What a Project Manager Can Expect by Hiring a Freelancer vs. Small Firm vs. Middle Size Company vs. Enterprise-Level Company

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What a Project Manager Can Expect by Hiring a Freelancer vs. Small Firm vs. Middle Size Company vs. Enterprise-Level Company

You may have different options for outsourcing your software project as a project manager. You can hire a freelancer, a small firm, a middle size, or an enterprise-level company. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, depending on your project scope, budget, timeline, and quality expectations. This blog post will compare these four options and help you make an informed decision.

Hiring a Freelancer


A freelancer is an individual who works independently and offers his or her services to various clients. Hiring a freelancer can be a good option if you have a small or simple project that requires little collaboration or coordination.

Use Case: Developing a Personalized Portfolio Website for a Freelance Designer

Project: Creating a unique and responsive portfolio website to showcase Sarah’s design work, share her story, and provide a way for potential clients to contact her.


  • Intuitive navigation with a clean design that reflects Sarah’s branding.
  • Sections for portfolio, about, services, and contact information.
  • Integration of social media feeds and a blog.
  • SEO-friendly content to drive organic traffic.
  • Responsive design to ensure a seamless experience on various devices.

Outcome: The freelancer successfully designed and developed a customized portfolio website, incorporating all of Sarah’s specified elements. The site not only appealingly portrays her work but also offers a streamlined user experience. Its SEO-friendly design helps attract potential clients, increasing business opportunities for Sarah.

Some of the benefits of hiring a freelancer are:

Benefits of Hiring a Freelancer

  • Cost-effectiveness: A freelancer usually charges less than a company, as he or she does not have to pay for overhead costs such as office space, equipment, taxes, etc. For example, according to Upwork, the average hourly rate for software developers in the US is $10-$40. However, finding the right freelancer requires a lot of experience in the field to filter the dust from the gold. Usually, at the success rate when you do not master the general technical knowledge around your project, you may try 10-25 freelancers (wasting time and money) to find a suitable candidate with good skills, not only on paper. The selection process is challenging because many claims experience they actually do not have or post images of projects they do barely something.
  • Flexibility: A freelancer can adjust his or her schedule and workload according to your needs and preferences. You can also communicate with the freelancer directly and get instant feedback. For example, you can chat with the freelancer via Skype or Zoom and share your screen or files.
  • Creativity: A freelancer may have more freedom and autonomy to express his or her creativity and innovation in the project. For example, you can check out some freelancer portfolios on Behance or Dribbble and see their unique designs and solutions.

Drawbacks of Hiring a Freelancer

  • Reliability: A freelancer may need more time to deliver the project or meet the quality standards, as he or she may have other commitments or distractions. For example, according to Clutch, 52% of clients reported that freelancers did not meet deadlines, 24% reported that freelancers delivered poor-quality work, and 20% reported that freelancers were unresponsive.
  • Scalability: A freelancer may need help to handle complex or large-scale projects requiring multiple skills or resources. For example, according to Forbes, hiring multiple freelancers can be challenging due to communication gaps, inconsistent quality, cultural differences, and legal risks.
  • Accountability: A freelancer may need help to provide proper documentation, reports, or warranties. You may also have to deal with legal issues such as contracts, intellectual property rights, confidentiality, etc. For example, according to Entrepreneur, you should always have a written contract that specifies the scope of work, deliverables, payment terms, ownership rights, confidentiality clauses, dispute resolution mechanisms, etc.

Hiring a Small Firm

top view . group of diverse young people looking at the camera

A small firm is a group of professionals who work together and offer their services to various clients. Hiring a small firm can be a good option if you have a medium-sized or moderately complex project requiring collaboration or coordination.

Benefits of Hiring a Small Firm

  • Quality: A small firm usually has more experience and expertise than a freelancer, as they have worked on similar projects. They can provide you with better quality assurance and testing services.
  • Collaboration: A small firm typically offers a collaborative environment where professionals work together, ensuring a more cohesive and efficient approach to the project. This teamwork often results in more innovative solutions.
  • Scalability: A small firm can handle project growth with multiple professionals without hiring additional freelancers. They can scale resources according to the project’s needs.
  • Accountability: Small firms often have established processes and protocols, ensuring more consistent communication and reporting, adding to the accountability and reliability of the project’s delivery.

Drawbacks of Hiring a Small Firm

  • Cost: A small firm might charge more than a freelancer due to higher overhead costs. However, quality and collaboration often offset this increased expense.
  • Availability: Small firms may have multiple clients, and scheduling can become a concern. It might take longer to get started or receive feedback during critical stages of the project.
  • Complexity: While capable of handling medium-sized projects, a small firm might struggle with overly complex or specialized tasks. In such cases, careful consideration of the firm’s expertise is vital.


