If you’re at the stage where you need an extra set of hands in your organisation, but aren’t quite sure whether to take on an employee or hire a contractor, here are some of the key advantages to working with a virtual assistant to benefit your business, or working with any other type of freelance contractor.

1. Cost

Lets start with a key factor most people will want to know about.

Generally speaking, freelancers don’t require office space as they predominantly work from home or a ‘hot desking facility’. That saving is directly passed on to you, as a client. In addition, if you work with someone local to your business won’t have to consider travel time and other ‘hidden’ costs into the project, so you might get the benefits of face-to-face interaction without the on-going expense. In addition to this, you won’t have to fork out pension contributions, national insurance and employers PAYE. Nor will you have to consider holiday entitlements and sickness benefits, or any of the other associated costs to having employees. There is also the added bonus of being able to set your budget, enabling better control over cash flow.

2. Flexibility

You get the skills you need, when you need them, for as long (or as short) as you need them, increasing productivity and utilisation. Freelancers are used to working with clients on short term projects, injecting value and expertise into an organisation as required. This convenience can enable your company to be more agile and adaptable to the current market environment, getting projects off the starting blocks quicker, providing an edge over your competitors.

3. Speed

A freelancer is motivated to complete your task well and in a timely fashion, ensuring prompt sign off (and payment) of their work. Most will aim to exceed expectations in the hope of a referral, or to build a continued working relationship. Contractors are able to be flexible with their working hours, adapting to meet the needs of the clients business – if something needs completing urgently or outside of office hours, a freelancer will let you know up front if this is possible and schedule the appropriate time slot to deliver.

4. Network

Generally speaking, a freelancer will have a whole network of contacts behind them, with resources to draw upon. If you are looking for another type of contractor, there’s a high probability from their ‘little black book‘, they will be able to recommend someone or point you in the right direction.