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8 Reasons Freelancers Should Work With Small Businesses

In 2015, being a freelancer has never been in more demand. The Plato Group reports that an astounding 30 percent of all Americans are freelancers. By 2020, they predict that this group will become half the workforce!

Two factors are driving this growth trend. Small businesses want to keep their full time employee count low to minimize fixed overhead as the economy goes up and down. They also want to avoid the Affordable Healthcare Act requirements that start at 50 full time people.  They can get freelancers on a special per project basis to do the work instead of hiring a full time employee with benefits. On top of all this, it has become easier than ever to work with any resource remotely anywhere in the world.

As a freelancer, you might be evaluating what type of client you want to work with. Although at first you might find the allure of adding a Fortune 500 company to your client list particularly enticing, don’t count the little guys out just yet. Here are the unique benefits for freelancers that choose to work for small businesses rather than big corporations.

  1. An overwhelming pain. As their company grows, small business owners struggle with hiring the first employee to help them. The natural progression is to first get freelancers to become a virtual workforce. Popular areas include website design and development, marketing, research, and writing. Large companies do not have the same immediate pain since they can always shift additional work projects to other employees. The greater the pain, the more a freelancer can charge.
  2. Get paid more. All companies pay for value. The freelancer is selling to the business owners who is benefiting from the results of the work so they are likely to pay more than a purchasing agent who is trying to negotiate the lowest price for a service. Business people get judged on the results their resources achieve. A purchasing agent gets measured on how little they spend to get results.
  3. Less politics. When a freelancer works for a small company, they typically are hired and retained by the decision maker. This allows projects to move forward more smoothly and without delays. It is also easier to get started on the first project, as there are less decision makers to clarify details with before getting started.
  4. Get paid sooner. Large companies typically ask for invoices that include 60 day terms. With a small business, the freelancer can do something such as get paid 50% of the fee up front and the remainder within 30 days. With a small business, you can call the shots. With a large business, they’ll be calling the shots.
  5. Not easily replaced. Large companies have more resources at their disposal. They have a tendency to shift resources in efforts to save money or even switch to a new executive direction. Small business owners keep resources that are effective for a long time since, when one part of the company is working, they focus on improving something else.
  6. Sharing values. Freelancers and small business owners share the same values of getting the job done. They are both motivated and passionate about what they do. Neither can have a “here to punch the clock” mentality like some employees at a large company. Small business owners and freelancers can share a common trust, and a mutual respect that they are both supporting themselves and trying to build something with their very own hands.
  7. Get referrals. Small business owners are more likely to give referrals and testimonials. Large companies have shied away from this because of legal restrictions. This is critical since referrals are the lifeblood of any job pipeline for a freelancer.
  8. Easier to get work. Small business owners and freelancers run in the same ecosystems. They typically are a part of the same social media conversations, trade shows, and blogs. This makes it incredibly easy to network and find potential opportunities. On the other hand, it could take you months to find and secure a single “big business” deal.


Barry Moltz

Barry Moltz

Contributor at Fundera
With decades of entrepreneurial experience in his own business ventures, Barry has discovered the formula to get stuck business owners out of their funk and marching forward. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. He is the author of three small business books.
Barry Moltz