Looking for some help with your website design or copy? As a business owner, you are going to need help from time to time (or all the time) to keep up. Outsourcing work can be one of the best ways to grow your business while also keeping your sanity. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. When outsourcing work, you may be torn between choosing a freelancer to help to pitch in and hiring an agency to take care of the work for you. There are pros and cons to both, and no one answer will fit all situations. Here are some points to consider when making your decision.
A freelancer is a person who sells their work or services by the hour, day, job etc. They do not work for a regular salary or for just one employer.
- Most freelance workers are passionate about what they do – and they want great referrals and repeat business – so they strive to deliver a quality product.
- Freelancers are more likely to work with you until you are satisfied.
- Freelancers often cost less money than agencies because they do not have to support a staff or facilities. And, they may be more willing to negotiate their rates.
- Freelancers often have full-time jobs and do freelance work on the side. Or, they may be working on several freelance projects simultaneously. Therefore, tight deadlines may be an issue.
- Most freelancers specialize in one area so you might not find one freelancer for all of your needs. This may translate into higher overall cost if you have to hire several freelancers to complete your project.
- With a freelancer, you have to go through the hiring process, including posting a job ad, evaluating applicants and enduring the time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process of interviewing candidates. And once you hire someone, you will have to manage their work. There is no outside manager or supervisor assigned to a freelancer to make sure they are on track and progressing well.
An agency is an organization that provides services. It will have a number of freelancers or employees that it pays to work directly on projects.
- An agency can provide a wide array of services and on-demand availability. An agency can often offer a much larger skillset than a single freelancer can because there will be several people collaborating together or many people to choose from to do your specific work.
- Agencies can work to meet tight schedules by hiring additional people for the project.
- Agencies will typically have a person assigned to manage your project and the people working on it to ensure the project remains on track.
- An agency will have higher overhead costs than a freelancer. They will have a staff to support and facilities to upkeep. This will mean a significantly higher cost for your work.
- An agency can be all inconsistent in terms of quality so you’ll need to review their portfolio to ensure they meet your quality demands.
- You will probably communicate with a project manager instead of the actual people working on your project. Adding a middle man can sometimes complicate projects.
When it comes time to outsource work for your business, consider the amount of work, budget, timeline and quality required before choosing between an agency and a freelancer. The best decision may vary based on your individual project requirements. Whichever you choose, do your research first. Ask questions and set clear requirements up front. Make sure you get an agreement in writing. The end product should represent your brand, and making the right choice will be crucial to the success of the project and, ultimately, your business itself.
Author: Melissa Ricker covers careers and business for JobHero, a free resource that aims to help people at every step of their careers with resume samples, cover letter samples and more.