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High cost of agency fees brings the rise of the freelancer for small Scottish businesses

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

April 16, 2013 | 3 min read

Small businesses in Scotland are resorting to hiring freelancers to carry out branding work because they can't afford agency fees, a survey has claimed.

Results: Freelancer surveyed 2,500 small Scottish businesses

More than half of the 2,500 businesses surveyed by freelancer.co.uk said they couldn't afford to hire a Scottish design, IT or marketing and branding agency and were turning instead to freelancers to take on the work - and with glowing reports.

Owner of security firm Armstrong Security, Gill Armstrong, took on a freelancer after being quoted £5,000 by a local company for a marketing campaign.

"I paid a freelancer less than a quarter of the price," he explained. "I wouldn't have been able to afford to go digital without outsourcing to a freelance. With a very tight budget to market my services, the freelancer actually offered me the solution I was looking for."

Sceptical businesses which had taken on freelancers to cover a range of work - such as company rebranding, marketing products or programming - were so impressed by the work carried out they stick with their freelancer for future projects.

Freelancer.co.uk CEO Matt Barrie said: "Increasingly small businesses are finding that they can hire a freelancer for the services that they need and at a price they can afford.

"Small businesses are under-resourced and get distracted by side tasks. Outsourcing fuels growth by freeing them to concentrate on what they do best."

Up to 56 per cent of those surveyed said the cost of hiring an agency would have stopped them investing, while 40 per cent said the cost of hiring agency help as a startup would have deterred them from setting up business completely.

To view the latest jobs - both freelance and in-house - in advertising, design, digital media and marketing, visit The Drum's job section

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