Why freelancers and startups are a match made in heaven


A lot of freelancers end up doing some or most of their work for startups. Almost all startups rely on freelancers at one or all stages of their existence, and it’s no coincidence. Freelancers and startups are made for each other.

Both stem from a new way of working, from the ability to create a company or a product from scratch in a short amount of time. And they rely on the promise of having a chance at huge success by doing so.

Freelancers and startup founders are likely accomplices. Here are the 5 most important reasons why that’s the case:

Both startup founders and freelancers wanted to create something of their own

What’s freelancing all about? Being your own boss, deciding how and when you work and taking the contracts that you want to take, e.g. having the first say in what you do with your time.

What are startups all about? Well pretty much the same thing, right? Both freelancers and startup founders want to get away from the boring 9 to 5 – whether because they see an opportunity for growth beyond that or because they’re tired of someone else calling the shots.

This entrepreneurial spirit is something that can forge a strong personal connection between people. It’s similar to how dog people like other dog people. Freelancers and startup founders can “click” on that mental level and work really well together as a result.

Freelancing and having a startup require risk taking

Another innate prerequisite of both freelancers and startup owners is the willingness to take risks. Let’s be honest – almost any freelancer who had a regular job would have been more secure keeping it than plunging into making a company of their own. There are freelancers who don’t make it, and there sure are a lot of startups that don’t. But nobody makes it unless they try. This is how both freelancers and startup founders tend to think; this is also why they tend to work well together.

While it is true that every risk taker needs someone to keep them in check and prevent them from going overboard, freelancers are the perfect people to work in a startup. They will be willing to go along for the ride and accept the risk that what they’re working on may never see the light of day.

Startups are still figuring out the workforce they need, freelancers are flexible

When you are first assembling the team for your startup company, you are extremely likely to make mistakes. You won’t be able to clearly judge if you really need a full-time content writer. Do you need a designated person to take care of social media? Who knows, it depends on how well the product goes off. That’s where freelancers come in.

Freelancers are flexible and willing to work on a project basis. You can hire a freelancer for a couple of weeks, see how the workload is being handled and go from there. Maybe you need another two people for that particular position, or maybe you need none at all. It’s much easier to figure that out with a freelancer than a regular employee.

Freelancers have an innate marketing mindset

When you start a business, everything will be financially tight. Freelancers understand that – they’re used to making every cent count. As a startup founder likely working on a tight budget, you stand to benefit a lot from a freelancer’s experience. They are likely to have knowledge of free or less expensive tools, know growth-hacking techniques and other shortcuts that can save you money. In the beginning, the two operate in a similar way: freelancers also need to account for every expense at the beginning of their career. Someone working at a big tech company may never have faced that issue.

Freelancers have worked at a lot of different companies and add expertise

There’s more than one way to getting things done. Freelancers know that – they’ve experienced it firsthand working at different companies. Instead of someone who has spent their whole life doing things one way or another, freelancers are more likely to offer different approaches to a single issue.

As a startup still figuring things out, this is a blessing. You can examine the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and determine which one will work best with your idea and the skillset of your current team. Once you’ve done that, it will be much easier to fill positions with people who are good at the exact thing you want them to be good at, e.g. a specific programming language or design software.

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Are you a freelancer who works with startups? What are some of the advantages for you? Tell us in the comments below this article!

Viktor Marinov

Viktor is the voice behind the freelancermap blog. Every week he comes up with helpful hints, checklists, and guides for freelancers and independent workers. If you would like to know how to find remote jobs online or how to niche yourself as a freelancer, don't miss his freelancer tips!

By Viktor Marinov

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