there are plenty of worthwhile answers to the common refrain, “why hire a freelancer?”. Whether you’re concerned about preserving your bottom line or bringing in specialized talent, freelancers hold the key to unlocking new potential within your small business.
While hiring full-time employees may be your best option for some business operations, hiring freelancers to represent an excellent hiring opportunity to maximize flexibility and minimalize long-term commitment. When you pour over the benefits, you can clearly see that adding a freelancer (or two) is exactly what your small business needs.