Freelance Support – Is it right for your business?
A Close Brothers survey recently found that 51.2% of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) do not plan to take on new employees in 2017. Instead they plan to use temporary staff and freelancers. This increasing reliance on more flexible support is thought to be partially driven by fears over Brexit. However, freelancing was increasing in popularity prior to Brexit and there is a growing recognition that a flexible workforce is helpful to business in periods of both recession and high growth.
Employed staff draw wages whether times are lean or busy. Freelance staff are engaged only when the business needs them, making them very cost effective. Freelance support is particularly valuable to new businesses and those with seasonal or cyclical peaks and troughs in workload.
Freelance support is available in many specialist areas and is particularly valuable to micro-business owners because it provides the option to build a flexible team of experts.
There are fewer overheads involved in working with freelance staff. This makes it a cost effective alternative to traditional employed staff. Freelancers manage their own tax, employment costs and equipment. Small businesses and those just starting out find the monthly invoice submitted by their freelancer is simple to manage with relatively little administrative cost.
Access to time-saving technology and increasingly varied communication channels makes a large office-based workforce unnecessary in many sectors. Working from home rather than expensive office premises reduces costs considerably. Video conferencing, Instant Messages and an array of online collaboration tools ensure keeping in touch with your team and working effectively on joint projects is straightforward and effective.
People are increasingly concerned about commute costs, not only in terms of monetary expense but also time, inconvenience and environmental impact. Achieving a good Work-life balance is increasingly recognised as an important part of maintaining health and well-being. People are increasingly choosing to adopt flexible, part-time and virtual working patterns. Tapping into this pool of highly motivated labour makes good business sense for companies needing effective and affordable support.
The number of highly experienced administrators, PA’s and EA’s choosing to work as Virtual Assistants (VA’s) is growing. Virtual Assistants are an increasingly popular alternative to agency staffing for ad hoc, regular and project support. Business owners gain a continuity of service with a VA which is not always possible for an agency to achieve, however hard they try. The VA, being familiar with the company, hits the ground running each time.
To find out how a Virtual Assistant could help support you and your business, please contact me for a chat.