Have you ever found yourself in a place where you had to deliver projects your internal team is not qualified for, nor have the time to handle?
While many business owners feel there’s always more work than time or resources to do it, the reality is you do have options. The mighty Internet has made it easier for companies to outsource new talent and deliver projects on time and within budget.
This is usually the moment you ask yourself:
Should I hire a freelancer or an agency?
Working with independent experts or a team of professionals has its advantages and disadvantages, but eventually, it comes down to your unique needs and goals. In this article, we’ll focus on the benefits of working with an agency. Check out our article on When to Hire Freelancers for more information on working with open talent.
Here’s what you need to know first:
- A freelancer is a self-employed, independent contractor who provides professional services to clients.
- An agency is a company consisting of a built-in manager in charge of a team of specialists who work together to deliver results for their clients.
The agency advantage: multiple specialists under one roof
Working with agencies offers many of the same perks as freelancers, but a significant difference worth exploring is your access to everything under one roof.
Let’s dive in and learn more about some of the benefits of hiring an agency:
- Expert knowledge – hire a niche or specialist agency for a target market and get an in-depth level of expertise.
- Experience – after spending years working as a team, most agencies have the strategic and tactical skills needed to support businesses.
- Accountability – agencies have a proven performance track record.
- Ability to scale – agencies scale up or down to handle both short-term and long-term needs. And they also deal with onboarding and training.
- A new perspective – agencies can push businesses out of the dangerous “we’ve always done things this way” approach.
Let’s say you’ve got a complex project that requires the combined work of several specialists, like building a website. You’ll need to cover the following roles:
- Web Designer
- SEO Expert
If you go the contracting way, you will have to hire and manage all four freelancers, which can turn out to be a challenge (especially if you’re dealing with multiple time zones). With this in mind, it may make more sense to hire an agency to handle the whole process for you—the planning, development, testing, and ongoing maintenance required to build and launch a successful website. In the long run, this may actually save you money, time and be far less stressful for you.
Less management = less stress
Agencies do not require the management and oversight individual hires do. They have their own systems and managers in place to ensure things go smoothly.
When you hire an agency, you are paying for their built-in processes and industry knowledge. You gain access to a multi-faceted team that can lead all your marketing and design needs. Agencies are a team made up of niche experts who are comfortable working together toward creating a cohesive and polished product. This may be more difficult to achieve when working with several independent freelancers.
One of the pros of working with an agency is their invaluable experience when determining the resources needed to complete a project. This experience gives agencies an advantage in scoping and meeting deadlines.
Understanding your needs
To decide if it’s time to hire an agency, you should first understand your project’s needs and identify the scope and expectations. It all comes down to your project’s goals, timeline, and available budget, so make sure you have a clear brief and strategy in place.
Once you have dialed down your project’s needs and established the basics, you can assess the skill-sets that exist within your internal team and decide where they need assistance.
The agency price tag
Finances are a crucial factor in the decision-making process, especially if your business is small or a start-up.
The cost of hiring an agency is definitely greater than that of a freelancer, as agencies have far more overhead. Most of the time, these added costs are what make hiring an agency financially out of reach for some businesses. At the same time, larger businesses struggle with hiring one freelancer to handle the myriad of tasks required to complete various projects.
The real question is: can you afford to hire an agency? When determining the value for money, think about how hiring an agency, despite its higher price tag, can allow you to focus on building your business and delivering better results.
Is an agency right for you?
Determining when to hire an agency can be daunting. Here are some examples of when working with an agency makes sense:
- You need to save time. It’s hard enough to manage your time and handle the day-to-day operations of your business. Agencies have a well-organized structure that allows them to deliver projects on time.
- You need a fresh perspective to overcome areas where your business has stalled.
- You need more accountability. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with the idea of managing multiple freelancers and multiple streams of work. According to Medium, every agency has a project manager who “handles the team, tracks the hours, and provides feedback. It’s easier to go through a project manager who watches the team, than individually checking each freelancer.”
At Communo, we recognize the value agencies bring to businesses of all sizes. In fact, our talent platform was originally designed to support agencies’ needs as they scale their teams to handle niche roles.
Whether you need an agency for a complex project or an expert freelancer, our talent team will help you fill talent gaps, deliver cost efficiencies and innovate at scale. For further information, please contact: [email protected]