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Hired Help

The pros and cons of hiring independent contractors.

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This story appears in the October 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In Bruce Law's former life at a corporation, his unit's regular work virtually came to a stop at the same time every year when a certain big annual project was due. Today, Law, 46, keeps his company's wheels turning during both fast and slow times by using a corps of to provide flexible, skilled help just when he needs it.

"We use [independent contractors] for two reasons: flexibility and variety," says the founder and president of Salt Lake City-based Sprout Marketing, which has 15 employees and 30 to 40 people on contract at any time. "You don't have issues of hiring and firing and morale. You can scale up and then scale back if something doesn't pan out. And you've got fresh ideas. You get experience from different areas, and you can bring that experience when you need it without trying to hire a full-timer."

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