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The value of one-man-shops

Businesses often shy away from hiring freelancers for a job. They might have valid reasons to do so, but as a freelancer myself, I mostly see benefits to hiring people like me.

You see, a freelancer doesn't have to rely on someone else to tell him exactly what you, the customer, expects to get out of the project; he's right beside you every step of the way. He knows. And that's just the start. Contrary to big companies you know exactly who's working hard on delivering the goods. Got a question? Get an answer directly from the source. Got a request? Same thing. There's no need to do the hokey-pokey and wait for your contact to get the time to have a look at your e-mail, pass the question on and finally get back to you 2 days later with an answer.

It all boils down to this

You could write a book about the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a freelancer to build your next website or web application, but I feel the entire discussion can be reduced to the following images.

The freelancer

Freelancers are like minivans

A freelancer is smaller, nimbler, more "agile". He can park in front of your door, load your stuff in the back and deliver the goods in a timely fashion. Like the driver of a van.

The company

Big companies are like big trucks

The company more closely resembles a truck. Depending on the size of your business it's already a bit of a hassle to get them to come over and find a spot and you better have something large to put in the back or you're not even worth looking at. Of course, it is a bit pricey since there are more mouths to feed.

The choice

Got something big? Then only a truck will probably do. But for anything that fits the back of a delivery van, just get someone with a delivery van to help you out. It's faster, it's cheaper. If you're not sure about the size of your load project, ask a person who's judgement you trust to tell you what he thinks about it. Hell, ask me.



Yes, I do realize the analogy in this article breaks down, like most do. However, as a freelance webdesigner and developer I've noticed a tendency to just throw money at problems and at the companies that should help businesses solve those problems, only to be met with a mess of an application that doesn't do half the things it's supposed to do.


The picture of the minivan was made available by patkisha. The picture of the truck is by Renaudeh.