Building a website, designing graphics, developing online content — these are all jobs that fall outside the scope of your business’s usual line of work, but they’re no less important to keeping your business running. Digital marketing is a key part of how small businesses today find and keep customers, and without it, you’ll struggle to stay competitive in today’s small business economy.
Unfortunately, many small businesses can’t afford to bring on full-time staff to manage their web-based projects. Labor is the biggest cost of doing business in nearly every industry, and most business owners are looking for ways to cut labor costs, not add to them.
That doesn’t mean you have to choose between growing your business and preserving its bottom line, however. There are other ways to get the help you need to run your business’s web-based projects.
Also known as independent contractors, freelancers are self-employed professionals who work on a contract basis. Since freelancers aren’t considered employees, businesses don’t have to pay payroll taxes or offer benefits as required for W2 employees. Even with freelancers’ high rates relative to employee base salaries, this can represent significant cost savings for small businesses. However, businesses must comply with IRS guidelines in order to classify workers as independent contractors.
Typically, freelancers work in professional fields like programming and development, design, and branding and marketing. These are some of the freelancers you might hire for your small business:
- Web developers
- Graphic designers
- Video content producers
- Branding specialists
- Social media strategists
- Search engine optimization (SEO) specialists
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising specialists
Hiring Part-Time Employees
Although underutilized by small businesses, hiring part-time workers can be a smart way to staff your business on a budget. That’s especially true for ongoing projects; while freelancers work well for occasional or time-limited work, permanent employees are best when you want to build a long-term working relationship.
Part-time employees can be significantly more affordable than full-time staff since businesses aren’t required to offer health insurance coverage to part-time employees. Although many businesses opt to offer fringe benefits or a reduced benefits package to part-timers, this still costs less than a comprehensive benefits package.
If it feels like you can’t find part-time help, it may be because you’re not posting openings where part-time job seekers are looking. Major job boards like Monster and Indeed can be hit or miss when it comes to hiring part-time employees. You’ll have better luck if you look to popular gig economy apps. These apps are also a good choice when you need a hand with a one-off task and don’t want to spend a ton of time screening and hiring.
Hiring Remote vs. On-Site Help
Once you’ve decided what type of help to hire, there’s one more big question to answer: Will your new staff work on-site or off? Allowing freelancers and part-timers to telecommute can lead to bigger cost savings for businesses watching their bottom line because you’re not furnishing an office space, and many remote employees already own their own tech.
However, there are challenges to hiring remotely, too. Many business owners find that collaborating with remote employees requires changes to their workflow and adds costs in the form of communication and collaboration software. This shouldn’t discourage you, however; not only are many software solutions inexpensive, they could improve coordination across your entire team, not just remote staff.
Today’s business owners have a lot more options for hiring than in the past. When you can’t afford full-time help to fill gaps in your business, you no longer have to do it all yourself. With the availability of freelance, part-time, and remote help, you can staff your small business affordably, no matter how big or small the task at hand.