The nature of a small business and the way a freelance web developer operates is a terrific match. Small businesses tends to have fewer resources, lower budgets and require a more personalized service than their corporate counterparts. Simply put, freelance web developers are generally better set to accommodate those needs than an agency or large firm. They’re used to working with fewer resources since often times they themselves are their entire business.
However, it is because of this they can charge less than an agency due to lower overhead. Best of all, they can provide a better, more personalized service since you are dealing with just one person, compared to an entire organization. Still not convinced? Continue reading to discover why it very well could make more sense for your small business to work with a freelance web developer now or in the future.
Get Your Project Done, Faster
Freelancers can often complete websites for small businesses faster than their agency counterparts. An experienced freelance web developer is going to be able to get your website live faster. This is because they don’t have to wait for different departments to produce assets, and they require less coordination in general. They can also have a much more streamlined design process due to being a one-person business.
As we’ll get into later in this post, a freelance web developer can have a very flexible schedule that can benefit your business as well. How great would it be if you could ask your freelancer to add a new landing page to your website as you're leaving the office, and as you arrive the next morning you see it is already live on your website and generating money?
With a freelancer it’s possible. But with a web design agency, you have to work during standard business hours. Depending on the company, they may have strict processes in place that require client approvals, revision sessions and unnecessary meetings that can make even simple changes a hassle.
A Freelancer’s Flexible Schedule is a Benefit for You, Too
Like the example above, a freelancer's schedule can benefit you big time. You can avoid having lengthy meetings during standard office hours if you wish, saving you time. You could also choose to communicate mostly over Slack or email and leave it to conference/video calls to discuss anything important. There are many other ways that a freelancer's flexibility extends to you as a small business owner.
For one, you escape the commitment of salaried employees. If the relationship isn’t a good fit, you can quickly cut ties and since freelancers have fewer legal rights than employees, it is less risky to hire a freelancer. If you are looking to add a full-time web developer to your staff, hiring them as a freelancer first can be a great way to test them out before extending a full-time job offer.
Of course, since they generally work from home and work on a for-hire basis, you don’t need to provide them with office space or benefits. There are so many costs that go into hiring and maintaining an employee past their salary. The true cost of hiring an employee has lead to small businesses embracing freelancers.
Freelance Web Developers Can Pass Their Savings on to You
How? Well, a freelancer is simply not subject to the various expenses that a standard web development agency is. For one, since most freelance web developers work from home there is no need to cover the overhead costs of the physical office location. They generally don’t have salaried employees. If necessary, they’ll hire another freelancer and contract work out, which further cuts down on costs.
These limited expenses make it much more likely that a freelancer can quote you a better price than a web design firm, with little if any difference in quality. Hiring a freelancer is also more cost effective than hiring a web developer and keeping them in-house. In fact, you could save 20-30% by hiring a freelance web developer compared to a salaried employee. The nature of freelance solo work can also make them much more responsive to the personalized needs of a small business, something you may very well require.
Skip The Onboarding Process
It’s the worst part about hiring a new employee. No matter how experienced they are and how great their resumé looks, there is always that onboarding period that you have to go through with new employees so they can get up to speed. While pretty much unavoidable, it definitely slows down the productivity of your entire team.
However, when you hire a freelance web developer, it is actually the client that now goes through the onboarding process. That’s because you are hiring an expert to come in and take charge of your project. While you might think onboarding is a bit unnecessary, a good onboarding process will get the project off to an organized start and reduce potential issues going forward, ensuring the project can be completed faster.
Deal with One Person for Everything
When you're working with an agency or established web design firm to develop your website, there could be multiple points of contact. Perhaps to discuss the content of the website you need to call one department. But, to discuss the design of the site, you'll be needing a different department again. All this bureaucracy and back and forth can make the project take longer than it normally should and leave you unnecessarily stressed.
Enter working with a freelance web developer. In this scenario, if you have any questions regarding the project at all you have one contact for everything. Further, you have the potential to receive much more personalized service. A freelance web developers flexible schedule can benefit you –the chances of a freelance web developer them answering your call on a Friday night, or the weekend, are much greater than a typical web design agency.
When To Know If Hiring a Freelance Web Developer Is Right For Your Small Business
A freelance web developer can build basically any website your small business will require. When you're vetting them, just make sure they have a past history of producing what you need to be done or have the necessary skills. Compared to an agency, the end product will be the same. But, you will receive much more personalized service and the cost will be reduced. But that’s just the start.
There are a host of reasons why small businesses should leverage the value a freelancer brings. However, there are still plenty of times where it makes sense to hire an agency. It all comes down to what your needs are and how much how large of a production you want. For example, If you are looking to launch your website with a big marketing campaign behind it or launch a video trailer of your business with large production resources, an agency is your better bet. But if you need a rock-solid business website, a freelance web developer can absolutely provide you with a terrific website at a much more affordable rate.