Apr 102010
 

From web designers and programmers to virtual assistants and copywriters

Outsource to save time – outsource to save money


Have you ever hired freelancers? I have and continue to. The current economic mess forced many people including myself to find qualified help but at a lower cost.

I had previously hired third party services but on relatively larger projects requiring formal documentation, signing of agreements, lawyers and acccountants involved and the works. But I had not ventured the way of freelance work for small projects requiring competent help but only for a few hours to a few days.

In early 2009, I started looking for highly skilled help for a very small project. I wasn't sure if anyone with that kind of skill level would be willing to work on such a small project. But then I thought, what do I have to loose so  I finally placed my requirements at an online marketplace for freelance work. To my surprise, quite a few people bid on the project and the job got done at a lower than anticapated cost.

Emboldened, I started farming out more work, even stuff that I normally do myself. This frees me time that I use to focus on other more productive tasks. Now I tell everybody that for small projects, use free lancers.

So who are these freelancers?

Freelancers are professionals who work for themselves rather than in a corporate setup. Many have been in corporate setups but have chosen to be independent contractors while others are still in a corporate setup but do freelance work on the side.

What kind of work they are good for?

While you can find freelance professionals for pretty much everything, local and remote, here are some examples:

  • Virtual assistants
  • Flash developers
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization work
  • Article writers
  • Blog creators
  • Craigslist posters
  • Copywriters
  • Ghost book writers
  • Programming help for small projects
  • Joomla designers
  • PHP programmers
  • Drupal experts
  • wordpress developers
  • Software development
  • Web designers

I even found a local auto mechanic who makes house calls.

You want something done for $50? Go for it. No project is too small for freelance work.

The key advantages of hiring freelancers are:

Cost:

Freelance professionals are spread all over the world and if your work can be done remotely, you can get a really good deal. Previously only large companies could move factories overseas and take advantage of lower labor costs. Now you and I can also dip into this vast pool of skilled professionals.

No direct and indirect employment costs:

You don't have to go through the hassle of advertising, interviewing, traning and all else that entails with regular employees. If you are not satisfied with one freelancer's work, next time use a different one. Their ratings are online for everyone to see and it is in the interest of both parties to work through issues and get speedy resolutions.

Availability of a broad skill set:

If you are living in a large city, then this is usually not such a challenge but for small businesses located in remote areas or smaller cities, it is not always easy to find workers with a skill set that you desire. These global freelance sites come to the rescue.

Are there any challenges? Yes. Here are the major ones:

  • Language – When you are dealing with professionals for whom English is a second or third language, communication becomes a bit tricky. Things that you may take for granted as 'understood or implied' are not. You have to explain in a bit more detailed manner.
  • Time zones: You may find an able professional in a country that is 12 to 14 hours ahead of you and that means when he is up and about, you are sleeping. So you have to make adjustments in your schedule to accommodate the time conflicts.
  • Speed: In my opinion, it generally takes a little bit longer to get things done compared to an in-house employee. The key culprit here is the different time zones. Also, at times, the freelancer is being pressured by another client who has a more pressing need so he may delay your work but a day or so.

I am going to place links below of online services that help you find freelancers so bookmark this page. As I get familiar with other similar services, I will add them to this page. Good luck!

Freelance / Outsourcing Platforms

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Elance
Hire a World of Talent at Elance

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Freelancer Freelance Jobs

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vWorker

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oDesk

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99designs.com
99designs.com

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 Fiverr  For small assignments – all gigs are $5 at fiverr

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  2 Responses to “Why and How to outsource contract work to freelancers”

  1. Great article on how to free up valuable time and Freelance that small to med project. A new tool in this economy. http://bit.ly/cHteLI

  2. thanks alot uploader
    the thing which i like the most is your list of freelance professionals examples

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