2 Pros and Cons of Hiring Freelancers for Your Small Business


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Should you hire freelance staff?

Key points

  • There are benefits to hiring freelancers when you need extra hands on deck.
  • You could find some real talent, and you would only have to pay for hours you need.
  • However, you may not get the same dedication or commitment as you would with full-timers.

If you run a small business, you may be operating under pretty tight margins — especially these days, with inflation driving the cost of just about everything up. But just because you run a small business doesn’t mean you’re able to do everything yourself. And there may come a point when you need to hire help.

At that point, you have choices — hire full-time employees you keep on your payroll, or hire a series of freelance workers instead. You may be tempted to go the freelance route. And that could work out well for you — or not. Here are a couple of pros as well as cons of relying on freelancers.

Pro No. 1: You won’t have to pay for hours you don’t need

Maybe you need help with things like marketing your small business or doing the books. You may not need a full-time marketer on staff, and you may not have enough work to keep a bookkeeper or accountant busy for 40 hours a week.

The upside of hiring freelancers is that you don’t have to pay for time or hours you don’t require, and you also don’t have to take on the expense of a full-time salary. Instead, you can hire help as the need arises, thereby conserving cash you may want to keep in the bank.

Pro No. 2: You might find really great talent

When you hire freelancers, you’ll often find people who are really good at the work they specialize in. This isn’t to say that full-time workers won’t be good at the things they claim to be experienced in. But freelancers tend to focus on specific tasks, and that might benefit you when you want a job well done.

Con No. 1: Your freelancers may not be as committed or flexible as full-time workers would be

When you bring staff on board on a full-time basis, you’re committing to not only paying them, but providing them with benefits. As such, those workers may be willing to step up during busy periods and shift their personal schedules around when you need additional help.

Freelancers may not have the same level of commitment. As such, you may find that they’re less flexible when it comes to things like putting in extra hours without a lot of notice.

Also, freelancers are often forced to juggle multiple clients. So if you need extra help in a pinch, a freelancer might say no simply because they’re already fully booked.

Con No. 2: You may not get the best work if you’re hiring for one-off projects

If a freelancer knows they’re being hired for a one-time project, they may not put forth their absolute best effort. On the other hand, if you hire full-timers, they may be more likely to push themselves to do their best knowing there’s the potential for raises and promotions in the future.

Staffing your business requires a lot of thought. While you may find that turning to freelancers is your best bet, it pays to consider the downside of going that route — and consider bringing some full-time workers on instead.

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