By Ben Walker, the CEO for Transcription Outsourcing, LLC.
Virtual jobs are becoming more popular by the minute. The freelance economy is flourishing and people are itching to find ways to work remotely for their industries. Businesses are hiring more independent contractors (ICs) versus in-house employees for various financial benefits. It is a win-win situation for all involved.
I built my transcription business using remote employees. Some business owners fear managing a staff that is spread out. After all, it's tough enough when you are all under the same roof. I felt that at first, but I found that working with a remote team is easier than one may think with all the different cloud options to stay in communication.
Can This Route Work for Me and My Company?
Before diving into hiring a contract worker, think about what your business does. Not all businesses can do well with remote independent contractors or employees. Contractors generally work best for businesses that need people who require minimal supervision after the initial training and onboarding. Also, consider any equipment that an employee or independent contractor needs that you would have to provide. If the remote person already has it, that cuts down the cost of equipment needed to run your business. In our case, transcription is almost all independent contractor work and most people already have the tools and software needed to be successful. We work with highly trained medical, legal, law enforcement and academic transcriptionists from all over the country. Having independent contractors as well as employees has yielded extremely good results for us.
Independent Contractors Give You the Flexibility to Take on Unexpected Business Opportunities
Nobody likes to turn down business because they have a backlog of projects going on and not enough people to handle them. My transcription business has been there and knows that the only way to say yes to more business is to hire more independent contractors. The flexibility of having a staff of independent contractors helps when starting up. After the busy time has passed, you can let any contractors know that it may be a few days or weeks before more work becomes available. This doesn't mean saying goodbye forever. Now you have a list of people to hire the next time your business gets slammed with new work.
Provide Better Customer Service
Think you have all your ground covered? Maybe, maybe not. There are ways to improve customer satisfaction in your business despite your current efforts. By hiring a variety of skilled workers with individual strengths, your clients won't need to go anywhere else for ancillary services you can provide. Repeat business also leads to more reviews and referrals -- yet another way to grow your business opportunities. One of our law enforcement transcription clients needed six-hour turnaround 365 days a year. We lined up the necessary personnel and now provide them that service so they can continue to serve their community the way their city wants them to.
Gain Access to a Larger Pool of Talent
Many contract workers keep up to date in their fields in order to stay competitive in today's crowded freelance market. For business owners, this means you get a highly skilled individual ready to take on whatever project you send their way. For us, it's critical to meet demanding deadlines. Hiring experts in each area of transcription services we provide makes it so this is hardly ever an issue. Our customers appreciate us going the extra mile, and our remote staff knows that is the right way to continue to grow a business.
In preparation for the future of remote work, we've found the secret to what it takes to use a remote team to grow a business. Interestingly enough, the International Data Corporation (IDC) expects deskless employees to account for about 72 percent of the total American workforce by 2020. After working with my team of remote transcriptionists, I know firsthand that a team of well-trained independent contractors can grow your business. They are the perfect solution if you need someone to get started on a project with minimal instruction. You may not need them all the time, which is great for your company's budget. Now you can take that saved income and put it toward other ways of growing your business.
Ben Walker is the CEO for Transcription Outsourcing, LLC and has made contributions to Entrepreneur Magazine, The Associated Press, & Inc.