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how startups can outsource to freelancers

Most entrepreneurs from top startups will tell you the hardest thing for them to do in the early days was to delegate tasks for fear that they would lose control of their business. As any growing SME will attest, it’s very important to delegate to those with the right expertise, leaving you with the important task of running your business. Outsourcing to freelancers has already become the accepted way of working and with startups outsourcing everything from web design to accountancy, there’s never been a better time to get your startup off the ground in record time.


The biggest challenge most startups face in the early days is funding, that is a lack of. If you aren’t fortunate enough to receive millions in investment from some uber celebrity backer, chances are money is tight and the last thing on your mind is spending a small fortune you don’t have on employees. Outsourcing work to freelancers is a practical and cost effective way to enjoy all the benefits of a workforce without all the red tape. Unlike employees, freelancers are effectively self employed which means you don’t have to worry about the usual employee benefits like sickness, maternity and holiday pay not to mention all the other bureaucracy that comes with employing staff. By hiring a freelancer on a short term contract for a reasonable fee, you can be confident that there are no real commitments on your part as most freelancers work on a short term basis anyway. Most importantly, unlike staff you only need to pay freelancers once the work agreed is complete, as per the terms of any contract or invoice. With freelance marketplaces like People Per Hour, you can be even more secure in the knowledge that your funds are held in escrow until you are 100% satisfied with the work.


Show me an entrepreneur who has time to do their own accounting, marketing and administration and I’ll show you a workaholic suffering from severe bouts of insomnia. As your startup is getting off the ground, you’ll be tempted to take on all the work yourself in a desperate bid to save money, but for the sake of your sanity consider delegating some tasks to those with the time, skill and expertise to get the job done effectively. Often in the early days, startups are both cash and time poor, but eventually something has to give in order for the business to flourish. Outsourcing the odd task to a freelancer takes the legwork out of the tedious or more technical tasks you don’t have time for, particularly when you have more pressing business concerns to worry about. With many freelancers available on an ad hoc basis, you can get several tasks completed quickly and efficiently, ideal if you’re working to short deadlines.


Often startups can struggle in the early stages when attracting the right talent to work them for them. Potential applicants with extensive experience may be anxious about job security and stability in a new business and with statistics showing many small businesses fail in their first year, these anxieties are certainly not unfounded. Freelancers on the other hand understand the struggles of startups, as being self employed offers similar insecurities. They  also share the same entrepreneurial spirit and vision, traits that not all employees can sympathise with. There is no pride for the freelancer who has worked on massive contracts for globally known clients who now wants to work for your startup. Freelancers, like everyone else have bills to pay so it’s unlikely they will turn down the opportunity of paid work because it comes from some unknown startup. You will find the more seasoned freelancer has an extensive portfolio with a body of work that in ordinary circumstances would see you forking out for a director salary. Hiring freelancers with a specific expertise and strong client references, ensures your startup will benefit from the brightest minds who are just as passionate as you are about your business succeeding, as success often guarantees more work.


With most entrepreneurs professing to have launched their businesses from their bedroom, the old barriers to enterprise have been removed and there is little reason not to follow your startup dreams when the overheads can be quite low. If like many startups you’re struggling to finance shared workspace, let alone your own office space, then outsourcing is a no brainer. Most freelancers are happy to work remotely and with Skype or Google Hangouts, there’s no reason why you can’t arrange a quick impromptu chat for more pressing queries. When your startup does begin to experience growth, you may choose to hire a small army of freelancers and outsource all types of tasks from design to social media, and with freelancers often available to work unsociable hours, you can relax in the knowledge that you have a team you can rely on pretty much 24 hours. Growing at scale is vital for the success of your startup, and working with freelancers across the UK or even the globe will help your startup appear bigger than it actually is, allowing you to compete with the big boys in your sector.


Letitiah Obiri
Letitiah Obiri
Letitiah Obiri is an experienced content marketer and founder of Polkadot Digital, an online marketing agency providing affordable content, social and PR packages to startups and small businesses. Letitiah has worked with some of the UK’s biggest brands including Tesco, Hiscox, Hilarys Three Mobile, TK Maxx and Littlewoods. With extensive experience in PR, journalism and digital marketing she has the proven ability to launch and manage successful campaigns to drive traffic and subsequently grow sales. As a qualified journalist Letitiah has also been featured in The Guardian, Business Zone and Supercharged Startups writing frequently about small businesses and practical marketing techniques.

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