The recession has had a positive impact on the way small businesses are run, according to findings from a poll of two thousand small business owners, conducted by freelance website, PeoplePerHour.com.
The economic imperative to cut costs – driven by the most severe downturn in living memory – has resulted in small businesses being run more efficiently and profitably than ever before. In particular, the findings demonstrate that small business’ approach to human resources has changed fundamentally.
With many small businesses forced to make widespread redundancies in the past year, the most forward thinking have replaced permanent staff with remote freelance workers who fulfil adhoc, specific tasks and are experts in their respective fields. These individuals are reliably, quickly and cost effectively sourced online through PeoplePerHour.com.
PeoplePerHour has grown very rapidly on the back of this trend and now has in excess of 40,000 registered members in the UK, up from 19,000 members in January. Altogether, 40% of respondents to PeoplePerHour’s poll suggested they would continue to prefer ad hoc expert freelancers to permanent or temporary staff – even after the economic green shoots turn into a full blown recovery.
This has enabled some small businesses to downscale their office space requirements or dispose of them entirely. In addition to saving on costs, many small business owners report that the reduction in the number of hours staff spend commuting to the office has had a significant impact on the company’s carbon footprint.
“The small business landscape has changed dramatically in this recession,” says PeoplePerHour.com founder and CEO, Xenios Thrasyvoulou. “Owner-managers have been forced to re-evaluate their business models. For many, the temporary measures introduced to cut costs has taught many small businesses how to operate more efficiently and profitably.”