Freelance Consultants?

Consultants are generally W2 contractors. They are employed through a consulting agency and are legally employees of the consulting agency, NOT the company they are working for. Freelancers are basically self-employed. They may be independent contractors or they may be paid by the job.

Terminology

The terminology in this space is hopelessly confused! Terms don’t matter that much, I suppose, but it is important to recognize that different kinds of work exist.

Consultants

In the past, a consultant was specifically a person hired to give advice. That person could work for a consulting firm (like Accenture or Bain), for a smaller, “boutique” firm, independently for themselves, or as part of an internal department dispatched to other departments to analyze, diagnose, or redesign business systems. Consulting is a type of work content.

Freelancer

Freelancer typically referred to a person who completed jobs or projects without becoming an employee of any given company. An independent consultant is also, technically, a freelancer, but the word is more commonly used for workers like writers, illustrators, graphic designers — people who deliver a specific work product as output. Freelancing is a type of work relationship.

Confusion

The confusion has arisen because companies have increasingly started using contingent labor for what were previously permanent jobs. To avoid the stigma of the word “temp,” which calls to mind the gal who fills in for the receptionist on maternity leave (sexist, I know), temporary employees placed through staffing agencies are now sometimes called “freelancers” or “consultants.”

Distinction

The distinction is not altogether clear to managers or staffers who have never been self-employed themselves. Actually, a graphic designer hired to come in for 40 hours a week and complete assignments is not a freelancer. A business analyst who reports to work 40 hours a week as part of a team isn’t a consultant.

Hiring an IT Consultant?

Hiring an IT Consultant can be beneficial to your business, but finding one can be a task in its own. Everyone can use a little help from a designated professional. 

Everyone can use a little help from a designated professional. When it comes to managing the different aspects of your business, an IT consultant can help with many different facets.

As a small business owner (or medium-sized business owner), you are in charge of all aspects of your business. You may have to tend to many different things you would rather not have to. This may include, being the administrator, salesperson, marketing lead, and even in charge of Information Technology (IT). Taking one or more of these jobs that don’t quite relate directly to your business can help you focus on the things that matter most.

Hiring an IT Consultant can be beneficial to your business, but finding one can be a task in its own. Everyone can use a little help from a designated professional.

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