Freelancing can be a great way to grow your business without the cost and risk of hiring traditional employees. Most freelancers out there are highly-skilled professionals who can deliver impactful results for your business. However, every now and then you’re going to pick a bad apple. Here are 5 pros and 5 cons to leveraging freelancing for your business:
1. It will Save You Money
One of the biggest benefits when it comes to using freelancing is the cost savings. You only need to hire and pay a freelancer when you have work you need done. This is much more cost effective than having a full-time employee on your staff to do a task that’s only needed intermittently. You also save money by using freelancing as opposed to full-time employees in regard to health insurance, paid time off, and sick days. Since most freelancers work remotely, you don’t have to provide a workspace, computer, internet access…etc.
2. Specialized Talent
Freelancers come in all shapes and sizes in terms of their specialties. You can take advantage of freelancing talents for just about anything. Freelance services on sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and LinkedIn ProFinder range from content writers, artists, photographers, musicians, graphic designers, computer programmers, and marketing professionals. If you need some help with your WordPress site, instead of spending hours learning how to code, simply hire a freelancer who specializes in WordPress design.
3. Go Getters
When you utilize freelancing services, the person you are hiring is an independent contractor. They work on their own and are responsible for creating their own success. That self-discipline often bleeds over into the work they do for you as their client. Freelancers also only get paid when they finish an assignment that’s up to par. Since time is money, most of the time they are going to do their best to get it done right the first time rather than spending precious time reworking and retooling.
Freelancers also usually strive to get work done as soon as possible in order to free up more time for other contracts.
4. They Are Easy to Hire
With the boom of the gig economy, hiring a freelancer is easy than ever! There are tons of sites out there that make hiring and paying a freelancer easy. Using these freelancing platforms can save you time and money that would be better used somewhere else in your business. You can read about some of our favorite freelancing platforms here: [link to Hiring a Freelancer article?]
5. Working with Freelancers Is Flexible
Corporate America is losing more and more highly skilled professionals every day as talented employees are fed up with the grind. This is good news for you as a business owner. It means those knowledgeable employees-turned freelancers are now at your disposal. And you didn’t even have to pay to train them. Also, because most freelancers you will come across are remote employees, you have access to infinitely more opportunities and options than if you were to hire someone local to work in a physical location.
1. Lack of Supervision
While hiring a remote freelancer can be a huge pro, it can also be a con. You don’t have the ability to check in on a freelancer as you do with a traditional employee. This means that you will need to have trust that they will be open and honest. Freelancers are also not required to work the same hours as you unless you specify so in their contract, so communication can be a challenge, especially if the freelancer you hire is slow to respond or lives in a different time zone.
2. Less Loyal than a Traditional Employee
You aren’t paying benefits or other company perks. A freelancer may be quicker to cut ties than a traditional employee. If they don’t like the projects or feel they aren’t being paid fairly, they might be quick to jump ship. Freelancers who seek out better-paying opportunities with little to no notice can leave you with an incomplete project and you’ll find yourself back at square one.
3. You Probably Don’t Have Their Undivided Attention
Almost all freelancers work for more than one client. This means they aren’t focused on your business 100% of the time. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s a conversation you should have upfront when you are in the hiring process. How available do you need your freelancer to be?
4. They Can Sometimes Drop Off Your Radar
Just like online dating, you could get ghosted by your freelancer.
There were definitely sparks flying during the interview process, but as soon as you assign them the first project, you never hear from them again. Maybe they don’t like the assignment, maybe something more lucrative came up. Either way, not all freelancers will give you two-weeks’ notice. Keeping compensation competitive and open communication can help avoid this issue.
5. Upfront Risk
If you do end up with a freelancer who decided to call it quits with no notice, you are the one who is out of luck (and possibly time and money). It’s important to take the time to do your research, read previous client feedback, and only hire freelancers with positive work history.