Freelancers are often more flexible than regular employees and can be a great way to free up time for other things.
Freelancers offer the perfect solution when you need extra hands on deck to get through a busy period, or even just want some relief from your day-to-day tasks. Freelancers don’t require any long-term commitments, so they provide the ultimate flexibility that many businesses desperately crave. The reality is freelancers have been around since well before computers were invented!
And while technology and social media has changed how freelance work gets done, it hasn’t diminished the demand for this type of work one bit. In fact, with more and more people choosing not to pursue traditional employment these days, there’s an increased need for skilled freelancers.
So, while it’s not a new concept, getting the most out of your freelance workforce is something that all businesses should consider as part of their overall strategy for success and for boosting productivity. If you’re not already working with freelancers, here are seven ways they can help your business:
1) Help with a busy period
When you’re at your busiest, it’s often hard to get everything done on time around the office. And while there isn’t anyone who works harder than an in-house team member of a small business, freelancers can help lighten the load when things get hectic. Whether that means working part-time, or just helping on an as-needed basis, freelancers can provide the help you need to get through those busy periods, so your in-house team doesn’t have to.
2) Free up time for other things
Sometimes it’s not a busy period that requires outside assistance but rather getting caught up on some of the day-to-day things that don’t require your immediate attention, such as updating your blog or social media accounts. It can be time- consuming and tedious so hiring a freelancer for this purpose will allow you to free up some of your own team’s valuable time that could instead be spent on other things.
3) Help out with research
One area where freelancers excel is finding information. Whether it’s market research data that your in-house team doesn’t have time to compile or tracking down industry related statistics, sometimes you just need an extra set of hands and a fresh perspective for this kind of work. Using a freelancer as part of your research team can take some of the pressure off your in-house staff so they can focus their time on other tasks.
4) Provide specialized skills
When you have a business of just one or two people, everyone wears many hats. This means that there’s often no dedicated person who has all the skills necessary to complete every task. Even if you’re great at what you do and do it well, you may not always have the requisite skills to provide everything your business needs. When that’s the case you can hire a freelancer with just the right expertise for each task.
5) Test out new ideas
One of the great things about using freelancers is that they often work on a project basis so there are no long-term commitments. This means you can try out new ideas without the risk of hiring someone and then not having them work out for whatever reason. Also, if they are a good fit, although there’s no obligation to keep working with them, you can hire them on an as-needed basis. It’s an effective way to free up time and see how things go before assigning an in-house team member to a project for which he or she may not have the requisite skillset.
6) Hire special skills for a short time
For those who rely on specialized skill sets in their business, hiring freelancers is often the best way to go because it allows you to utilize these skills when you need them and then return to your day-to-day tasks once they are no longer needed. For example, if you have a public event that requires an entertainment specialist to run the sound system, rather than hiring someone on staff or committing to using them for future events, you can hire a freelancer just for that one event and be done with it when it’s over.
7) Fill in when needed
Of course, if you’re already using a freelancer on a regular basis, there may be an opportunity to use them when something happens, and your in-house team member is unavailable. For example, if someone from your core staff goes out sick or takes vacation time, having another skilled person that can step in who already knows the ropes already is of great benefit to the overall operation of your business.
In a nutshell, freelancers are the secret weapon for small businesses because they often provide valuable skills and can help lighten the load when times get especially busy. They can also be a great way to free up your time for more value-added, productive activities. Freelancers are great assets to any small business team so use them wisely and effectively today.