The database "will allow our company to expand by 25 to 30 percent before we need to hire additional staff," Synnott says.
Hiring freelancers, not employees
Many small businesses use freelancers instead of their own employees to get their work done. Freelancers, or independent contractors, are common in industries like media, construction and public relations where business owners often need someone with specific skills for a short time. Freelancers often cost less than employees because companies don't have to provide benefits or pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for them.
Jen Brady had three employees last year at her public relations firm, Fred & Associates, but she let them go and is now using only freelancers. Business is slower this year, but "I've been able to be profitable because I've been able to take on freelancers."
Brady also says the time and work that went into being a boss was hurting her Chicago-based company.
"I was focusing more of my time on human resources and training" instead of work for her customers, she says.
Because of the economy, she says she doesn't expect to hire employees again for at least several years.
"It would take a couple of clients that are on long-term retainers and my being able to build up the company's (cash) reserves," Brady says.
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