In praise of freelancers

he key benefits are cost-effectiveness and flexibility. As an entrepreneur I have hired freelancers for numerous tasks over the last few years, everything from research to SEO, web design to data entry. Using self-employed people has enabled me to match the business needs as and when required, often at lower cost and at short notice.

While this works for me, I know there are a lot of cynics, especially around the topic of hiring overseas at low cost. My response is simple: I want the best expertise I can afford. Sure, I have employed freelancers in China and India, but have often hired in the UK and US, too. You have to take a pragmatic approach.

Hiring freelance staff also makes sense where you have an ongoing, specialist job such as PR, SEO or accounting. There are independent experts in every field and outsourcing to one means you are freed up to concentrate on the core aspects of the business.

I know one new company, an email marketing provider, where the MD has a virtual, freelance team to run every aspect of the operation. It keeps his overheads low and makes him very nimble in a crowded marketplace.

The global economy is transforming the way we work. Could freelancers transform the way your start-up works?

Ben Dyer is an IT Donut expert and Director of product development at Sellerdeck. Originally published on the The Start up Donut blog.

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