As small- and medium-sized business owners, we all struggle from time to time with having more tasks to complete than time to complete them. When you find yourself spending too much time working in your business instead of working on your business, it's time to start enlisting the help of experts who work in the gig economy.
A study by accounting software firm Intuit found that 43 percent of American workers will have jobs within the gig economy by 2020. The gig economy includes a wide variety of specialized workers, with a range of talent includes SEO whizzes, machine learning experts, forklift drivers, delivery drivers, and more, and can be hired to work on a project or seasonal basis.
Gig workers can be utilized to develop your company's website, implement a specific technology tool, create marketing materials, help with peak season jobs in the warehouse or customer service department, and even help as a consultant on various business strategies.
Some of the best talent has taken to the gig economy for a variety of reasons: from managing their work-life balance to the ability to earn extra income. They also come with a variety of talents and skill sets, and you can negotiate with them on a duration and rate of pay and benefits that fit your business needs.
Here are three of the ways to find the find the right talent in the gig economy to grow our business:
Start with who you know.
Chances are you already know someone who can do work on a freelance basis. If that person can't do it, chances are they know a contractor who can.
LinkedIn is a great place to start the "I know a guy" conversation. Most-likely, someone from your business past -- whether it's a former colleague or a business journalist you met at a trade show -- is transitioning between jobs, is semi-retired, or is just looking for a side gig. LinkedIn is a great place to rekindle those business relationships, and you can bring those people you know on as contractors. What's more, they probably already understand your business and your needs.
Check freelance job websites.
With freelance job websites like Fiverr, Upwork, you can cast a wider net and bring in outstanding temporary remote talent from across the country. You can vet and hire temporary talent in several at-need areas, such as video production, graphic design, marketing, content development, coding, SEO, web development, and more.
While you may never meet these freelancers on a face-to-face basis, you will get to know them virtually. These freelancers are also comfortable working in a remote world and take ownership of their assignments.
Work with a local staffing agency.
There are times when we need on-site temporary help. The brands my company fulfills for do not share the same busy season, so the ability to bring in a different number of workers on a day-to-day basis is important for us. We use local staffing agencies to help our human resources team find the right people to help with package fulfillment, accounting, customer service, administrative work, and more. During the holiday shopping season, we use these agencies to bring on up to 100 additional workers to help us fulfill the large volumes of orders we process during this time of year.
Though your working relationship with your gig talent is temporary, you need to treat it as a permanent one. If you treat them as hired hands and don't incorporate them into the company culture, it will not entice them to accept future gigs, or come on board when there is a full-time opportunity.