Outsourcing: Freelancers vs. Agencies
Outsourcing is an effective strategy for business development but only when it is implemented thoughtfully. When choosing a partner to collaborate with, it is important not to focus exclusively on the financial aspect of the issue but also to thoroughly consider the matters of culture, language, and personal communication…
“Hold on”, you may say. “I haven’t decided yet which outsourcing route to choose. Should I partner with a freelancer or with a professional agency?”
Alright, let’s look for the answer together.
To get a job offer, a freelancer may exaggerate their skills or experience, so be ready to run a risk. Also, if a person suddenly receives an outstanding full-time job offer, they simply move on and leave you alone with your ideas and problems. Besides, a freelancer is a sole player, which means that they have no backup. Should they experience an emergency or get sick, your project will be on hold.
Agency is formally obliged to guarantee that the job will be successfully completed in time, and they will never leave you in the middle of a project. They will never risk doing so as they may be brought to a legal responsibility, find their name and reputation damaged, and subsequently, lose their customer loyalty. As for emergency backup, an agency gives you a team, which means that if one developer has to urgently stop performing their duties, there is always another person ready to back them up.
Score: Freelancers ― 0, Agencies ― 1.
Support through the Entire Project Lifecycle
A freelancer usually specializes in one specific area, so you should not expect an Android developer to create an advertising campaign for your product. Even if you hire a team of separate freelancers, it will take time to make things run smoothly. They are not used to working together, they do not know each other, and you will find it utterly difficult to coordinate these people.
If you need someone to run your project from the beginning to the end, not just software development and web design but also analytics, marketing, copywriting, and SEO, you hire a team of specialists who work for an agency. They know each other well enough to cover all the project stages and processes. One may say that it can be done with separate freelancers as well. However, when hiring a freelancer, the customer takes on the role of a project manager and has to monitor all the processes and deadlines. By contrast, when hiring an agency, the client delegates these responsibilities to a professional PM, who makes sure that engineers commit a high-quality code on time. The fact that a company supports your project from the idea to the release and ensures prompt and effective communication between team members who work together in the same time zone is the main advantage.
Score: Freelancers ― 0, Agencies ― 2.
A freelancer will cost you less because they are self-employed, which means that there are no indirect development expenses involved.
An agency will be more pricey than a freelancer because they have significant overhead expenses to cover. Also, they rarely offer a single person for you to collaborate with, and although the number of employees is a matter of negotiation, they usually provide an entire team of developers, designers, QAs, and project managers, and you pay for all of them.
Score: Freelancers ― 1, Agencies ― 2.
Whatever jack-of-all-trades a freelancer claims oneself to be, they cannot carry out all the tasks timely and impeccably. They have no team to brainstorm with or to critically review their work, so they may miss some important drawbacks or bugs. Furthermore, after the job is done and the project is released to the public, a freelancer has no obligations to provide you with any further assistance. Even if they agree to do so, you cannot expect them to be available all the time or to know how to deal with every issue arising later.
An agency offers a team of developers, and only a well-coordinated and multifaceted team can provide a polished product of an outstanding quality. A pool of talented and experienced developers know exactly how to achieve the desired results and which development methodology suits best, which difficulties to expect and how to overcome them. Also, a company carries out regular software quality assurance activities and code reviews and conducts various training or mentorship programs to achieve the highest results. In addition, at the initial stages of collaboration, a professional agency negotiates post-launch services they will guarantee. They are obliged by the contract to provide you with further assistance, to fix bugs if those appear after the launch, or to develop updates for the latest version of the OS.
Score: Freelancers ― 1, Agencies ― 3.
A freelancer does what they are assigned to do, no more, no less. If there is a problem, you have to be ready to instruct them on how to solve it.
An agency is a problem-solver, so if there is a challenge you personally don’t know how to handle, they will help you find the optimal solution. An agency may consult you on which technique to use or which frames to establish, as well as which other useful features to add. Also, knowledge sharing between team members allows them to deal with unexpected issues and pair programming helps to prevent those from occurring.
Score: Freelancers ― 1, Agencies ― 4.
Weighing up all the pros and cons, we may see that a professional agency is a certain winner in this competition for the title of the best outsourcing partner with the final score of “1” to “4”. A software development company will help you deal with the tasks or challenges which you find to be unbearably difficult or for which you are not competent enough. Professionals will successfully meet your expectations in the most suitable time using the optimal amount of resources. They will provide you with the highest quality product or service, which will help you to win customer loyalty and to improve your brand image while lowering marketing costs. Well, we cannot account for every outsourcing company in the IT sphere that they will satisfy all your interests and needs.
But we guarantee with no hesitations that the KeenEthics team will.