The Benefits of Using an Independent Contractor

There are many reasons both non-profit and for-profit businesses utilize the services of independent contractors, or freelancers. Perhaps your business isn't quite ready to take on permanent employees, or there is work to be done that volunteers are not capable of doing or your permanent staff simply doesn't have the time to do. Whatever the reason, there are several major advantages to using independent contractors rather than employees, with financial savings at the top of the list.

Even though most independent contractors charge more per hour than you would pay an employee to do the same work, it usually ends up costing more to hire employees. When you hire an employee, you will have a number of expenses that you don't have to pay independent contractors, including benefits such as health insurance and payroll taxes, as well as the cost of office space and equipment. 

Independent contractors are often more efficient because they bring specialized expertise to the job. They can usually be productive immediately, which eliminates the time and cost of training. By using independent contractors, you will also have more flexibility in staffing. You can outsource only as needed, thus saving expenses. It's much easier to adjust the number of contractors without suffering the costs associated with layoffs, like unemployment.

In addition, independent contractors can bring a fresh perspective to the organization. Daily demands on leaders and staff often doesn't leave time for creativity, to analyze current programs, to develop new business, or plan for the future. Bringing in an independent contractor that is able to give focused attention on analyzing your organization can have a great impact on the growth and profitability of your business.

Independent contractors can help you with just about any aspect of your business - hooking up a computer network, designing a new website, marketing and public relations, planning an event or managing your trade show. But, before hiring an independent contractor you should have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish before you seek help. You may not know exactly what you want to accomplish, buy you should try to articulate your vision or goals as clearly as possible to save time and money for both your organization and the independent contractor.

Independent contractors realize that the quality of service they provide means the difference between success and failure. They are driven to excel and very well understand the the consequences of poor performance. Some independent contractors work with a company or group while others work as sole proprietors. Consultants working alone tend to have lower overhead expenses, so their fees may be lower.

There are many ways to find an independent contractor. You can look in your local yellow pages or search the internet, but one of the best ways is word of mouth. A few calls to other organizations may provide some leads.

Once you have contacted an independent contractor they should have you fill out a Request for Proposal. This document will provide them with the information necessary to provide you with a quote on a particular project or for providing other services.

Independent contractors can be the most effective solution to meeting your goals and assuring the success of your business!

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