9 to 5
9 to 5

How Small Businesses Are Breaking the 9-to-5 Mold


Have you ever met a small business owner who seemed to be wildly successful despite working from home part-time? They probably are not doing it alone, and the secret to their success is almost certainly their freelance and remote employees. These support persons are often just as, if not much more, efficient than 40-hour-per-week-workers.


Why is this? Part of it is job satisfaction. People who have the freedom to work from home and away from the microscope of management are often happier and will output a higher-quality product. Another component is efficiency. Hiring a freelancer means that a business owner can utilize an individual’s expertise precisely where they need it most. A freelancer will be ultra-focused on a specific project or piece of a project, and the business owner only pays for those services. They do not have to absorb the cost of overhead, employee benefits, or payroll taxes. In other words, they buy someone else’s time and knowledge in the quantities they need.


Talent Acquisition Is Easier Today


Efficiency and money savings aside, there is another factor that makes hiring offsite workers more appealing to business owners: it isn’t difficult to find people with the skills you need. Unlike just a generation ago, the internet connects workers and employers instantly. If you need a freelance web designer, 10 minutes on a site that connects workers with freelance jobs will give you plenty of qualified options. Virtual assistants, graphic designers, accountants, and much more are also a few clicks away. What’s more, you aren’t obligated to hire someone for another project if they don’t get the job done. You can always keep scrolling until you find the right fit.


Hiring remote employees is much easier as well. Because you are not limited to the driving distance to the office, you have a much broader talent pool.


How to Hire Remote Workers


Online job boards are your most valuable tool to help you find and assemble a remote staff. However, you must put some thought into your posting to help weed out unqualified candidates.


Start by writing a highly detailed job description. It is not enough to say that you need a virtual assistant, for example; you must list out what the duties entail. If they are required to answer the phone within certain hours or respond to emails, let them know this ahead of time. You will also need to differentiate if you are looking for a remote employee or a freelance worker. The biggest difference between the two is that remote employees are agents of your business. As such, you pay your share of their taxes. Stop My IRS Bill explains that a freelancer, by contrast, doesn’t have taxes taken out and must pay self-employment taxes of just more than 15 percent.


As candidate responses start filling your inbox, you now have the task of vetting them according to their experience, desired pay, and availability. With freelancers, you will typically set an amount per project, and they choose to accept or not (they may also have a set rate that you agree to). Potential employees often want to negotiate salary and benefits. Look at their experience level, and don’t be afraid to check references on either type of worker.


As a small business owner, it’s easy to feel as though you have to do it all alone. Thankfully, you don’t. The people you have in your corner can help you grow your reach so that you can leave a long line of satisfied customers in your wake. It is easier than ever to insert the right people into the places you need the most. And the best part is that you don’t have to fill a brick-and-mortar building, and your support system won’t have to be on call during business hours.


Image via Pixabay