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How Freelancers Can Benefit Small Businesses

Over the course of the next decade, workers classified as freelancers are expected to have greater representation in the workforce than those with a traditional employer-employee relationship. Small-business owners can benefit from this trend in a number of ways.

A woman posing with her cup of tea and work computer open.

More Cost Effective

While it might seem counterintuitive, you can potentially save money paying freelancers more per hour or per project compared to a full-time employee. A freelance relationship can help enable you to transform the fixed costs of payroll to varied costs of contractors, which can leave more in the budget for other types of spending.

When deciding whether to hire another employee or use a freelancer, be sure to use the potential employee's total compensation package, not just their salary or hourly wage, for the cost comparison. The overhead for a freelancer can be significantly less than hiring a new employee, especially when considering these potential additional costs:

  • Recruitment, training and certification
  • Benefits including paid vacation and sick time, holiday pay and employer contribution to health plans and retirement savings
  • State and federal taxes
  • Social Security tax and Medicare
  • Providing office space and equipment

Increased Flexibility

For many small-business owners — especially those who operate seasonal businesses — the needs of their company can fluctuate throughout the year. Leveraging freelancers can provide flexibility to focus on seasonal or specialized projects without the extra work that may accompany onboarding a full-time employee.

Specialized Talent

Many people choose to freelance because it provides them the opportunity to specialize in a specific skillset. This means you can benefit from their expertise much faster, compared to training a current employee or hiring a new one to complete the same task.

Below is a list of the five most commonly outsourced jobs for small businesses:

  1. Administrative and Scheduling. Many small businesses don't need to have someone available every day to complete these tasks. You can potentially save money by hiring a virtual assistant for this work.
  2. Bookkeeping. It's common for small-business owners to spread themselves too thin, including trying to take on the task of bookkeeping. However, this is an area where you can't afford small mistakes, and this daunting task can take up valuable time that could be allocated to growing your business.
  3. Content Marketing. Quality digital content is crucial to helping new customers find your company online. Producing content and images on a regular basis can be time consuming, though. Outsourcing this area can allow you to have a relevant, engaging online presence without taking on that work internally.
  4. Information Technology (IT). From updating computer software to preventing cyberattacks, companies of all sizes have technology needs. A remote IT employee or team can be a point of contact for complex problems that your employees don't have time to figure out themselves.
  5. Payroll. Calculating employee hours and the proper deductions from paychecks is a job that requires a lot of time and attention to detail. Hiring a freelancer for this task can help ensure your payroll is processed on time and without mistakes.

Scaling Your Business

It's exciting to be at the helm of a growing business, but determining staffing needs can be overwhelming. Freelancers can help fill in your company's gaps which can give you time to figure out if your business needs that position filled full-time.

No matter what type of small-business you run, the world of freelancing can offer you the chance to find specialized talent as needs arise, without the burden of recruiting, hiring and training a new full-time employee.

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