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    Could Your Construction Business Benefit From The Gig Economy?

    Posted by Sharie DeHart on Fri, Apr 17, 2020

    At some point, every business owner needs outside help to improve efficiency – or to free up their time so they can take steps toward future growth. 
     
    The trouble is, the cost of hiring regular staff, even on a part-time basis, can eat up a company's budget – especially in the early years when you're still just finding your feet.  
     
    The rise of the remote freelance worker (otherwise known as the "gig economy"), especially during this time, can offer construction business owners a simple, cost-effective solution when they need extra help with a one-off "gig" or short-term contract. 
     

    Mid-section of a man using laptop in cafeteria

     

    A look at the pros 

    For many construction company owners, the bottom line is often their most significant motivation for hiring independent contractors. It's a much less costly option than taking on an employee – and this can be especially true with international workers whose rates reflect a lower cost of living. 

    Another benefit of hiring remote workers who live in different time zones is increased efficiency; when you're sleeping, someone is still hard at work on your business. Think about your online presence; web developers, for instance. Outsourcing the task of developing your website to an expert, even offshore, might be a great idea.

    In addition to increased productivity and affordable help when you need it, greater ease when you're ready to scale is another excellent reason to consider hiring remote independent contractors. 

    For some construction businesses, hiring freelancers regularly keeps their operations running like a well-oiled machine. If the idea makes sense for your business, make sure you create processes to onboard new workers quickly, so you get the most value for your time and money. Instead of missing calls or letting a voice prompt answer for you, you can hire a virtual assistant whose job is to take phone calls and narrow down prospects.

    Consider the cons

    Working with remote freelancers does pose some risks construction business owners should be aware of. 

    • Loyalty - Unlike employees who receive regular benefits on top of their salary, gig workers may not feel motivated to stick with you long term, which can be detrimental to your business.
    • Consistency - Hiring people on a casual basis means you may have to find more than one person you can rely on to get the job done. Inconsistent help can mean inconsistent results.
    • Reliability - Freelance workers, hired from popular sites like Upwork may be more interested in finding a large number of clients to increase their pay by volume than providing high quality work quickly and reliably for every job that comes up. 
    • Cost - Sometimes, you "get what you pay for." Low rates can amount to low quality work, which can be both frustrating and costly for your business.

    In the end, every construction company owner has to decide what makes sense for their business. It may make more sense to hire a local worker at their professional rate than someone on a site like Upwork whose fees may be attractive but reflect a low end-client experience.

    Of course, there is much to say when you're planning to outsource your construction accounting and bookkeeping. Be aware of theft and fraud, and consider reading this guideline before hiring one.

    Final thoughts

    In the best-case scenario, hiring remote independent contractors can be a win-win situation. Skilled workers who want to set their hours and rates enjoy the freedom they desire while business owners are free to hire talent from anywhere in the world and pay what makes sense for their budget.

    One final thought to consider: hiring remote freelancers at low rates can have an impact on how your customers perceive your business.

    Every business decision you make should align with your company values and build trust in your brand–including the help you hire for your construction business.

    About The Author:

    Sharie_DeHart_President_Fast_Easy_Accounting_Serving_Contractors_All_Across_The_USA_Including_Alaska_And_Hawaii-1Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or sharie@fasteasyaccounting.com

     

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