The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. – Amelia Earhart
For a small business outsourcing work is an ideal solution to the age old “catch 22”; I have the projects but not the staff, can’t hire the staff until I complete the project (and get paid).
Just about anything can be outsourced these days.
No really, literally anything!
Be it administration, business plans, accounting, web development, copy-writing, production, design, SEO, research, development … the list goes on.
There are people available to hire on an interim basis, online or on site, as and when you require them.
Hiring regular, reliable and consistent Freelancers and or Consultants can help to scale businesses, allowing the outsourcing of projects without the expense of permanently hiring.
The whole premise is that freeing up time on the tedious tasks allows you to focus on your core business.
So am I a Freelancer or a Consultant ?
According to BusinessDictionary.com, a Consultant is an” experienced professional who provides expert knowledge (often packaged under a catchy name) for a fee. He or she works in an advisory capacity only and is usually not accountable for the outcome of a consulting exercise.”
And a Freelancer is “someone who is working on a contract basis for a variety of companies, as opposed to working as an employee for a single company. Freelancers are often considered to be self-employed, and have the freedom to pick and choose the projects and companies they would like to be associated with.”
Both work on a project by project basis for different businesses and are not tied to those companies in any way.
Generally, a Freelancer will have multiple clients.
A Consultant may also have multiple clients but more often is contracted to a single client at a time.
Freelancers generally work from home, visiting clients when necessary, using their own tools and resources, usually for a short-term project with a specific outcome.
Consultants may be based within their client’s office providing expert advice, with a more extensive scope of work, possibly including several smaller projects within the overall agreement.
(Either way, be careful. If you are working on-site for the client, using the client’s resources, and have your schedule dictated by the client, then you may also be considered an employee. Which can be a hugely different distinction for tax etc.)
A Consultant is deemed a professional expert adviser, whereas a Freelancer is more so identified as a contractual employee, offering a deliverable, hired for a specific body of work.
Both sell themselves, their experience and knowledge. They may well have people working with or for them. They decide which projects they want to take and who they want to work with. Essentially, they are the product or service they offer.
So, although both convey the idea of performing work or services for others, your “title” and how you categorise your work shapes how your perspective clients view you and your service. Which in turn dictates the client relationship and therefore how much you can charge and how much clients are willing to pay you.
In reality, one is no better or more expert than the other. The true worth lies in the quality of the service provided.
How you position and (buzz word alert) brand yourself can make all the difference.
I provide professional administration advice, based on my experience and knowledge, generally to management. I meet with my prospective new client and evaluate how they can streamline their current procedures or advise entirely new methods for them so they can make informed decisions about how to proceed.
So I am a Consultant.
A-ha, but I also implement those strategies. I will source and set up their new methodologies and thereafter maintain them on a regular basis if required.
I can work from my own space or be based in the client’s premises as the project dictates. I work on multiple projects for various clients within a week or month.
Hence I am a Freelancer.
No. I am a Freelance Consultant
According to Merriam-Webster (and merging the two definitions) I am “a person who acts independently without being affiliated with or authorised by an organisation, who gives professional advice and or services to companies for a fee” (fee not free).
That sounds about right.
I restructure your essential administration tasks, removing pain points and making the boring, insufferable jobs easier to manage, tolerable and in fact relatively pain-free (yes, they still have to be done). I can and will coordinate and put manners on your chaos. I create productive schedules which you (or I) can maintain and grow.
I am definitely a Freelance Business Administration Consultant.
So onto the next question: am I a Sole Trader, Self Employed, Small Business Owner, Founder or Entrepreneur ...