When running any kind of business, it is in your best interest to increase your revenues and reduce your expenses. That sounds logical and straightforward enough. While the conventional route would lead you to hire several full-time employees as your company continues to grow, it may make better financial sense to add freelancers and other outsourced professionals to your staff mix.
How can you save money with freelance writers, virtual assistants, and others like them? Let’s have a look at a few ways that they are more cost-effective than regular full-time employees.
Hire (and Pay) on an As-Needed Basis
A full-time employee is paid the same whether they are given one project to do or fifty projects to do. During the slower periods, many employees may find that they have very little to do, but you have to pay them just the same. This is not the case when it comes to outsourcing to freelancers. Instead, you only hire and pay them on an as-needed basis.
When you are hit with an added workload, you can turn to your favorite freelancer to pick up the slack. When the workload returns to normal, you can thank the freelancer for his time and let him know that you’ll call him when you need him again. In like manner, you can hire specialists as needed, rather than relying on a single employee to do everything.
No Overtime Pay for Weekend Work
Need a rush job completed over the weekend? If you were to get your full-time employee to come in to the office on Saturday and Sunday, there’s a good chance that you’d be liable for paying overtime. This can get very expensive, very quickly.
While freelancers may charge a premium for rush jobs, the premium is typically less than what you would have to end up paying in overtime. Further still, many freelancers choose to work on weekends and holidays, so you may not be liable for a premium at all, so long as you give the outsourced professional reasonable notice.
Freelancers Provide Their Own Equipment and Office Space
When you hire an employee to work in your office, you need to provide them with office space. You also need to provide them with a computer, a camera, a cell phone, and any other equipment that they may need over the course of doing their work. Let’s not forget about maintaining the office photocopier, stocking up on stationery, and even keeping up with the company water cooler. These expenses can add up very quickly.
By contrast, freelancers must provide their own equipment. You typically don’t have to pay for their computer maintenance or monthly cell phone charges, because these costs are usually integrated into the quoted rate. If the freelancer needs to buy a new smartphone, he buys it himself. This is an understood cost of doing business.
Vacation Pay, Medical Plans, Administrative Costs…
Some people may be thrown off by the rates they are quoted by freelancers, because these hourly rates are usually higher than what they are paying their full-time employees. This is true, but you also have to realize that the freelancer’s rate is all-inclusive.
With a regular employee, you are responsible for paying into a retirement plan, a medical plan, paid vacation days, maternity leave, personal leave, and all sorts of additional expenses. Further still, you have the added administration costs of managing these supplementary details. When it comes to outsourcing, you pay them just like a supplier: you get an invoice, you pay the invoice, and you’re done. The administration is much simpler.
Outsourcing Makes Good Economic Sense
For a larger company, it obviously does not make sense to rely solely on outsourced professionals to handle the entire workload. You will still want to have some full-time staff to handle the day-to-day operations of your business.
However, for much of the seasonal work or for situations where the workload demand can be unpredictable, outsourcing to freelancers and other similar professionals really can save you a lot of money in the long run. And you’re not losing out on quality, so long as you hire quality freelancers.