Being a small business owner is no easy task. Small business owners face an onslaught of tasks every day, regardless of the industry they operate in. Sometimes, owners may not have the necessary skill to perform specific tasks, and others might become neglected. This can be especially true for niche skills, such as social media management, website building, and photography services.
However, small businesses are in a unique position where they can save money by hiring independent contractors that offer specific services and skillsets that owners may not possess. Here's a closer look at the many benefits of hiring a contractor over an employee.
Who Are Independent Contractors?
Independent contractors are self-employed workers. These workers are also commonly called freelancers and gig workers. Additionally, some contractors operate their own small businesses to advertise their services and skills. In 2019, surveys showed that nearly 30 percent of workers were self-employed, and as many as 14 percent of those contractors offered their services as their primary job.
While the number of independent contractors in America steadily increased over the last decade, their prevalence exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even as the pandemic has begun to wind down, it's unlikely that contractors are going anywhere. According to a recent study, 34 percent of the US workforce are now freelancers – more than one in three workers.
The Top 5 Benefits of Hiring an Independent Contractor
Are you considering hiring an independent contractor? Here are the top five benefits you may find.
1. Niche Specialization
Independent contractors offer specific services and skills. Many of these skills may be outside your knowledge or personal skillset. Additionally, contractors have a lot more experience in their industry. For example, a social media manager who has been working as an independent contractor for years will likely have a better understanding of promoting a business to increase customer loyalty, brand awareness, and revenue. Similarly, an experienced writer will know more SEO use, writing styles, and grammar.
Independent contractors work in competitive fields and flourish by offering affordable services and creating strong business relationships with their clients. Additionally, you won't have to worry about employee benefits, and taxes for contractors are generally more straightforward and more affordable.
3. Time Efficiency
Hiring an independent contractor means that you'll have more time to do what you do best. You can delegate other tasks to contractors that specialize in those areas and alleviate more from the full plate that you likely deal with on a day-to-day basis.
4. Boosted Revenue
Many independent contractor services can increase your customer loyalty, bring in new customers, and increase your small business's overall revenue. Generally, the work that contractors perform makes a noticeable difference in how your company operates. Depending on the contractor's work, you may even be able to measure their success in various metrics.
5. Singular Point of Contact
With employees, you may have to relay deadlines, expectations, and so on to multiple workers. That's commonly different for hiring a contractor because they oversee the type of work they perform, you'll get to enjoy a singular point of contact.
When to Consider Hiring an Independent Contractor Over an Employee
While hiring independent contractors usually benefits small business owners of all industries, you should always consider hiring a contractor instead of an employee if:
The work you need to be performed can be handled by a professional who will not require much supervision.
The contractor offers professional expertise and skills that you don't possess or have time for.
The work you need to perform is outside of the scope of your primary business needs.
The Bottom Line
Are you facing challenges in specific niche areas of your business? Hiring an independent contractor offers many benefits over hiring employees. In some cases, these workers may even be essential to the success of your business.