Posted on: 13 March 2019
What are businesses looking for from their independent workers?
It is estimated that 15% of the population are self-employed, a number that rapidly rose following the 2008 recession, but has been a rising figure since 2001.
Research has shown that freelancers are a huge benefit to the UK economy, contributing £119bn in 2016.
Freelancers are important for UK businesses for many reasons. Knowing the reasons why companies may choose not to hire freelancers will allow you to adapt what you do to attract more customers. We have detailed some of these reasons below and explained how you can use this to your advantage.
Why do companies use freelancers?
Using freelance workers allows companies to keep costs down by paying freelancers an agreed amount for a project or work completed over a fixed time period.
Keeping your prices competitive will make it worthwhile for a company to use your services instead of having to take on their own employee.
Finding freelance workers is as quick and easy as a Google search, with some websites dedicated to listing freelancers, such as Fiverr or Worksome, who can match business owners with a freelancer for as little as £5.
Being easy to find gives you a great advantage as a freelance worker, so make sure that you use these matching sites to maximise your exposure to potential clients.
As a freelancer, you will usually have spent time focussing solely on what you do, meaning that you will have experience in your field.
Because of this, businesses like to use freelancers because they feel that they are getting high quality work from an experienced professional, with work being delivered in a timely fashion. Businesses also appreciate the flexibility that freelancers offer, with that flexibility adding an estimated £21bn to the UK economy.
Why businesses might not use freelancers?
Lack of understanding
Some businesses might not understand the kind of work that freelancers do. Much of the news to do with the gig economy and freelance working is directed at the likes of Uber or Deliveroo, and businesses may not understand that the term “freelancing” applies to a many different types of work.
Businesses also might wrongly have the idea that freelancers are unreliable due to not having supervision, or could do the work and move on.
To break down this barrier, you could provide your employer with a contract outlining an agreement for the work that you will be undertaking. This will give your employer the peace of mind that they will receive an end product or output. You could also ask for feedback upon completion of the project. This gives you a chance to reflect on your work and use positive feedback to get more work for yourself, but it can also make your employer feel like there is more to the relationship than the end result.
Investment in people
Some companies prefer to have staff they can invest in to make them an asset to their business in the longer term. A business owner may feel that a freelancer won’t know enough about their company to make an impact with any work that you produce. Before approaching a customer, find out about them and see if you can learn a little about their industry to show that you can be beneficial to them.
Uncertain of quality of work
Another common assumption is that a freelancer’s work might not be as good as a full time employee. However, freelancing is just a way for people to work that allows more freedom, so a freelancer will usually have just as much experience as someone who works full time, and may even have more experience in working with a range of clients.
Make sure that you have somewhere that you can show off your portfolio of work, whether this is online on a website or social media channels or a physical version of your work, such as a brochure.
We understand that a freelance business covers a huge variety of different sectors, and as such requires a unique insurance package. We have experience in organising insurance covers for a wide range of freelance businesses, who have bespoke insurance needs for their business.
Whether you require consultants insurance or photographers insurance, our insurance experts work with some of the UK’s best known insurance companies, and are trained to find the freelancers insurance to suit your business. Get in touch today to receive a no obligation quote.
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