Agency vs. Freelancer – Who is Better for Outsourcing your Next Project?
Numerous companies have been outsourcing a lot of their business processes for quite a long time now, but many business owners are just now realizing how great of an impact outsourcing can have on their organizations and how many benefits they can capitalize on.
That is why outsourcing various business operations is becoming increasingly popular these days; however, the most important question that many business owners ask themselves before turning to outsourcing is whether to hire a professional agency or individual freelancers for their specific projects.
The majority believes that hiring an agency will result in unnecessary expenses, since agencies charge much more for their services than freelancers do, as they need to cover their overhead costs. Others think that freelancers cannot provide them with the same level of quality that agencies with expert professionals can, so they don’t even consider hiring someone directly to help them out with their projects or to simply take some of the load off in order to streamline their daily operations.
The truth of the matter is that both of the options have their pros and cons and there are definitely instances when one of them will be more suitable for particular projects than the other. However, before making a decision, you need to think about the complexity of your project and your objectives, and determine exactly what it is that you want to accomplish with the project, as well as estimate your budget.
Take a look at the top 10 factors that you need to take into account, so that you can make a smart decision when it comes to calling upon the services of a professional agency or a freelancer.
1. Best-in-Class Services
Professional agencies can provide you with services of the highest quality, since they have a team of professionals specialized in what they do and have extensive experience of working on a number of projects over the years. By outsourcing some of your business functions to a particular revered agency, you can be sure that you will receive an outstanding service, since they have a pool of talented professionals who know exactly how to achieve the desired results.
On the other hand, while there are a lot of freelancers who can handle multiple projects that don’t have to do anything with one another, they are usually specialized in one specific core area. For instance, content writers will provide you with high-quality content, while web designers will make sure your website is designed according to the latest trends and that it is as functional as possible.
This is the greatest benefit of hiring a freelancer. You will get exactly what you want and you will receive the service of highest quality, because they are highly specialized in what they do best, especially since they do it every single day. You will find a freelancer with a specific skillset much easier and faster than you could find an agency that has a team member who can meet your project-specific requirements.
Professional agencies can complete their projects pretty quickly, depending on the complexity of the projects, of course. They have a team of professionals who are specialized in different domains, so they can quickly find just the right person for the job and meet all your deadlines.
They know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, so they can dedicate the right team members to deliver reults in line with your specific requirements. They have lots of resources and, more importantly, they have an established workflow, so they will provide you with a high level of efficiency.
However, this doesn’t mean that freelancers are not efficient enough. More often than not, they work round-the-clock to get everything done with utmost accuracy, so you can be sure that a reliable freelancer will always provide you with efficient, effective results. However, they are known to juggle multiple projects at the same time, so you may not always get the same level of efficiency that you expect.
3. Ongoing Full-Package Support
If you need someone to handle all your SEO, marketing, branding, web design, and analytics, for instance, then hiring a professional agency is definitely the right way to go about it. Many agencies offer ongoing support that includes the complete package, and they work with many experts with high-quality skills who can manage literally everything that you need.
You can certainly find a freelancer to help you with, let’s say, social media marketing and content marketing, and you can easily find one to outsource content creation, but choosing an agency is much better when it comes to bigger ongoing projects.
One of the greatest advantages of outsourcing to a professional agency is that they will provide you with consistent final products, since their entire team will be working together to reach the desired results, so everything you need will be well-polished.
This cannot be said for freelancers, because you will never really receive the same level of consistency if you hire several freelancers who are not working together. However, if you hire one to handle your content creation on a regular basis, for instance, and others to handle something else, you can be sure that your brand will remain consistent.
The biggest and most obvious drawback of hiring a professional agency for your outsourcing projects is the cost. Their services generally tend to be expensive as compared to individual freelancers, simply because of numerous overhead costs.
They need to cover their expenses regarding HR, accounting, marketing, administration, office space and much, much more – so their rates are much higher than those of freelancers. This is why an agency is not such a smart choice when it comes to smaller projects that a freelancer can deliver quickly, and at a much lower price.
That is one of the greatest advantages of hiring a freelancer. They have much lower rates than professional agencies, simply because they have no major overhead costs. You pay them for the finished project and that’s it. Also, with a lot of freelancers, you may even be able to negotiate on a price, but most of them have fixed rates, which are still pretty lower than those of agencies.
However, agencies also charge more because they bring a lot more to the table. They can provide you with a number of different services and ensure that they deliver the results efficiently and effectively, so you must agree that their services are valuable and completely worth the price. Therefore, if you have the budget, use it and don’t let the price determine whether or not you will outsource to a particular agency.
6. Specific Project Requirements
Although agencies have a pool of talented professionals specialized in various domains, they may not always be able to meet your specific requirements for certain projects. For instance, you may need a mobile app developer with a background in music, so a particular agency may not have someone with such an expertise and experience. In such events, finding a freelancer with the required skills and project-specific expertise would be much easier.
Freelancers are much more flexible than professional agencies, because they are willing to work long hours (even work through the night) in order to finish their assigned projects. They don’t have a problem with adjusting their schedule to your needs and requirements, even if you hire a freelancer in a different time zone.
Their number one priority is always to deliver their projects efficiently and effectively, and get all the work done. What’s more, many freelancers are willing to travel to your office if there is the need for them to work as an extension of your in-house employees.
However, this doesn’t imply that a professional agency cannot be flexible. Their goal is also to provide you with efficient and effective service and to meet all of your needs, so this particular point is completely subjective.
It is not uncommon that those who are swamped with work have to turn down many project offers, simply because they don’t have the time to do it all. Therefore, if you find a freelancer who is just the right for the job, it may happen that they just cannot squeeze your project into their busy work schedule.
On the other hand, if you hire a professional agency, they will always be available to handle anything that you put on their plate and you will never have to worry about them bailing on you.
Although most of freelancers are incredibly professional and devoted to their work, there can be occasions when they put your project on hold or unwanted delays due to some unforeseen circumstances, such as illness or some kind of an emergency.
This is where hiring a professional agency is by far the better option, because they have a team that can seamlessly continue working on your project if one of the members calls in sick or simply takes a day off. They can easily meet your deadlines, so your daily operations will hardly be disrupted ever.
Not all freelancers are that dependable; however, the majority of them are. All you need to do is conduct a thorough research before choosing the right person for the job.
10. Initial Risk
You need to take a leap of faith when hiring a particular freelancer for the first time. They will tell you what skills they have and what sort of quality you should expect, but you can never be really sure of what the end result will be until your project is actually completed.
While this initial risk is a sort of a drawback of hiring individual freelancers, you still may find one who will provide you with services of outstanding quality and will be absolutely worth every dime you pay.
However, it’s not so different with agencies, too. When hiring for the first time, they are all strangers to you and you have no idea what the final product will look like. The only difference here is the fact that people are more likely to put their trust in a reputed agency than in an individual, but you never know when that individual will surpass any agency in terms of the quality of services delievered.
As you can see, both professional agencies and freelancers have their advantages and disadvantages, but your choice ultimately comes down to your project requirements. In general, if your project includes small and simple tasks that one person can handle quickly, then hiring a freelancer who is specialized in managing those particular tasks is definitely your way to go.
In contrast, if your project is complex and requires a bigger team of collaborators who can deliver the necessary results efficiently, then outsourcing to a professional agency is absolutely a smarter choice.
Finoit Technologies is a renowned mobile app development company providing web development services and IOT application development services. We have developed over 450 mobile apps, and have assisted many solopreneurs in their journey of startups by functioning as a tech partner and rolling out their product ideas. For questions/queries, you may write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org