Thinking outside the office: When entrepreneurs should consider freelance talent

Nearly every entrepreneur could use more time. There is always more you can do, but there will never be more than 24 hours in a day. With so many demands vying for your time, enlisting freelance experts to complete specialised tasks can free you up to concentrate on growing your business.

One key area where you can leverage this approach is for your marketing needs. Nearly half of business owners say marketing is the most important component to a successful growth strategy; yet nearly the same percentage (46 per cent) believe they spend far too much of their own time on it because they don't have the appropriate skills or background. In an era where marketers need to constantly crank out professional content that’s not only valuable, on brand, smartly researched, SEO-friendly and beautifully designed, utilising experts is the best way to ensure you get those deliverables off the ground.

So when should you delegate your design needs to ensure you’re consistently creating top-notch visual content? If you’re facing any of the following limitations, it’s time to think outside the office.

1. You’re strapped for resources.

Your company is in high-growth mode, and there’s consistently too much work for your in-house design team to handle – or you don’t have an in-house design team at all. In either case, if you need to add more capacity, delegating projects to professionals outside of your in-house team will keep things moving without detracting your full-time staff’s attention from their main work.

2. You’re faced with meeting tight deadlines, often on short notice.

Your team’s lengthy task lists are compounded by temporary pedal-to-the-metal scenarios. From planning for an upcoming conference to preparing for a big product announcement to launching in a new market, it’s important that you’re able to scale quickly as needed. With the ability to find and work with freelance talent online, you can have access to those skills right when you need them. On average, it only takes three days to find and engage a freelancer online so you won’t waste valuable time searching for the right person for weeks or months.

3. You’re dealing with skills gaps.

You require expertise in a relatively rare design field such as video production or 3D animation, a specific type of graphic work like ebooks or infographics or a very particular design aesthetic. That creative limitation can leave you pining for new perspectives and additional creative juices. Talented freelancers can take on some of your design work on a project basis, offering the exact skills you need on a flexible basis.

4. You don’t have the budget.

When it comes to budget, prioritisation is key. Whether you’re budgeting for a start-up to get up and running or your budget is being used elsewhere, sometimes it’s not feasible to hire a full-time designer. A great alternative is to work with a freelance designer to supplement your core team. Having a hybrid team will enable you to tap into flexible skills as needed for specific projects – without the overhead cost that comes with a traditional employee or the multiple layers that exist between you and the people actually doing the design when working with an agency. Not only does this approach give you the extra bonus of decreasing your administrative costs, but it moves you closer to the work.

To learn more about when and how to delegate your design needs, download Upwork and HubSpot’s free eBook The Fast Lane to Great Design: The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Hiring Freelance Designers.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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