Why Freelancers could Be a Valuable Part of your Business Growth
A freelancer is a person who works by the hour, day, or job, and is not committed to a long term relationship with any particular employer. Many freelancers work out of their homes and often work through an agency.
The past few years have seen a rapid increase in freelance activity, fueled by difficulties in the job market, and ease of doing work remotely over the internet . Freelancers represent a tremendous talent resource. The biggest growth in the past few years is with people in the 35 to 44 year old group, who have great experience and energy, but are frustrated by the lack of opportunity in the traditional job market.
There are two types of activities. With some work you meet in person with the freelancer, and in other situations you work remotely.
When meeting in person, one has to be careful. Freelancers often do not have the complete liability insurance of a traditional company. Hiring a freelancer to trim a big tree is not recommended. If the trimmer falls, you could be liable for a huge compensation award. Always hire a traditional licensed company if there is any danger involved. For in-home care-giving, it is best to hire a freelancer through an agency like Care.com , which does proper background checks and has liability insurance.
Remote work includes computer programming, graphic art, research and writing. The talent pool is rich and deep. For computer work, oDesk.com has experts in every small niche of software. For research and excellent written reports, this blogger likes Websay Writers .
oDesk lets you choose the freelancer, based on rates and customer feedback. Do not choose just based on rates. Educated people in Bangladesh may have rates of only $3 per hour, but they have never lived in an advanced industrial society, and so may be missing context knowledge. People with higher rates may understand your project better and complete it more quickly and less expensively. Some organizations, such as Websay, review your request and assign the most appropriate freelancer. Unlike oDesk, Websay takes responsibility for an excellent final product.
Advantages of Working with a Freelancer
The main advantage of working with a freelancer is that there is no long term commitment, and you do not have to pay for vacations, sick days, etc. Especially with remote work, the hourly rates are often much less than you would pay for an employee in a high wage country.
The second advantage of working with a freelancer is that you are not locked in to a certain way of thinking. If the market changes, you can switch to a different freelancer.
The key is to think out your project objective carefully and write down the objective and context in good English. This is no time for “back of the envelope” stuff.
Start off with a small project to get acquainted and limit the risk. This allows the freelancer to get to know your situation.
Gradually you may wish to expand your involvement with freelancers, and have your business evolve into a “virtual company”, where only very core tasks are done by you and your own staff. Everything else, from accounting, to web design, and even product development can be contracted on a per job basis to a group of trusted freelancers.
So do not move too quickly with freelancers, write instructions diligently, and you will have a lean flexible operation that can respond rapidly to changes in your business.
Palmer, K. (2011, August 17). Mastering the New Freelance Economy. US News Money. Retrieved from: http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2011/08/17/mastering-the-new-freelance-economy