When Does It Make Sense for a SME to Hire an Outside Creative Team?

Small to medium-sized businesses often have the same creative needs as their much larger counterparts, but unlike large companies, financing an in-house creative team can present its challenges. 

Frequently, there aren’t funds available to hire top talent, there sometimes isn’t enough work to justify a full-time role, and some key roles within the team have to be sacrificed to maintain the viability of the most important positions.  

We take a look at when it makes sense to hire outside teams to get cost effective creative help. 

Difficulty in Attracting Top Creative Talent

At the beginnings of the financial year, there’s usually a good chunk of time dedicated to allocating budgets to each department of a small business. When the overall budget for the creative-side of the business has been decided, it often leads to tough choices. 

The difficulty many face is being able to recruit top creative talent whilst still ensuring there is enough to spend on revenue-generating activities such as advertising, digital marketing and website development. 

If you were to hire someone for your digital marketing in Milton Keynes, it may be that you need to look for a jack-of-all-trades marketer who is proficient in SEO, PPC, email marketing and social media. 

However, you could hire freelance experts in each of those fields and potentially pay less than you would for one full-time employee. Not only would you bear witness to better digital marketing results, you could also save your company money too.    

Difficulty in Not Having Enough Work to Justify a Full-Time Employee Attracting Top Creative Talent

Small businesses often find themselves with a creative need, such as graphic design, that they have fluctuating requirements for throughout the year. 

Hiring a salaried graphic designer would mean that they could have very little to do once a specific project has been completed. This inefficient use of funds makes hiring freelance design services a much shrewder choice of investment. 

It also gives you as the business owner the flexibility to pick them up and put them down as projects increase and decrease in scale. This way, you can tie your expenditure on creative services directly to specific projects that are likely to turn a profit in the long term, maximising efficiency.  

Increased Agility Across the Whole Creative Department

As previously mentioned, a lot of small businesses take the approach of hiring in key roles and outsourcing the rest. There are two problems with this approach. 

Firstly, you help to create the situation description above where you may not have enough work to justify a full-time employee in a specialist role and therefore you cast your net wider to hire a candidate that is proficient in multiple fields, rather than an expert in one.

Secondly, you are partially diverting the role of your in-house employees to become project managers for the creative support for your business. This is a waste of precious resources, distracting your in-house team from their titular roles. 

It makes more sense to outsource the whole of the creative department, rather than do a 50-50 split, for example. For instance, if you have a multi-site business you can be agile enough to order PHP development in Rugby for a 6-month project one week and then hire a social media specialist in Lutterworth for a 6-week campaign the next. 

Hiring in-house talent restricts the ability to be agile in your marketing efforts. 

How Can You Hire an Outside Creative Team? 

At this point, many companies realise the benefits of outsourcing their creative work, but then pay large fees to agencies who use freelance designers, copywriters, developers, SEO specialists to deliver those creative campaigns. 

Here are Co-Lab, we are a collective of freelancers used by those agencies. Which means you can get access to agency-standard creative talent at budget prices by cutting out the middle man.

If you feel your company needs to partner with creatives to maximise value for money, why not get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss your business needs.  

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