8 Signs You Need a Freelance Management System
By 2027, freelancers will make up more than 50% of all US workers. However, when you consider the factors fuelling this demand, it’s easy to see why:
Freelancers often have a specialized skill set, with 85% of businesses saying such talent provides access to niche skills and/or experience.
Freelancers are usually highly independent, can juggle multiple tasks, and plug skills gaps in your existing workforce.
Freelancers are usually more cost-effective than full-time workers because you only need to pay them for specific projects without adding them to a permanent payroll.
As a result of the above, at least 70% of small to medium size businesses have used freelancers, with 81% planning to use them again in the future.
Suffice it to say that freelancers are invaluable assets. However, that doesn’t mean that engaging in the freelance market doesn’t come without challenges. So, here, we'll discuss some of these issues and how they might signal a need for a freelance management system (FMS).
Let’s dive straight in, starting with the basics:
What Is a Freelance Management System?
Freelance management systems (FMS) are online software programs that provide the tools you need to manage your freelance business. For instance, you can track your projects, create and maintain your freelance talent pool, manage expenses, and keep track of your time from one centralized place.
If you notice any of the following signs, it might be a hint that you need one:
1. You’re Using Several Tools to Manage Freelancers and Projects
In 2021, more than 50% of companies reported sharp changes in how they manage communication, with many turning to the likes of Zoom (over 70%), Slack (50%), and project management tools like Asana, Monday (over 50%), etc.
As a result, it’s easy to end up with loads of different apps that handle each aspect of freelance management.
Not only does this cut into your expenses, but often it becomes counterintuitive. These types of software aim to save time, but trying to utilize them all in unison can be a headache.
This is where an FMS can help you consolidate your processes by providing one platform to manage everything. You’ll go a long way to streamlining your freelance management by centralizing tasks and communications into one workspace.
2. You’re Falling Behind on Paying Invoices
Another significant sign that your current system isn’t working is that you’re struggling to pay all your freelancer’s invoices on time.
Most (58%) freelancers say they’ve experienced payment issues with their clients. So, needless to say, if a freelancer doesn’t think you’re going to pay out on time, they may choose not to work with you again. So it’s not just a matter of curtsy; it can become a massive barrier to freelancer retention.
Often, late or missed payments aren’t intentional. Instead, they’re the result of a poor payment processing system. That’s why if you’re struggling to keep your invoices in check, an FMS with a built-in payment system is an excellent way to organize and pay pending invoices. Often you can do so with just a few clicks - that sounds much simpler, right?
3. Your Onboarding Is Ineffective
The purpose of freelancer onboarding is to ensure they feel welcomed into their new role, know what’s expected of them, and have everything they need to hit the ground running. Done well; a good onboarding process will help new hires feel more confident and excited about their new job.
Conversely, poor onboarding can lead to the following:
The result? Your freelancers don’t know what they’re supposed to do, and you have no idea where they are with the project.
This is again where an FMS makes things more straightforward. You can have your onboarding info ready for freelancers to read and sign off right off the bat. With built-in project chats, you can ensure everyone’s on the same page and work gets done the way it's supposed to from the get-go.
4. You're Struggling to Hire and Retain Freelancers Across Different Marketplaces
Skills gap shortages are a global issue, with at least 87% of companies worldwide reporting skill gaps. In light of this climate, you would have thought the freelance market would have presented an easy solution. Yet, nearly 37% of businesses have difficulty finding freelance talent.
There are many places to find freelancers, including freelance marketplaces like Fivver and Upwork and, of course, traditional job boards. However, with this comes the problem of managing workers across multiple platforms, tracking increasing recruitment sources, and retaining these workers.
An FMS allows you to unify your freelance workers across these markets by bringing their details into one searchable, centralized database. As a result, you no longer have to jump from platform to platform to catch up with workers or assign them projects.
5. Tasks Aren't Being Completed On Time
Less than one in five employees have a proper time management system or perform monthly time audits. So if you fall into this category, it's no surprise that you're not meeting deadlines.
Of course, while there are plenty of time-tracking systems you could use, again, it means relying on and integrating another platform. On top of that, a more pervasive issue is that time management apps can sometimes disguise workload mismanagement. For instance, poor scheduling, lousy skill matching, and disorganized workspaces.
Using an FMS, you’re better positioned to track worker availability and match freelance projects with suitable skill sets from the convenience of one place.
6. You're Struggling To Comply with Different Workers' Laws
When managing a remote workforce, it’s essential to comply with the workers:
Local employment law
Tax and social security costs
Payroll reporting and record keeping
While this might be the same as managing onsite workers, compliance becomes more challenging when you factor in foreign laws. Not only might you face legal issues, but you might also begin to suffer from systemic problems. For example, your accounts team might get overwhelmed trying to keep up with and manage compliance-related issues.
In contrast, with an FMS, you can store and manage all of your legal documents in one place, within the profiles of each freelance team member.
7. You're Having To Micromanage Everything
At least 41% of businesses say they’ve seen changes in management practices over the last few years to incorporate new technology into their workflows. However, due to the fast pace nature of these changes, 28% feel their work is rarely, if ever, under control.
This is where having freelancers is supposed to lessen the workload. Yet, at least 10% of people waste more than a third of their time on things irrelevant to their role. I.e., micromanaging. However, it's often the case that people micromanage because they don’t feel in control of their work. But that shouldn't be the case if you have a sound system. For instance, with a good FMS, you should be better positioned to classify and organize your system, so you won't need to constantly look over everyone's shoulder.
8. You’re Trying (And Failing) To Build a Freelance Talent Pool
You're probably familiar with the idea of a talent pool. I.e., you place all your potential freelancers in a centralized database you can draw from when a project or task that might require their skills emerges.
One of the benefits of building a talent pool is that you can utilize highly skilled workers as and when needed. That's all without the expense of hiring full-time employees that you won’t need once the project’s completed.
But, of course, this means finding the right people to form your talent pool and figuring out how to keep track of them.
Many companies do this manually using spreadsheets to document each freelancer's details.
A better approach is using a decent FMS that empowers you to invite a worker to your talent pool. Then, they fill in their details, and you enlist them when needed. Simple, right?
What Is Bubty, and How Can It Help You?
Some might be reluctant to take the leap and start using an FMS because they believe it will take lots of effort and money. But there are a few things to remember: Firstly, deploying an FMS is about simplification. Instead of using multiple tools and systems to manage freelancers, you can do most things with just software.
So, where can you find an FMS that cuts the costs of running multiple systems and simultaneously simplifies your workflows?
Bubty is a way to efficiently systematize and streamline the management of your freelance workforce. It’s a localized platform that helps foster better collaboration between you, your team, and your freelancers. To do this, it provides tools that enable you to onboard and build a freelance talent pool and pay your freelancers on time! What's more, it also provides a space to securely store your legal and compliance-related documents.
Freelance management doesn't have to be a struggle. Instead, with Bubty's FMS, it's simple, organized, and cost-effective. Interested? Book a demo today to see how a freelancer management platform like Bubty could help.