Freelancers vs. Agency: Which is the Better Choice?

The digital marketplace is a godsend, especially for smaller and newer businesses that are looking for chances to grow. The great advantage of the 21st century is that the internet has essentially “democratized” the way we do business—were given the opportunity to be productive together in different places, in different time zones, even without being face-to-face.

Two big business models have prospered in this environment: freelancing and outsourcing. The freelancing and outsourcing models have a number of things in common in that they’re both made possible by the internet; large amounts of work can be done even from remote locations, and both clients and service providers have the opportunity to transform each other’s businesses for the better.

That said, what are the specific benefits that come with hiring a freelancer to fulfill common businesses such as digital design, writing, or virtual assistance? And ultimately, which one is the better choice? Read our assessment below.

The Advantages of Tapping into the Freelancer Market

Little is needed to jumpstart a freelancing career in earnest. Some of the most skilled and experienced freelancers can work alone with little more than a laptop, a working headset, and expertise built from high educational attainment and growing work experience.

Many companies are willing to give many an up-and-coming freelancer the chance to work with them, for the following reasons:

  • Price point. Big freelancing platforms like Upwork bustle with competition and that means that freelancers bid for work at very reasonable prices. This proves appealing especially for companies working along shoestring budgets, with more conservative cash flows.
  • Scalable service. Another appealing characteristic of the freelance model is how easy it is to adapt to scale. Some clients don’t need a big workforce or help with multiple projects. Freelancing works especially well if it’s only the freelancer and the client who need to communicate one-on-one.
  • Flexibility in work hours. Along with affordable service fees, most clients like the fact that many freelancers work flexi-time. Some also charge per project, instead of per hour.
  • A sense of exclusivity to the service. Some clients also like the feeling of contracting a freelancer, as opposed to a big and busy company, to do their work with them. This kind of relationship is at its optimum for tailored services, such as graphic design.

The Flipside: Key Benefits of Working with an Outsourced Agency

But coming close to the benefits of freelancing—and with some added insulation—is the outsourcing model. Outsourcing differs from freelancing in that the work commissioned from offshore is institutionalized. For companies looking for a more consistent and regular driver for their growth, outsourcing emerges as the game-changing model.

Here are some of the benefits that set outsourcing apart.

  • Standardized service delivery. At times, it’s hard to commit your trust in a freelancer, as only one additional person’s overall performance will factor into the success of the job. It can’t be traded for the institutionalized professionalism that will come from a “legit,” registered, and fielded outsourced agency.
  • Less decision fatigue. Shopping around for just the right group or individual can get tiring. Whether or not those long hours spent searching will net you a return on investment can also involve a bit of guesswork. But the services of outsourcing consultants like Outsource Accelerator exist to help you curate your choices, and refer you a top 3 who are rightly suited for your task.
  • Better chance of a formalized contract. If there’s a big chance that you’re looking for a consistent engagement, and not something “one-time-big-time,” then you should also put your relationship in writing. Contract with a provider that you can trust to finish the work with the formal stipulations in place.
  • Higher rates of compliance with business regulations. Part of the darker side to freelancing is not knowing at first glance if they adhere to sound business practices. A registered outsourcing company will, by law, have a business license and follow their home country’s labor and trade regulations. This should weigh in heavily on your decision—you wouldn’t want your business to be associated with anything illegal.

The Clear Frontrunner

These comparisons make it evident that the outsourcing model has the returns, standards of service delivery, and safeguards that your business deserves. To conclude, we know that it’s not easy running a business. At the most difficult times, both freelancing and outsourcing might seem like a gamble. But there are as many bright sides to looking around offshore for your business solutions: 24/7 productivity, ease of doing business—and that exclusive joy of meeting creative and accommodating new business partners, or diamonds in the rough.

We hope you get maximum returns from your choice, and we look forward to your future success!

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