If you own a business, then you are well aware of how much it costs to hire an employee, starting with advertising for a job opening. However, there are many ways to save money by working with freelancers, or outsourcing work online, which I will detail in just a minute.
Your business might be online or offline…it really doesn’t matter. Either way, certain tasks such as bookkeeping, administrative assisting, or developing a website all need to get done. These are all areas that when hired out can help increase your profits and production, all while leaving time for you to focus on what you do best.
If you are looking for ways to improve your overall daily routines and increase production, all while keeping the cost down as much as possible, then read on. Even if you are just starting out, the following information will be beneficial to you as well.
Saving Money by Utilizing a Freelancer
More and more companies have decided to change course within their company by working with freelance workers and providing more flexibility and fewer ties that bind an employer and employee. And, the trend is certainly helping small businesses save money by cutting costs as well. If for no other reason, it can give you a great head start when starting a business, or get you through some rough times with an existing one.
Some of the areas where you can save money with freelance work are:
- Less necessary furniture and equipment needed with the worker in a remote location
- Lower utility bills when fewer people are using them
- Payroll cost is non-existent because you only pay for the service
- No need to pay for benefit package such as health insurance and sick time
- Freelancers do not need to be trained by you
Now that I have your interest, let’s look further in how easy it is to outsource jobs.
Posting for a Project
There are a few ways you can post a project or look for a freelancer, such as online, newspaper, or word of mouth. It doesn’t matter if your project is for a graphic designer, writer, or virtual assistant…all ways are acceptable.
However, you will have the most exposure by posting it online on a site for freelance work, such as Elance. Write a job description, post it, and then wait for the bids to come in. You will have the option for setting a budget prior to posting it, and I recommend that you do. Be as specific as you can about what you are looking for, your budget, and an expected deadline.
After the bids start coming in, you can open up a dialogue with anyone you want in order to find out more about them. On sites such as Elance, you can do all of your communicating, exchanging of documents, and payments directly on the site.
With advertising in a more tradition manner than outsourcing work online, you have the option of placing an ad in the paper, or word of mouth. However, neither of these options will get you the exposure that you will get online.
Of course you may be wondering how you will communicate when outsourcing projects, because the person providing the work is not sitting in the same room. In fact, they might be across the country, or in an entirely different country.
With today’s technology, communicating with someone in a remote location is easier than ever. Here are some basic methods:
- Web conferencing
- Smart phone
You might also have an opportunity to communicate in whichever freelancing site you are working with, through emails and message rooms. For example, if you are outsourcing articles for a website, you can easily exchange documents, messages, and even payments all within the site.
Outsourcing Pros and Cons
If you have never had the opportunity to outsource work, then you might be wondering what the benefits of outsourcing are, as well as the downside of it all.
One of the pros is obviously saving money. It can significantly help save a new business a lot of cash they don’t necessarily have in the beginning. Another perk is there isn’t any commitment. So, if it’s not working out, you simply move on without the ties of an employee.
And finally, if you have had a business for a while now, you might know there can be occasional conflict between employees. With outsourcing, you won’t have that worry.
The downside would have to be potential time and language barriers, but you can avoid that by working with people within your time zone and language skills.
Finally, there is a risk of someone not turning work in that you expect. But, they also risk not getting paid, which reminds me of a quote from Robert Benchley; “The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps”. To best avoid this issue from both sides, have the funds placed in escrow, and then don’t release it until you have the approved work in hand.
To sum it all up, outsourcing some of your projects can save you significant amounts of money and time…which can be better spent in production.