The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken things up in the business world. The most significant change in millions of people’s daily working lives has been the mass switch to remote working. The shift has been surprisingly positive, with trend-setting Silicon Valley giants such as Twitter, Google, and Facebook embracing the change and Twitter stating that a large percentage of employees can continue to work remotely on a permanent basis. When compared to recruiting full-time employees, there are numerous advantages to outsourcing to freelancers.
Remote working may have many after-shocks and a ripple effect that won’t fully establish itself for another year or two. For example, the legitimization of working from home will mean that many people will look to start-up businesses, free from the substantial overheads that come with renting an office. In addition, without the need for locally-based employees, it is possible that outsourcing will become substantially more popular too.
Advantages of Outsourcing
There are many advantages when it comes to outsourcing to freelancers versus hiring full-time staff.
– You don’t have to pay for any office or PC equipment
1. They are often more productive
2. The freelancer saves on logistical costs
3. You can hire a freelancer from anywhere in the world
4. You can take advantage of geo-arbitrage
5. You pay per project, not per hour
6. You can expand or contract your team efficiently
7. Less paperwork and legal red tape with pensions etc
Being cost-effective is one of the significant benefits. If you live in the US or the UK, you can hire a highly skilled and experienced web developer in the Philippines, for example, for around $25 per hour (at the time of writing). You can typically get a WordPress website built by a specialist in India for about half of the cost of getting a freelancer in the US to do it, and many times less than an agency would typically charge.
Using Fiverr for Freelancers
There are many websites available in 2021 to find freelancers to work on your tasks and projects.
Fiverr is popular because all of the tasks are pre-set and described. It is among the top 300 most visited websites in the world.
You search for what you need and hire someone who offers a relevant service – known as a “gig.” The pre-set gigs save you time because you don’t have to write a brief yourself.
This system is to the advantage of the freelancer, too, as they don’t have to submit proposals or budgets/fees, etc., the price is already set when you search for the project or task. Marketing expert and consultant Jason Whaling states that Fiverr is best for jobs that typically take less than 3 hours and cost under $100
Fiverr is great for projects that include:
1. Quick design tasks
2. Proofreading blog posts
3. eBook covers
4. Video intros
5. Voice actors
Fiverr is full of freelancers that make money by adopting a ‘rinse and repeat’ model for their services. If you have a more extended project that will require lots of specific customizations, then Fiverr probably isn’t the right place to hire a freelancer.
Another disadvantage of Fiverr is that if you ask for a refund, the money stays in your Fiverr account, and you can’t get it back into your Paypal or bank account. It’s generally a good idea to be wary of cheap services related to backlinks, SEO, YouTube views, and social shares, as these can often do more harm than good. Be aware, too, that some of the services are tiered, and what is included in the description may not be available for the cheapest fee – always read the fine print.
Using UpWork&PeoplePerHour to find Freelancers
UpWork is a great place to find freelancers who can be long-term members of your virtual team. Freelancers will typically offer more customizable services and will be able to take on large projects. UpWork is great for hiring a long-term virtual assistant, reliable and high-quality bloggers and writers, as well as video editors and digital marketing experts.
You generally don’t want to outsource Google Ads and SEO services to someone on Fiverr. It is possible, but you have to be more cautious and pick a freelancer more carefully. It is also more challenging to find freelancers who want to take on long-term work on Fiverr because they make money from their “rinse and repeat” work model.
PeoplePerHour is very similar, but the fees are different, and PeoplePerHour has the “hourlies” feature. The hourlies are a similar format to Fiverr.com in that freelancers offer smaller, fixed-rate tasks that take around an hour. On PeoplePerHour, you can advertise the hourly in US dollars, pounds sterling, and Euros. Compared to Fiverr, PeoplePerHour is reportedly more stringent in terms of what the hourly tasks are and how they are presented and worded.
When searching on UpWork or PeoplePerHour, it generally takes longer to find someone to do the task or project that you want. However, they provide a more efficient platform to find freelancers you will employ for weeks, months, or even years.
On UpWork, you can pay extra to promote your listing. According to marketing expert Jason Whaling, this is unnecessary as you will get plenty of exposure and several proposals without spending extra to promote your task. It is also recommended to pay hourly, as that way you can cancel without having to try and get all of your money or a large percentage of your budget refunded if the work isn’t progressing as expected.
Outsourcing to Telephone Answering Services
Using a telephone answering service is a great, economical way to run a remote business without a full-time receptionist. With a dedicated virtual receptionist service, you can typically benefit from all the services of a full-time hire at a fraction of the cost.
A telephone answering service can also help you to work more efficiently. With research suggesting that it takes nearly half an hour to refocus after a single distraction, unwanted phone calls can have a significant impact on your productivity.
An out-of-hours service can also provide a competitive advantage by providing 24/7 customer service. It can also help business owners to establish a preferable work/life balance, allowing them to switch off at the end of the working day without having to listen out for their phone constantly. With a telephone answering service, it is much easier to become fully immersed in whatever you are doing, be it work-related or leisure.
With phone call inquiries crucial to many small businesses, a missed call is often a missed sale. With a reliable telephone answering service, you can relax and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that a highly professional receptionist is handling your calls.
If remote working is here to stay, then it is likely that business owners will continue to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by outsourcing to freelancers. With businesses operating with a distributed-teams model, with everyone working from a different location, it makes sense that business owners will make use of freelancers. Outsourcing is especially beneficial if a business is seasonal or if it is a start-up looking to hire experts from across the world at an affordable price.