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Three areas where freelancers fit into recession cost-cutting strategies

Three areas where freelancers fit into recession cost-cutting strategies

Right now, businesses all over the world are preparing for what could be the first major recession in over a decade.

And for many of them, that means a round of belt-tightening and cutbacks. The trouble is, however, that there are a variety of costly business functions that must continue regardless of their impact on the bottom line.

In those situations, the best thing that businesses can do is to look for ways to cut costs without impacting productivity. And one of the best ways to do that is to explore the use of freelancers in place of permanent staff. Doing so gives the business additional financial flexibility that can help them to weather economic headwinds.

But not every business function makes a good fit for a freelancer strategy. The key to success is to target specific workflows that feature a combination of high labour costs and little need for institutional knowledge. Here are the three best places to start.

Marketing operations

When business leaders first go looking for places to cut costs in advance of a recession, the marketing department is typically the first place they look. In fact, some businesses opt to make dramatic cuts to their marketing operations, believing that clients — facing the same economic conditions — won't be persuadable, anyway.

But research demonstrates the folly of such a move. In multiple studies, the data show that businesses that cut their marketing spending in a recession fared worse than their competitors and took longer to recover when economic conditions improved. As an alternative, it's a much better idea to outsource some marketing work to freelancers. It's possible to find freelancers with expert-level credentials in the marketing field. And some of them, like Google Ads expert Andy at Clarity PPC, can likely help businesses cut costs while improving marketing campaign performance.


Another business function that makes a good fit for freelancers is accounting. After all, it's a specialty that doesn't change much from company to company, meaning that there's very little business-specific knowledge required. And this is especially true when it comes to small businesses because their finances are typically straightforward and easy to comprehend.

To make using freelancer accountants a bit easier, though, it helps for the business to be using a cloud-based accounting system. That makes it possible for a freelancer to access the company's books remotely and increases the odds of finding a freelancer with relevant experience. From there, businesses can turn over as much or as little of their accounting work to the freelancer as they wish — and in doing so, realize substantial savings.

Information Technology

Last but not least, businesses should consider turning to freelancers for some or all of their information technology (IT) needs. It's another business function that typically won't require much institutional knowledge since most companies rely on off-the-shelf hardware and software. For that reason, it's possible to hire freelancers to handle things like PC and mobile device maintenance, networking, and even website management without having to worry about training them.

And in most cases, the average business doesn't require a full-time IT presence, making freelancers a perfect solution. This is even why most bigger businesses opt to outsource their IT help desk operations because it doesn't make much sense to pay a salaried employee just to wait around for problems to arise. The same is true when it comes to technology deployment tasks, which operate on predictable schedules and predetermined timelines. So, by turning over IT tasks to freelancers, most businesses should be able to cut costs without any noticeable impact on operations.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, businesses have to do whatever it takes to keep themselves financially healthy during a recession. But they also have to do it without compromising their ability to operate and continue to serve their customers. In many cases, turning to freelancers offers the perfect way to do it. By integrating freelancers into existing workflows, businesses can cut costs without compromising productivity, which is a perfect solution for navigating challenging economic conditions. And in the end, it can make it possible to emerge from a recession in fine financial health — ready to ramp back up and thrive once more.

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