5 ways freelancers can save you time and money

Do you ever feel as though you don’t have enough time to do all the things you want to do?

What’s that? I can hear your symphony of “yes’s” thundering through the air to me and I doubt any of you said “no”.

We all want more time to do that extra project around the house or at work. Or simply to get through all the things that we are ‘supposed’ to do each day. But never fear, help is here!

In today’s economy, many businesses can’t afford to hire scores of permanent staff when their busy periods fluctuate; especially if they only need certain types of employees for short-term projects. Then there are the individuals who need help with one-off tasks like getting a professional photo or catering.

There is an increasing demand for workers who are willing to take on these outsourced roles without any long-term commitments. They go by many names including freelancers, independent contractors, solopreneurs, and professional consultants. The tasks they take on are sometimes called ‘gigs’, and the rise in the sheer volume and scope of these gigs has led to the term ‘the gig economy’ (also called ‘the sharing economy’).

A report published by Edelman Berland, Freelancing in Australia: 2015, showed that 4.1 million people participated in this form of contingent work in the 2014-2015 financial year. That number continues to grow and to encompass a wider range of industries.

What sort of work can be outsourced?

You name it and it can be outsourced. However, there are some tasks that are especially suited to freelancers.

For individual needs:

·      One-off projects like painting a fence, doing electrical work or assembling furniture.
·      Manual maintenance work including home cleaning, and gardening.
·      Pick-up and delivery services.
·      Small printing and design projects such as invitations and flyers.
·      Event planning.
·      Resume writing or professional development advice.

For business needs:

·      Website construction.
·      Graphic design.
·      Copywriting for blogs, websites, and marketing material.
·      Translation and transcription services.
·      Administrative assistance.
·      Social media management.
·      Business consulting.
·      Short-term projects needing people with specific skills or qualifications, such as change management and conference planning.

Who provides freelancing services?

In many cases, those choosing to offer freelance services also run their own small business in their niche area. They may be budding entrepreneurs or they may be content to work to a level that suits their lifestyle. For example, mums with school-aged children or others wanting the flexibility to choose their own hours.

Some freelancers continue to work in ‘regular’ jobs and just want to supplement their income doing tasks they enjoy. They might be saving for a home or a holiday or they might want to gain additional experience to improve their career prospects.

5 benefits of hiring a freelancer

It saves time

You get to spend more time doing the things that are more beneficial to you in the long run and you can delegate the things you aren’t so good at or that aren’t a good use of your time. You also won’t need to waste time on hiring processes and training.

It saves money

Even larger businesses can’t afford to have full-time staff for all their needs, but they can hire consultants or contractors as needed for various projects. This saves them paying PAYG tax, leave benefits, and so on to staff that are under-employed.

It is flexible

Hire people as you need them. Many freelancers are also prepared to work outside of business hours as this suits their needs as well.

It is immediate

You’ll have people available within days (and sometimes, within hours). They’ll want to get your task done quickly and efficiently, too.

It is professional

Freelancers want to do a top-quality job as this helps to build their reputation and business. Plus, they are used to working independently.

How can you find the right freelancer for your needs?

There are many ways to find a great freelancer. The best methods depend on the type of work you need to have done.

·      General freelancing sites such as Airtasker, Freelance-Market.com.au, and Freelancer.com.au.
·      Industry-specific agency sites such as People Bank for IT professionals, Speakers Institute for public speakers, or Rachel’s List for media professionals.
·      LinkedIn. Professional freelancers will likely have a LinkedIn account and be active in many industry-based groups.
·      Networking. Ask for referrals through local business networks, colleagues and social media.

When looking for a freelancer, ask for proof of their experience and qualifications. Get some other quotes first and get quotes and proposals in writing. Check you agree on payment methods, insurance coverage, and guarantees.

Be very clear in your expectations and instructions. If you have a big task in mind, start with a small one if possible. This reduces the risk for both parties. Finally, if the person you hire does a great job, tell others about them through online reviews or testimonials.

Call to action…

Learn all about the world of freelancing from one of its gurus, Tim Fung, co-founder and CEO of Airtasker Pty Ltd, through his podcast interview on The Mentor List. Tim has an impressive background in entrepreneurship and in adapting his skills to diverse industries - from investment banking to talent agencies.

While getting a friend to help him move house one weekend, Tim and his friend, Ivan, reflected that we often get family and friends to help us do these things when there are others out there with more time and experience looking for extra work. Together, they came up with the concept of Airtasker, matching those needing things done with those willing and able to do them, via a secure online platform.

Today, Airtasker also generates new ways to find people for traditional tasks like cleaning and bookkeeping. It has also led to the development of job types that didn’t previously exist.

To find out more about how the ‘gig economy’ is developing in Australia and how you can capitalise on it, tune in to Tim’s interview on The Mentor List, today. We guarantee that, by the end, you’ll be thinking of all the projects you might need done or the services you can offer others in a whole new light.

Kick start your personal journey to success from the conversations David has with his inspirational guests on The Mentor List. www.mentorlist.com.au

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