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As a small business owner, you might think hiring a freelancer isn’t for the likes of you. Isn’t outsourcing something big businesses do, after all? That’s surely up to the hiring teams, agencies, companies and individuals for high-flying projects and consultancy.

While you may not think so, often, small businesses are the very organisations that could benefit most from hiring a freelancer. Here are just some of the reasons (five to be exact) why you should reconsider your decision to hire a freelancer.

They can plug the gaps

If you have one-off or irregular tasks or a sudden rush on for a vital and urgent project, it’s not usually appropriate, possible or economically viable to employ someone to help. This is especially true in a small business, where you know exactly how much work there is to be done and employ staff accordingly, running a tight ship.

Long-term, you won’t have regular work for an extra staff member, and you’ll have all the hassle or establishing them as an employee (see number two). However, a freelancer can provide the skills you need for these projects that aren’t available in-house, while not requiring the consistent pay an employee needs.

You don’t have employer commitments to them

Quite rightly, as an employer, you have certain commitments towards your employed staff, some of which apply even if they’re on a zero hour contract.

Induction, pension auto-enrolment, national insurance deductions, tax codes, health and safety, training, sick pay, annual leave, maternity and paternity leave… these are just a few of the things you have to oversee and organise as an employer.

When you hire a freelancer, their tax code and national insurance contributions are none of your business. Nor is their pension – or lack of it! If they want to complete your copywriting hanging upside down with their laptop balanced on their chin, you may think it’s not the wisest choice for their health and safety, but it’s not your responsibility to ensure they have an eye-level monitor, an ergonomic chair and a wrist support for that RSI. It’s up to them to manage their family commitments and leave around their contracted work for you, not the other way around.

You don’t need to hold their hand

By necessity and their very nature, any successful freelancer will have the skills of autonomous working and initiative-taking. Providing your brief is clear (and if it isn’t, they should be checking it upfront), you shouldn’t hear from them unless they have a query that arises in the course of the work or they are reporting their progress.

There should be an early agreement on how and when you’ll be informed of progress on your project, e.g. daily/weekly check-ins. After this, they’re free to continue the work and you’re able to get on with the daily running of your business.

They supply their own resources

Apps, software, tools, a desk, a chair, paints, a workspace, a laptop, a landline, a laser printer, research materials, indoor houseplants, whale music: whatever they need to do their work, it’s down to your freelancer to provide it. All that’s required of you is a clear brief, plus any source materials or samples they may require to complete your project.

It’s in their interests to complete your work swiftly and expertly

Unlike many employees, freelancers expect and know how to work to a deadline. It’s in their interest to get your work done on time if not sooner. Then they can get paid, and move on to a new project and pay packet.

It’s also in their interest to do your work to the best of their ability. As a freelancer, they don’t have the security of employment, or the chance to hide behind excuses.

Their reputation is what gets them the next gig. You’re not likely to give them a reference or testimonial if you’re not happy with their work. That means you should find they’re keen to impress and motivated to deliver your work swiftly.

Hiring a freelancer can ease pressure on you and your employees. It can help you to diversify, and help you complete vital, business-boosting projects on time. So, keep it simple.

Do you work with freelancers? What’s your experience? Leave a comment in the section below or join the conversation over on Twitter and Facebook!

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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