FREELANCING / JUL. 23, 2015
version 7, draft 7

Are You Ready For a Freelance Economy?

In 2015, 34 percent of the US workforce was freelancers, contributing $715 billion to the economy, according to a freelance report on Ben Mathews. The number is expected to continue growing as more graduates join the market on a freelance basis and as companies seek freelance services to reduce recurrent expenditure. While headlines on a freelance economy continue to dominate, employers and employees need to ask themselves the important question, “Am I ready for a freelance economy?”

Employers

Human resource and procurement personnel need to plan accordingly if their companies are to survive a freelance economy. Unfortunately, research shows that less than 30 percent of companies intend on making their organizations attractive to freelancers. Introducing, managing and evaluating freelancers are a challenge to any HR office; however, with the right plan, it is manageable.

The most important aspect of working with freelancers is making your company attractive to the best freelance talent. Obviously, you need to offer them the best remuneration and ensure they receive their pay on time. However, any company can give freelancers a good paycheck, how do you ensure they do not slip your company when you need them most?

  1. Efficient Management

Create processes and systems that will ensure effective management of talent, resources and time. Ensure the process is simple enough for you and your freelancers. Additionally, increase interactivity on the system giving the freelancers control of their time and schedules.

  1. Prepare For The Risks

Engaging freelancers exposes your internal systems and information to outsiders. Protect yourself by increasing security and preparing contracts that protect your secrets legally. Precaution is the best approach.

  1. Why You?

Give freelancers a reason to look forward to working with you. Create attractive packages that reward long time engagement and that extend beyond the quoted pay check. Understand your freelancers’ needs and seek solutions within your organization that cater to their needs.

Employees

You want more money but your company is strategizing on cost reduction measures, what are your options? Freelancing is a suitable source of extra income or as a full-time job. You have more control over your time and your pay as the demand for your expertise rises. How can you make the best of a freelance economy?

  1. Understand your Client

You are in business. Study your client, understand his needs and tailor your services to those needs. Additionally, understand their business model and the role your services will play in bringing that model to success. The information you gather about your client will help you set your rate and increase efficiency in service delivery.

  1. Professionalism

It starts with your presentation. Dress appropriately especially for your first meeting and carry the proper paperwork. Your invoices also speak volumes; prepare a professional; consult the internet or an accountant for help. If you are working on the employer’s premise, dress appropriately to avoid standing out for the wrong reasons. Take the professionalism notch higher by opening an LLC for your services and a records book for all your expenses and income.

  1. Create Long Term Relationships

Your clients will probably need your services on a regular basis, make sure you are their ‘go-to-person’ by always delivering beyond expectations. Diversify your services and ensure you earn the trust of your clients. Build your connections and hold on to them dearly; with a bit of luck, you will find yourself with a regular check.

See Also: How to Create and Build an Entrepreneur Network

Do you work as a freelancer? Or do you employ freelancers? We’d love to hear about your experience and any tips you might have in the comment section below.

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