Learn why modern businesses are choosing to integrate independent contractors into their teams.
From making changes like offering remote work options to hiring a liquid workforce, modern businesses are rapidly evolving. Just five years ago, standing desks and bean bag chairs characterized the modern office environment. Now, the integration of diverse work options doesn’t just stop at office furniture. Companies are creating dynamic liquid teams by hiring a mix of full-time and part-time employees as well as independent contractors. As the entrepreneurs featured in this article can attest, collaborating with independent contractors allows you to have niche-experts complete projects on an as-needed basis.
Here are the main reasons that real business owners choose to outsource work to independent contractors and freelancers.
1. Independent Contractors bring specialized skills
If your project requires a specific skill set not related to your company, then hiring an independent contractor is definitely the way to go. You can find someone with the niche knowledge that you need for your project. Whether it be a one-time graphic design task or a few updates for your website, an independent worker can get in, do the work, and get out, so you don’t have to keep paying for that skill after the project ends.
Brynne Caleda is the CEO of Yoga Ed., a company that was founded to keep kids happy, healthy, and successful by interweaving education and yoga practices. Caleda says that “[Using a liquid workforce] has allowed [the company] to work with highly skilled individuals whom we could not afford to bring on full time.” Even though Yoga Ed.’s independent contractors are not full-time employees, the company still values the relationship immensely: “Yoga Ed. wouldn’t be what it is without them.”
2. Independent contractors have a lower price — and you set the rates
Independent contractors, who often work from home, don’t have very high overheads so they can offer you very reasonable rates. Since they are not employees, independent contractors cover their own insurance, health benefits, etc., so you do not have to pay for those. In addition, you can set the payment timing – whether that be paying at the end for the completed project or paying per day of work. You get to pick which payment method works best for you.
Launched in 2016, Yeluchi By Unruly is an online platform that helps black women book professional hairstyling services from home. Yeluchi co-founder, Abigail Opiah, knows that utilizing independent contractors as part of the company’s liquid workforce has been integral in Yeluchi’s success. As Opiah puts it, “Between a liquid workforce and remote working, we think we’ve struck gold in keeping our operating costs down…It really serves our company well.”
Paying Freelancers and Vendors?
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3. Independent Contractors and freelancers work flexibility
Independent contractors often choose the freelance lifestyle because it allows them the flexibility to work their own hours. This flexibility can also benefit you too! You can schedule with your independent workers whenever is convenient for you. Your independent contractor maybe designing your logo or fixing your website while you’re off the clock, and can get you your results over the weekend if that’s what you prefer.
Yac, which offers voice messaging & async screen sharing for teams has relied on independent contractors to help scale the business since day one. Jordan Walker, Co-Founder and COO of Yac, shares that “it’s nice to have the ability to spin up resources on a moment’s notice.” He adds, “Things can change extremely quickly, and new variables get introduced all the time that require a certain degree of flexibility.”
4. Independent contractors are independent and self-sufficient
Independent contractors are used to being, well, independent. They won’t pester you with specifics or obstacles, and they usually figure out how to solve things on their own. Choosing a freelancer over a traditional employee for a project means that you give them the project details and then they give you results. You don’t have to micromanage an independent contractor’s work.
Andréa Bernholtz is the Founder and CEO of Swiminista, a company that makes chic eco-friendly swimwear that empowers women. Bernholtz acknowledges that working with freelancers/contractors has helped her business to move quickly and be more streamlined. On the topic of Swiminista’s collaboration with freelancers, Bernholtz believes “It is a modern smart way to work and have the ability to build a business by outsourcing experts when needed.”
Managing Freelancers and Vendors?
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5. Independent contractors and freelancers let you tap into a global market
Hiring a freelancer means you can tap into the international employment market. There are so many options available for your needs here, and they can often come at a lower price too. You can find a worker who is a perfect match and who brings the exact skill set or worldview you are looking for. Working with international independent contractors also makes it so that you can run a 24-hour global business.
Elizabeth Black saw a deficiency in language education for students K-5 in the US and sought to correct it. To do so, Black co-founded Bee Bilingual, a company that utilizes online video conferencing to connect native-speaking Spanish teachers directly with students. Black relies on Bee Bilingual’s liquid workforce to grow and scale the company: “It’s helped us run a lean startup with talented teachers from all over the Spanish-speaking world while passing along savings to the schools we work with.”
Now you see the many reasons to opt for an independent contractor in your business. A mix of salaried employees and project-based independent workers (a blended workforce) can really enhance your business, save you time and money, and make your life easier. Don’t be afraid of the non-traditional — the nature of office teams is changing, so go ahead and incorporate independent contractors into your company’s work structure.
Note, we are not providing legal, tax, or payroll advice. Please consult your legal, tax, and payroll professionals. These are simply to serve as guidelines based on our own experiences.