With Small Business Week just wrapping up, I thought it appropriate to shine some light on the smallest of all small businesses: Freelancers.
According to The 3rd annual 2013 MBO Partners State of Independence in America Workforce Study, the U.S. has 17.7 million independent workers. That’s an increase of five percent from 2012 and 10 percent from 2011.
“Nearly $1.2 trillion in total income was generated by these independents, up a strong 20 percent from 2012. In addition, independent workers spent over $150 billion on non-payroll/
contractor expenses, helping to boost the recovering US economy.”
As impressive as that is, even better is that as you aim to grow your small business, freelancing professionals can help you.
They come in a variety of professions and can give you the assistance you need to accomplish tasks and projects you either don’t have the time or the expertise in house to do.
Freelancers work in all sorts of specialties including, but not limited to:
- Tax preparation
- Marketing strategy
- Website development and design
- Social media management
- Business consulting
- Life and career coaching
- Human resources
What’s great about contracting freelancers to take care of your needs for these types of things is that you benefit from their focused expertise without incurring the ongoing expense of:
- Meeting payroll
- Workers comp
- Paid vacation days
- Sick days
- Health insurance
- Other employee-related costs
Yes, you will likely need to pay a higher “by the hour” rate for freelancers, but you won’t be locked into using them for a specific number of hours (unless you’ve got a retainer agreement). In short, you’ve got control over how much you want to spend, and you can adjust their workload according to your project needs and financial situation.
But beyond the potential cost savings of using them in your business, freelancers add value in other ways:
- Specialized expertise – They bring well-honed skills and broader knowledge because of their varied experience working with multiple clients.
- An objective third-party perspective – Because they’re not closely tied to what your company has done before, they bring fresh ideas and can make creative suggestions you and your employees might have overlooked.
- Staff overwhelm prevention – Bringing freelancers in to help can shield your employees from getting overwhelmed by too much to do (or by tasks not within their comfort zone).
As you’re looking to grow your small business, consider freelancers as a viable resource for taking care of administrative functions and taking your brand to greater heights. As one myself, I can tell you most freelancers take great pride in serving other small businesses and helping them thrive.