One thing I struggle to understand is why so many businesses still focus heavily on having ‘bums on seats’ in a physical office. Yes, for some organisations there is no getting around it, but I want to appeal to more business owners to challenge their thinking. Is it absolutely critical that you see all your employees sitting at their desk all day? And if so, does that automatically mean that they are productive? Simply put, no it doesn’t.
Do you know what we should be measuring? Output. Because that is actually what grows a business. Not clock-watching.
Which of course then naturally leads to the use of freelancers and contractors. Sure, they may not come into your physical workspace, but how does that get in the way of them producing the work you need? Nope. Not in any way, shape or form.
Freelancers are a significantly untapped resource - especially here in New Zealand - but going forward it is critical that more SMEs understand their value. Why? Here’s five reasons below.
1. Experts in their field
Freelancers have a very particular set of skills. Skills they have acquired over a very long career. And while they may not be Liam Neeson in Taken, they can create you an outstanding website, strategise a brand redesign, or write an exceptional blog post that will knock your socks of. It’s what they do everyday, and that’s why they are experts in their specialised field.
2. Offer an outside perspective
Sometimes when you are in a business all day every day, you lose sight of what’s going on outside your own world. Your view can become limited and only focused on what you see and do. Which is why a freelancer can be the breath of fresh air that your organisation needs. They look at your business from the outside, providing insights that you never even considered. It’s a little bit like magic.
3. No long-term commitments
No, this isn’t a bad thing. Freelancers don’t need to have a long-term commitment with you and your business. Of course, it’s nice to work alongside each other in a partnership, but if your requirements change, there is no need for an awkward break-up. Freelancers understand jobs come and go, which is why they are perfect to bring on board for the natural ebbs and flows of your business.
4. Ability to adapt and exceed expectations
Freelancers live their days working with a variety of clients across a variety of industries. From a quick two hour assignment, to a month-long project, their role is to adapt to the differing requirements of a range of businesses, and this is what makes them so valuable to work with. They are flexible and versatile, meaning you don’t have to panic about throwing them a curveball, or getting them to work on something a little outside-the-box.
5. Freelancers MUST do a good job
Freelancers are only relying on themselves to get paid each month. They can’t ride the coattails of others, or just turn up for 8 hours and still get paid even if they only played solitaire for the day because they are still a bit seedy from the weekend. Freelancers MUST do a good job every time they work with a client, because they know if they don’t produce, they won’t be asked to work again for that business.
It is in a freelancer’s nature to be driven by client satisfaction, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will deliver.
*Sure, it’s worth noting that all freelancers aren’t created equal. You need to source someone with a portfolio of previous experience, and plenty of quality recommendations. Check out www.thefreelancevillage.co.nz to see a selection of New Zealand’s top freelance talent.