Building a business with freelance professionals

This is to be a longitudinal study on running a company based on nothing but freelancers and independent contractors. It will look at various leadership styles, organisational and system styles, and freelancer attitudes. It will discuss what does and doesn’t work in a very frank way. Feedback and participation is always appreciated.

With the recent demands on medium business (over 50 employees) to supply health care for employees, there have been discussions on methods to continue to run a lean business, staying within regulations, and providing a strong working environment that employees love. It’s a fine line to balance on, and one that is going to take some nimble thinking and creative solutions to meet all three areas.

As I’m planning for Insanitek’s future, this is not far from my mind. I want to ensure I have bright, motivated people on my staff. I want to pay them well so they can live a comfortable, if not entitled, life. I think many small companies would love to something very similar. This is why I’m looking into the pros and cons of running a business purely on freelancer professionals.

This is a system built upon leadership, not bossiness. It’s about leading a team forward and working with them without turning them into slaves. It’s a tricky balance as you must find people who are motivated, believe in the company’s mission, and are willing to work with you for the greater good of the company, not just for their own glorification.

So far I’ve seen a few advantages to working with freelance professionals:

  • They are highly motivated, self starters.
  • They are reliable.
  • They maintain professional status.

So far the disadvantages I’ve come across are purely my own:

  • I need to make more money to pay them better.
  • I need to be able to better manage many people with various skills.

This project will encompass discuss the benefits of running your company on independent contractors and freelance professionals, the downfalls of it, and how to work around obstacles. I will be drawing from my own experiences, as well as those of Scott Yates (founder of BlogMutt which runs on similar principles), and other owners that are on similar paths as I find them.

This will be a long, ongoing project as I work with others to figure out the best way to lead a company filled with freelancers.