The Internet has made it evermore easier to hire online freelancers from all over the world with a large variety of skill sets and hourly pay rates. Through building FreeUp and running a number of my other businesses, I have been tapping into the power of hiring online freelancers for more than 4 years.
When I was first introduced to the idea by another entrepreneur, I too was a bit skeptical of hiring someone halfway across the country. I was in a situation where I was asking myself questions:
Is this one of those situations that seems to good to be true?
Will the freelancers be of high enough quality to make the decrease in price worth it?
Why do I need these online freelancers if I have perfectly competent people already on my team?
Because of the ability to quickly fire and retreat from the online hiring strategy, my business partners and I decided to give it a shot.
Our first hire was an online freelancer that had been recommended to us by the same entrepreneur that encouraged us to try it out. He had found much success recruiting, hiring, set up, and managing his own remote freelancers and he wanted to make sure we had a good first experience as well.
Luckily, that first freelancer was a perfect fit for our business.
Naturally, there was a slight learning curve as we learned how to communicate, assign work, and monitor their progress. By the end of the first month, we had a much better understanding of how to handle our new team member that was 12 hours ahead of our time zone. We saw as her work freed up time for us to focus on growth and we never looked back.
Too many entrepreneurs build a business that is too dependent on their own man hours to grow and operate the company. They eventually find themselves in a situation where the growth of the company is halted because all of the hours in their day is consumed with the operations. It’s a good problem to have, but one that you must get out of if you want to keep pushing the company forward.
Entrepreneurs should be growing their role and valuing their time in correspondence with the growth of the business. When you hire online freelancers to handle the simple, repetitive, and time consuming tasks, you create more time to focus on expansion projects. You have more time to strategize, form key business partnerships, and land new customers.
Have you ever heard the saying:
Hire people that are smarter than you?
It’s an age-old business practice that many entrepreneurs live by as they understand that they can’t do everything. In order to excel, they must hire people with expertise in areas where they lack. They gain the ability to learn from those experts and trust them to push the company forward in specific areas of the company.
When you hire online freelancers, you are recruiting from a pool of thousands of experienced individuals within very specific skill sets. For example, Google Adwords, email campaigns, lead generation, etc. This makes it easy for you to surround yourself with people that know what they are doing and want to apply it to your business.
Hiring employees in-house has many upsides, but it also can be a greater burden when it comes to human resources and management. Hiring online freelancers requires little to no HR attention…no health benefits, no complicated payment contracts, and minimal conduct misbehavior.
Online freelancers do require management, but it’s much less time spent as long as you clearly set expectations and schedule meetings to debrief with the freelancer.
This is probably the most obvious reason to hire online freelancers…it’s cost effective.
On average, you can find online freelancers for at least half the price of what you would pay an in-house worker at local market rates. If the task is simple enough for a well set up online freelancer to perform, why spend the extra dollar for an in-house worker?
Hiring online freelancers poses an amazing opportunity to lower your payroll costs while maintaining efficiency and organization. Decreased payroll leads to increased profits and now you are in a position where you business is making more money. Those additional profits can then be reinvested back into the company for growth initiatives or used to increase the compensation of a core in-house group.
Similar to your own time, hiring online freelancers can free up the time of in-house employees, giving them more of an opportunity to grow their given teams.
Let’s assume that you own an online store. It has enough volume that you have an in-house employee working full time to solely answer customer emails and handle return requests. If you were to hire an online freelancer with years of customer service experience, you could give an in-house employee the opportunity to work on new projects to improve your customer service operations.
Chances are they have handfuls of ideas for improvement, but they just haven’t had the time to execute them. That can have a powerful impact on your business.
Over the course of hiring hundreds of online freelancers, my business partners and I finally developed our own philosophy for hiring remote freelancers.
For operations, hire online freelancers…unless it absolutely needs someone from the office. For growth, hire the smartest in-house workers who can push the company forward and help manage the remote freelancers.
Connor Gillivan is the author of Free Up Your Business: 50 Secrets to Bootstrap Million Dollar Companies, a serial entrepreneur, and the CMO and co-founder of FreeUp.com. When he’s not bringing together hundreds of freelancers and business owners, he’s mentoring entrepreneurs through his site, ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado.
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