This spring the world turned upside down. The COVID-19 lockdown, oil price wars, Space X launch, Trump-Biden Presidency race, and… the financial crisis. Giants like Diamond Offshore Drilling, Intelsat, J.Crew, Ultra Petroleum, and Virgin Australia announced bankruptcy. And this list keeps getting longer with each passing week of quarantine.
If these companies couldn’t make it through the crisis, what hope is there for small businesses? Should they just wait for the inevitable to happen or should they try to weather the storm? I’d go for the latter.
If by any chance you think the same, but you are not sure where to start, your very first step should be…to keep producing your product! That’s where freelancers can help.
Here are five reasons why you should hire freelancers and how they can become the heroes of the day for your business during these uncertain times.
On-demand employees can help to save a fortune
Small businesses suffered from COVID-19 the most due to one reason — they lack cash flow and capital to survive even a month-long pause. That’s why they need to cut the costs to the bare minimum. One side of this is to give up on the office rent (what’s the point of it if everyone’s working from home anyway?) and all other unnecessary expenses like contracts with less urgent projects or a summer corporate party.
Another side is to start working with freelancers. You pay them only according to the work done and the results achieved, avoiding spending additional costs on social security, sick leaves, holidays, and so on. Even more, if you decide to outsource somewhere from abroad (for example, Eastern Europe where both the cost of living and average salaries are twofold lower), you only need to pay half as much.
Cost of Freelance Developers by World Region – source Hackernoon
Freelancers know how to work remotely
Laurie McCabe while talking about the coronavirus impact on small businesses said “There will be a new normal, where people learned to do business in different ways.” This new normal is called ‘remote work’.
For you to see the difference, here is just one fact. During the pandemic, the number of Zoom users increased thirtyfold: from 10 million daily users in December to a whopping 300 million in April.
While your in-house team is still trying to adjust to a new reality of exclusively working online, freelancers are already one step ahead. Their performance won’t drop just because they have to work from home now, or because all the meetings have to happen in Zoom. For them, this is business as usual.
Freelancers avoid the learning curve, which is a wasted productivity
When you hire an in-house team, it’s in your best interest to keep their skills sharp. You invest money and time in them which will be repaid with interest in the future.
During a crisis, the future is – by definition – uncertain. You have to act now. By hiring a freelancer, you already hire a person with a necessary set of skills. You don’t have to wait until they find out how to complete a task. They know how to do it at the very start as this was the reason you hired them.
Freelancers may help you to switch into a more profitable niche
If your business is somehow connected with restaurants, tourism, or any other sphere inordinately affected by COVID-19, maybe it’s time for you to diversify income streams.
For example, if you have a traveling blog with a huge audience, maybe you can create a virtual travel app with 360 VR videos. If you have a restaurant business, you can start selling cooking kit subscription boxes or create a startup that is “like Duolingo but for learning different cooking styles and cuisines”. There are plenty of options!
In both cases, instead of hiring a completely new team or paying expensive courses to your current team, you can hire a group of freelance developers, designers or copywriters to share their experience and to provide you extra hands during the transition to the new niche. If you still don’t know where to find employees on-demand, check out the list of best freelance websites from different spheres.
The pool of experts is wide and diverse
As many companies around the world have – or are dangerously close to – declaring bankruptcy, the number of top-level specialists among freelancers has increased.
Obviously, it’s not easy to find a job during a crisis. Therefore, hundreds of employees have joined the gig economy. If you ever wanted a top-expert to advise you regarding the business questions, there won’t be a more perfect timing.
After all, quarantine is not the end of the world. It’s just one of the hundreds of challenges awaiting you and your small business. But once you deal with it, you’ll get up stronger than ever.