Monthly Archives: November 2011

Working For an Outsourcing Company as a Freelancer

When you are freelancing, you will be approached by outsourcing companies. Working for such companies has some advantages compared to hunting for customers yourself.

1) A legitimate and professional outscoring company will have the inside track to major companies that are hard to reach on your own. Professional outsourcing companies have blanket agreements with major companies such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Those customers ask for freelancers to do a specified job (e.g., editing a tender, writing a user guide, proofreading software) for a certain amount of hours. The outsourcing company will then contact you and will make a subcontracting agreement with you for the amount of hours and payment.

2) A solid outsourcing company will pay its freelancers within two months after the freelancer finished the job. It is the responsibility of the outsourcing company to collect payment from its clients. That is one of the benefits of working as a subcontractor; you do not need to run after the customer for payment.

3) A professional outsourcing company will pay their freelancers a decent hourly rate. The markup of an outsourcing company is 50%. As a freelancer, you need to take this into account. If an outsourcing company is paying below market rate, it is better to enlist customers directly.

4) If the end customer does not pay, it is the responsibility of the outsourcing company to get the payment (or sue!). The freelancer is no (legal) party in this and can also not be called upon as a witness. The freelancer can sue to outsourcing company though.

5) As a freelancer, you can pick and choose who you work for. You are not an employee, so you have the freedom to stop working for an outsourcing company once they stop paying you.

6) Select the outsourcing company you will be working for carefully. Make sure they are financially stable, pay market rates, and treat their freelancers with respect. An unstable or unprofessional outsourcing company can harm your professional reputation.

7) Ask around about the outsourcing company. How long have they been in the market? What is their track record? Which kind of customers do they have in their customer base? How are they with payments?

As a freelancer, you have the power to say: “pas d’argent, pas de Suisse   

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