The Road From Freelance to Agency: To Hire Or Not To Hire Hero Image

At some point, people get enough of their work as freelancers and either this happens because of work overflow or the need for changing something in their working system there is a chance of concluding to create their own agency. 

Like in any other field there are risks and benefits that need to be taken into consideration, but most of all there is a set of questions you need to ask yourself before taking this step.  Hiring someone is obviously an essential step to pass from the freelance stage to the agency life, and it is more to it than just signing a contract and issuing payments.

For this reason, in the following post, we will answer the questions of when & why to hire, but as well if you should hire at all in case you are planning to expand your web design and/or web development activity. 

#1 What Professionals Do You Need? 

To this question, you can find the answer by yourself. It all depends on why you are hiring someone at all and how do you see your business growing, in what direction, how big?!

In case your client base is growing and you are turning down more and more clients, then you would probably want to hire a designer or a developer, depending on which side you are more stressed and where exactly you can’t handle. As well, a designer or a developer could help you with the business consulting part when it comes to confused clients that are not sure about what they want and what they need. 

But even without this, assuming that the designer/developer you hire does exactly the job they are supposed to, then still you should hire them only for the purpose  of what they are supposed to do

In case you are spending more time answering emails, calls and managing finances than actually building a website it would be more fit to hire an assistant, a sales representative or an accountant to assist you with the workflow. 

Also, in case you may want to provide end-to-end digital solutions, then you should fill all the gaps and hire even more people that can do the other types of work that you cannot handle.  But this happens only if you have decided precisely what services your future digital agency is going to provide. 

#2 What Kind Of Hire Do You Need?

There are three types of hire you might need for your new agency: 

  • An independent contractor
  • A part-time employee
  • A full-time employee

On this part, it is important to measure the load of work in each field you want to provide services, and how many people can handle each type of task, at least for the beginning. 

As well, keep in mind that an independent contractor is not someone you can control as you can with employees. This means that they can manage their working time, workspace, the tools they use and the only thing that binds the independent contractor with your agency is the goal. If you are ok with any means to achieve the goal – then an independent contractor is what you need, else there is a good reason to choose a part-time or a full-time employee

#3 Do You Have To Deal With Legal Stuff As An Employer?

Yes, and there are many legal issues that you have to confront as an Employer. The types of issues may vary from country to country, but the basic things are common to all countries and regions: 

  • Register your business and get an ID number – getting these papers may take weeks to months of waiting and going from office to office depending on how developed bureaucracy is in your country
  • Obtain a Business Licence – Again, Practices vary from country to country and in some places your business license comes together with the business ID, in some it doesn’t
  • Register with your local labor department, or ministry of the labor force, depending on the situation, and this requires a separated action from those mentioned above as you will be instructed on how to work with people and sign papers where you agree with T&C
  • Prepare and provide all necessary papers for your employees and the government saying that they are ok to work for you
  • Set yourself up with payroll services to be sure that you are paying all taxes and fees to the government on time

And above all, there must be somebody managing all the work with offices you rent/owe security techniques and so on.

#4 Where Do You Find Candidates?

After you are done with the legal stuff and you know what you want and what you need, the next step is to find the best suitable candidates for the jobs you offer. 

The best suitable place to look in the first place is around you. People that you know and know you and your needs, personality and the way you work can be a good source of human resources for your agency. 

But even so, if you didn’t find what you need within your friends and professional fellows you know, there are certain places that can help you and ways you can find: 

  • Facebook and LinkedIn groups of people that are doing what you need
  • On personal job boards
  • Freelance marketplaces

Or you can post the job description on your own website. 

Among everything it was mentioned above, there are other issues you have to deal with even after you found the right candidates: 

  • Team building
  • Paying salaries
  • Identify working days
  • Deal with the bureaucratic system each day

No one said that going from freelance to a web agency is easy, but many times this has proven to be the right step. Everything is up to you and your agency goals, how far you want to go, and how you manage both people and projects. 


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