Should I hire a freelancer or an agency?

A key dilemma that an online business may go through is deciding whether to hire a freelancer or opt for an agency. Both of these choices will have their pros and cons. The decision will come down to which option best suits with achieving your business goal. The first thing you need to do is gain an understanding into what the difference is between the two:

A freelancer is an individual who is self-employed. This means that they are out to sell their services to their clients.

An agency is made of many people. If you opt for hiring an agency, you are hiring a manager who has a network of freelancers.

First ask yourself some questions about the project and consider the following:

  1. What kind of work does the project involve?
  2. How small or large is the project?
  3. How complex is the project? Does it need an efficient team or can it achieved by a skilled individual?
  4. What is the budget?
  5. Are you on a tight deadline?

Before you decide between the two, it’s essential that you know what you are looking for. This will make it much easier to delegate and explain the project. Although both freelancers and agencies overlap, your choice will impact your costs. So, it’s wise to examine the pros and cons:

The Pros of Hiring a Freelancer


A freelancer will cost less as they have smaller overheads in comparison to an agency. Make sure you recognize that if you outsource several freelancers, your costs will increase.


Freelancers are paid to focus on the core area they’ve been set, instead of doing other tasks from different fields. For instance, web designers will focus on the design. This means that they are good at what they do.


Once you hire a freelancer, their schedule can be set around your priorities. This includes working outside normal working hours.

The Cons of Hiring a Freelancer


A freelancer might become unwell, go on holiday or have an emergency. This can stop them from continuing the project you’ve hired them for. You can work around this by having a contingency plan so your project doesn’t come to a complete halt.


Freelancers who are new may attempt to exaggerate their skills and experience to get projects. Before you hire, talk to the freelancer and check out samples of their work.

The Pros Of Using an Agency


Hiring an agency means you have a whole team rather than an individual. Agencies have talented teams to help deliver results for clients. The final project will be a better standard and more polished than if you were to hire a group of freelancers.

Problem Solving

If there is an issue, an agency has a large team who can work together to solve the issue.

Long term work relationship

Finding a good agency can mean your end results will be good. You might build a long term work relationship with them. This will help secure more future projects.

The Cons of Using an Agency


This will be the biggest drawbacks; especially if you’re a small online business with a tight budget. An agency will be expensive in comparison to hiring a freelancer. This is because they have more costs to cover and offer a more specialized service.


Some agencies may have their own offices, so you may need to attend meetings. There are lots of tools available such as Skype and Google Hangout, so meetings can be done remotely.

To sum up, whatever you choose, it’s important to assess the project and the kind of help you need. If it’s a small and simple project, opting for a freelancer would be the best choice. But if you have a project that is more sophisticated, then an agency would bring you great results.

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