Comparison: Hiring a Small Firm vs. a Freelancer

An image illustrating the comparison between a small firm and a freelancer, with icons representing key aspects like cost, quality, flexibility, etc., could enhance this section visually.

Benefits of Hiring a Small Firm

  • Quality Assurance: A small firm often provides better quality assurance with a dedicated team of professionals.
  • Collaborative Environment: Working with a small firm ensures better collaboration and coordination, especially for moderately complex projects.
  • Scalability: Small firms can handle a broader range of project sizes and complexity.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: While a small firm may charge more than a freelancer, typically $50 to $100 per hour, they offer more structured services and support.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Small Firm vs. Freelancer

Aspect Small Firm Freelancer
Quality Usually higher, with more resources and expertise. It may vary greatly depending on individual skills.
Flexibility Flexible, but less so than an individual freelancer. Highly flexible, can easily adjust to client’s needs.
Reliability Generally more reliable with set processes and deadlines. Varies potential for missed deadlines or quality issues.
Cost-Effectiveness It costs more than a freelancer but offers more services. Generally more cost-effective, with rates around $20 to $50 per hour.
Scalability Can handle larger or more complex projects. Best suited for smaller, more straightforward tasks.

Conclusion: The decision between hiring a small firm or a freelancer depends on project size, complexity, budget, and quality expectations. A small firm offers a more collaborative and structured approach, while a freelancer provides greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness for more straightforward projects. Considering the above factors, hiring a small firm provides a balanced approach for medium-sized projects that require collaboration and quality assurance. By understanding your project’s specific needs and expectations, you can find a small firm that aligns well with your objectives.

Hiring a Middle Size Company

Group of coworkers walking going to work outdoors in a corporate office area, commercial area

A middle size company typically consists of several teams and can handle more complex projects than freelancers or small firms. These companies offer a balance between flexibility and structured processes.

Use Case: Developing a Custom E-Commerce Platform for a Local Boutique Store

Project: Creating a comprehensive and user-friendly e-commerce platform to sell products online, offer seasonal promotions, and integrate with inventory management.


  • Custom design reflecting the brand’s aesthetic and values.
  • Secure payment gateway integration.
  • Product catalog management with easy updates and variations.
  • Customer account management and order tracking.
  • SEO optimization and social media integration.
  • Responsive design for mobile and tablet users.

Outcome: The small firm successfully designed and developed the e-commerce platform, meeting all specified requirements. The platform offers a smooth shopping experience, secure transactions, and easy management for the store owner. Since the launch, online sales have increased, and customer engagement has grown.

Hiring an Enterprise-Level Company

enterprise-level company

Enterprise-level companies offer the most robust and comprehensive services. With dedicated teams for each project phase, global presence, and extensive resources, they can handle massive projects with complex requirements.

Benefits of Hiring an Enterprise-Level Company

  • Robust Solutions: With vast resources and expertise, enterprise-level companies offer solutions that are highly reliable, secure, and tailored to meet specific industry regulations and standards.
  • Global Reach: They often have offices in different parts of the world, offering a global perspective and adherence to international guidelines and practices.
  • Strong Support and Maintenance: Post-launch support, regular updates, and maintenance are usually part of the package, ensuring long-term project success.

Drawbacks of Hiring an Enterprise-Level Company

  • High Cost: The investment in hiring an enterprise-level company is significantly higher, reflecting their extensive resources and capabilities.
  • Potential Bureaucracy: The company’s size might lead to slower decision-making processes, and you might find it more challenging to communicate directly with the development team.

Use Case: Implementing a Global Supply Chain Management System for a Multinational Corporation

Outcome: Successfully implemented a comprehensive supply chain management system across multiple countries. The solution integrated various functions such as procurement, production, distribution, and sales, enhancing efficiency and collaboration across different regions.

These insights into the four types of providers should enable a project manager to assess the options considering project size, budget, timeline, and quality requirements. By understanding the project’s specific needs and aligning them with each provider’s corresponding benefits and drawbacks, informed and successful outsourcing decisions can be made.

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Conclusion: Choosing the Right Partner for Your Project

When outsourcing a software project, selecting the right partner is crucial. Each option—whether it’s a freelancer, small firm, middle-size company, or enterprise-level company—offers unique advantages and challenges that align with various project needs:

The decision must consider project size, complexity, budget, timeline, and quality requirements. Understanding the project’s specific needs and aligning them with each provider’s corresponding benefits and drawbacks ensures informed and successful outsourcing decisions. By carefully assessing the project’s needs and evaluating each option’s unique strengths and limitations, project managers can make a strategic choice that maximizes value, efficiency, and success. Always consider hiring the right partner for your project, cheaper is usually a bad option: https://sagaramediagroup.com/why-you-should-hire-the-right-person-not-the-cheapest-talent/


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