If you run a company, you’ll be more than aware of the drain your fixed overheads can place on your profits. While some costs are unavoidable (e.g. commercial property rent and rates), companies often find themselves having to hire full-time specialist employees who are only required for very small parts of their overall product or service provision and who bring little profitability to their general operations.
To counter this, many companies have increasingly started to outsource key sectors of their business as a way to reduce costs and drive workplace efficiency. Using freelancers on an ad hoc basis can offer multiple advantages to your firm and could even allow you to diversify into other areas – all without the risk or cost of taking on more staff.
Here are just a few ways hiring freelancers can transform your company’s profitability and efficiency.
Freelancers can bring additional skills to your overall services
Any new member of staff joining your company will likely bring with them additional skills however using freelancers means you can pick and choose extra abilities as and when you need them. If you search freelance sites you will often find individuals that are highly skilled in areas that complement your existing business – but that might be hard to justify employing on a full-time basis.
For example, web design companies frequently outsource specialist areas of their production remit to freelancers – anything from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to social media marketing or database programming. While all three of these skills technically fall under the large umbrella term ‘web design’, they are specialist talents in themselves and bring added value to the production of a website. Nevertheless, it would be difficult for many smaller web production firms to justify employing these skills on a full-time basis.
Bringing in freelance skills helps companies of all types diversify their overall product or service provision, bringing in supplementary skills only as required.
Hiring staff only when you need them drastically reduces overheads
Rather than employing staff on a full-time basis, many companies these days are reducing their staffing overhead by taking on freelancers only when needed. Freelancing is now common in many industries – everything from IT to accountancy and legal practices.
By taking on staff only when they’re required, businesses can streamline operations and reduce their on-going overheads. For example, companies like National Legal Staffing Support offer professional litigation services for law firms purely on an ad hoc basis, meaning specialized legal advisors can be hired on a short-term basis. While freelancers can often charge slightly higher hourly rates than their full-time counterparts, the long-term cost savings can be huge by comparison.
Outsourcing allows you to tap into global expertise
Rather than just relying on the local workforce that’s on your doorstep, working with freelancers allows you to pick talent from around the world. It’s quite common for companies to shoehorn projects into the talent they have locally or in-house rather than taking the wider view and thinking of what would be best for the job in hand. Using freelancers means you can lay your own in-house limitations to one side and instead focus on what’s best for a project’s requirements.
Outsourcing makes companies more agile and adaptable
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s more important than ever for companies to be able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and take advantage of emerging opportunities. Having a talented roster of freelancers in your contacts list means your company can react quickly to an ever-changing commercial landscape.
Moreover, using freelancers allows you to rapidly scale back your overheads and operations in leaner times. Never has this need for company agility been better demonstrated than during the past year as coronavirus shrank economies. Companies have been squeezed harder than ever through the last year with redundancies common across all sectors. However, those businesses that made more use of outsourcing were able to contract their services making them more rapidly adaptable to the shrinking economic climate.
Using freelancers allows companies to focus on their core direction
As well as hiring freelancers for specialist duties, companies frequently outsource mundane or time-consuming tasks to third parties to allow them to concentrate better on their core business direction. For example, the use of foreign call centers and support facilities is now common across all industries as a way to cut overheads and let companies get on with the areas that directly generate money.
Business has changed dramatically over the last 30 years and with the rise of the internet, companies no longer compete on a local or even national level. In many ways, the web has made the world a smaller place and consumers now have direct access to a global marketplace.
If your company is to remain competitive, it needs to run a streamlined operation with the smallest overheads possible to allow you to pass on savings to your clients. Outsourcing allows companies to work with a tighter fiscal constraints while also being able to react quickly to changing economic climates. If you want to be truly agile in today’s unpredictable world, using freelancers might just be your best bet.