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5 Data-Backed Benefits of Working With Freelancers to Grow Your Business

Specialized, short-term help saves you money and time.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

How can working with freelancers help your business? There must be some advantages because, according to a 2017 survey by Upwork, 55% of companies using freelancers intend to increase their reliance on them.

Luckily, the number of freelancers is also on the rise. According to Upwork’s “Freelance Forward 2020,” about 59 million Americans currently freelance, and 58% of those not presently freelancing are considering doing so in the future.

Supply is increasing to meet demand, but why is there such a demand? As many businesses have found, working with freelancers can help fulfill needs for specialized professionals, save money, save time, decrease overhead and get more work done.

1. Hiring freelancers can help you find specialized professionals

What's the problem with a jack-of-all-trades? While perhaps valuable as a one-size-fits-all employee, most staff members don't specialize in everything you might want them to do for your growing business.

For example, a successful business needs an engaging, visually pleasing, easy-to-use website in the internet age. You may have a small staff or understandably not want to hire someone whose specialty is web-building when you only ever need them to create one.

This is where freelancers come in. You can hire someone who specializes in building websites and will do so at a high caliber for your business. And when they are done with their task, you aren’t left with an employee for whom you can’t find reasonable work.

Related: 5 Tips for Finding and Managing the Right Freelancer

2. Working with freelancers can help you save money

Let’s face it; we’re all trying to save money. A traditional employee comes with a lot of expenses in addition to their wage — taxes, health benefits, paid time off and more. In an article by Huffington Post, the costs of a full-time employee are laid out side-by-side with those of a freelancer.

First, there's the cost of training a new full-time employee. For a $135,000-salaried employee, the cost of training could range from $67,500 at the low end to $287,550. One case study showed a physician's turnover cost to be about $66,000.

Most freelancers come to a job trained and ready to work on their first day. They know how to do the task. They don’t need to be clued to company culture, practices, benefits, and general goings-on because they are there to complete a specific task they already have the training.

This advantage repeats itself when comparing the cost of a full-time employee to a freelancer in taxes (6.2% tax on up to a $128,400 salary for Social Security alone), benefits, vacation, and office space and equipment. The use of freelancers comes out inarguably on top. All of these savings can help free up funds to expand your business in other ways.

3. Hiring a freelancer can save you time

The process of hiring a full-time or even part-time employee is cumbersome. Looking for someone who can do many types of work and fits in with the company vision may take months.

With a freelancer, they are hired to do one type of work, for which the freelancer usually has specialized skills. A freelancer can be hired in a matter of days or even hours. In addition to this, because the freelancer works remotely, they do not need to fit your company culture like Cinderella in her glass slipper.

Hiring a freelancer can also help you save time with tasks you are not familiar with. Instead of spending days researching, troubleshooting, and generally trying to learn how to do something yourself, you can hire a competent freelancer to get right to work and complete the task for you. This way, you will have time to focus on what only you can do.

Related: The Case for Freelancers

4. Hiring a freelancer increases workability

What happens if you hire a permanent employee, then don't have a use for the employee anymore? They’ve done what you hired them for, but, as we’ve discussed, turnover costs a pretty penny. The use of freelancers can increase flexibility in your company. They can be hired for a specific project, and once they are done, they are no longer on the payroll.

If you need their help again, rehiring is always an option. This way, you aren’t spending money on talent that is only used every now and then, and you can keep your team trim and flexible.

5. A freelancer can help you get more done

In your growing business, there is always more to do. You and your employees often can’t keep up with everything that could be done to run and improve your business. Freelancers can take on responsibilities you don’t have time for.

What’s more, the freelancer may be able to get specific tasks done quicker than you or one of your employees could, as they specialize in that task. According to Upwork, 81% of IT managers said freelancers helped them get more done. So as productivity increases, your business will have room to grow.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Freelancer

It’s hard to consider the benefits above and not wonder whether utilizing a freelancer might be good for your business. Whether you need specialized help, don’t have room for a new employee, are trying to reserve funds for other projects, or are on a quick turnaround, hiring a freelancer may be just what you need to grow your business.

Lucas Miller

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Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Lucas Miller is the founder and CEO of Echelon Copy LLC, a media relations agency based in Provo, Utah that helps brands improve visibility, enhance reputation and generate leads through authentic storytelling.