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Contract and Freelance Workers: Cutting costs while satisfying labor needs

As a small business owner, there’s a constant and never ending dash to get everything done. The To-Do List grows exponentially longer by the day and you’ve been swamped in paperwork for so long that your skin is soggy and starting to grow scales. You’d love to have some help, but can’t really afford the cost or hassle of an employee. Don’t you wish there were an easy solution to this conundrum?

A recent small business resource guide on CNN Money profiled five small business owners who have made the decision to utilize freelance and contract workers and detailed how it has benefited their business. With technological advances making it feasible for almost anyone to use freelance and contract workers, it may be time to evaluate whether this is the lifeboat that can rescue you from the swamp as well. A word of warning before we sing their praises; contract workers may not be right for every business and care should be used not to get sideways of the IRS employee/independent contractor rules. Now onto the singing.

Today’s businesses are running lean and mean; squeezing every drop of productivity out of every available resource. Gone are the days of the brick & mortar office, of landline phones and cubicled employees rallying round the water cooler. As you prepare to avail yourself of your non-essential tasks, several issues should be considered. How much time are you currently spending on tasks that don’t generate revenue or grow your business? How much time would you like to be spending on those tasks? In specific terms, identify your three most essential functions, these are functions that only you can complete and that provide your business with an optimum return on investment. According to the 80/20 Pareto Principle, these are the functions that you spend 20% of your efforts on, yet they provide 80% of your results. Next consider your other one hundred and fifty functions… Do any of those look like a function that could be completed by someone other than yourself? Perhaps you’d like to spend less time on data entry, bookkeeping and accounting. Perhaps administrative paperwork is stealing valuable hours from your day. Voila! You have just identified an area (or more likely several areas) where you can use a freelancer.

There are currently several websites devoted to matching up available freelance workers with businesses in need of labor, and the skills available for hire are nearly boundless. Utilizing contract workers can alleviate your workload, costs considerably less than a full time or even part time employee without the tax and HR hassles and can minimize or eliminate the need for traditional office space. Another option to consider is a service that consolidates many functions under one umbrella. For example, My Staff Your Staff provides a complete Peachtree or QuickBooks accounting department as well as business management expertise on a contract basis. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how we can provide the results you need at a low fixed monthly cost while giving you back valuable time to devote to your three most important functions.

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