Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

Telecommuters – Small Business’s Best Friend

04.13.2010 · Posted in Business Solutions, Employees

Telecommuter freelance working for small business

There are a million great reasons to hire staff to support you, when you really, really need them.  I’m not going to suggest NOT having full-time support in the positions you really need it.  But every small business owner should be aware of the benefits of embracing the idea of the telecommuting freelancer.

What is a telecommuter?

It’s someone who works off-site, usually out of their home, and they could be anywhere in the world.

What is a freelancer?

A freelancer is someone who works for a set period of time – anywhere from a few hours to a few months or more – as a self-contracted employee.   That means that you simply pay them the way you would pay a vendor for any product or service.  They may be paid hourly or on a retainer as well.

What’s great about telecommuting freelancers?

  • Utilizing freelancers is a great way to save on overhead.
  • No long-term commitment.
  • No legal obligations making it difficult to drop an underproductive worker.
  • Individuals who freelance are generally cheaper than hiring a service vendor or agency that does essentially the same thing.

What are the drawbacks of using telecommuting freelancers?

  • Some people just have to have face-to-face conversations in order to be happy.  If that’s you, this is not the way to go.
  • No guarantees that the work will be exactly what you want.
  • May need to have a more flexible schedule – freelancers are often working on more than one project at a time.

How do you find freelancers for your project?

Look online.  Craigslist is an easy way to find local and distant freelancers.  There are also sites like freelancer.com or elance.com where you can post projects and have freelancers bid on the work, stretching your dollar even further.

A lot of small businesses have been fighting just to keep the employees they have, many have had to let people go.  Consider freelancers as a cheaper alternative if the economy is too tight to hire much needed help.

If you’ve been saying to yourself “Gee, if only I had someone who could just do XYZ and only when I needed them…” then see if you can find someone to do it for you freelance.  You can even get a Virtual Assistant from Timbuktu to answer your phones and check your emails for you in Phoenix.

YOUR time is very valuable and using freelancers can save you a ton of it, without the cost of hiring a whole employee.  Think it over.

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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