For small businesses, it is not always feasible or economically viable to perform all business operations in house. Hiring freelancers can be a good option. Not just to moderate costs but also to stay away from the long-term commitment of hiring full-time employees. You can hire freelancers on a pay-per-job or pay-per-hour basis, depending on your situation and the service required.
A study by KellyOCG revealed that 43% of the companies using freelance workers are saving nearly 20% in labor costs alone. It also noted that 65% of hiring managers believe that the gig economy is becoming the normal way of organizing work for businesses.
To help you find the right freelancer for your requirement, I’ve compiled a list of 7 gig platforms that offer services in various fields:
1. UpWork (Several Categories)
Upwork is one of the leading freelance platforms that offer services in several categories. It allows you to search for freelancers or contractors working in different fields. The categories they cater to range from web and software development to translation to architecture and many more. The platform even allows you to search for freelance solutions based on the size of your business.
All you need to do here is post a job on their platform, and freelancers from relevant fields will bid on it. You can easily collaborate through chat or call, and once the work is done according to your expectations, you can pay as per the agreement.
2. Fiverr (Several Categories)
Fiverr was named initially so as all gigs put up by freelancers on the platform cost just $5. Today, gigs may not be only $5 anymore, but the platform has got even better. It is a popular freelance platform that deals with various categories such as graphic designing, digital marketing, animations, music, lifestyle, and many more. They have recently launched industry-specific services for the e-commerce and gaming industries.
3. Narrato (Content)
Narrato is a leading content platform that connects you with thousands of pre-qualified and expert freelance content writers. The platform’s focus is on marketing and web content. It uses AI and smart algorithms to match your writing jobs to the most suited freelance writers with relevant experience in the field. Narrato also allows you unlimited revisions for a given period and guarantees satisfaction. Your first article on the platform is only $1 – which is an excellent way to try the platform risk-free. Overall, the platform is easy to use and delivers quality content quickly. For instance, most small jobs get done and delivered in 24-72 hours.
4. Envato Studio (Design)
Envato Studio is a freelance platform to find designers and developers for a variety of projects. It is more of a creative platform that handles work on logo design, graphic design, animation, video production, web development, and other associated fields. The studio handpicks their designers and ensures that clients get easy access to talent all around the world. At Envato Studios, you get to compare prices, freelancer portfolios, and community recommendations before choosing the talent you’d like to work with.
5. Zirtual (Virtual Assistant)
Zirtual is a platform that allows you to hire virtual assistants who can manage your business and personal tasks. This includes making appointments, booking tickets, planning meetings, paying bills, and many more. For busy professionals, this can be a blessing. The virtual assistants on this platform are highly trained, U.S. based freelancers who work remotely to manage your tasks. All the virtual assistants on Zirtual have to undergo a rigorous screening process that tests all their requisite skills like communication, tech skills, and resourcefulness.
6. Toptal (Business and Software Development)
Toptal is a freelance platform that offers the top talent in business, design, and technology to its clients. The platform was started with the aim of giving small businesses easier access to the top talents in relevant fields, which they otherwise couldn’t acquire due to lack of resources or suitable candidates. Toptal takes a maximum of 3 weeks to find you an independent contractor for your job, which would otherwise take you about 3 to 4 months to hire. Also, if you are not completely satisfied with a contractor they match you with, you start the process all over again at no extra cost.
7. Mechanical Turk (Repetitive and Data Entry Tasks)
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a marketplace that allows both individuals and businesses to outsource small tasks to a distributed workforce of freelancers. These tasks are done virtually and could include anything from data validation and research to surveys, content moderation, and more. This platform gives businesses access to skills and insights from all over the globe to streamline their business processes and tasks. It is a crowdsourcing platform where your business can obtain inputs from a large pool of individual contractors. This makes tasks like data collection and analysis, research, or data duplication much faster and efficient. It is also a great way to reduce the time and costs involved in the development of machine learning systems.
What Benefits Will You Enjoy?
Flexibility is the biggest benefit of a gig platform. And here are some more to consider:
A survey by Life Hacker found that full-time employees spend three hours on average everyday slacking off or doing personal work. Freelance platforms, on the other hand, charge you only for the amount of work delivered.
Small businesses have to try and cut down costs wherever possible to achieve greater profits and faster growth. Using the gig platforms instead of hiring a full-time employee, you can save both time and money to invest in other areas.
This is another crucial benefit of using freelance platforms. Mainly if you operate from a co-working space. Hiring an employee means you have to provide them with all the essential infrastructure, from a desk to a computer to stationery and all that’s there. For a freelancer working from their own space, you don’t have to worry about or pay for any of this.
Most freelance platforms are usually very strict about meeting clients’ deadlines. So if you have set a deadline for your work, you can rest assured that it will be delivered on time. This may not always be the case with a hired employee, as they may occasionally miss deadlines or convince you to extend it. Freelancers don’t usually do that as their performance ratings might drop on the platform.
Because a freelancer is not your employee, it is not your responsibility to offer them any unemployment insurance or severance pay. Nor do you have to worry about any legal issues relating to labor laws. So you have a few lesser things to worry about.
If you are still skeptical about freelance platforms, go ahead and try outsourcing one small job at first. Gain confidence, find the right freelancers, and then launch the big projects.
If you have used a gig or freelance platform before, I would love to hear your experiences. And if you are considering to use one, what are your thoughts? I’m looking forward to your comments below.