If you are an inventor, a freelance product designer, or the head of a start-up who is looking to bring the next big idea of yours to life, chances are you’re looking to surround yourself with a talented team that can help you get where you want to go.
But what’s the optimal way to approach the design, production, and marketing of your product? Who should you have on your production team to ensure success?
A freelance mechanical engineering and product design team may be the best choice. Read on to discover the main reasons to hire a freelance engineering team, plus some tips and strategies on how you can get started.
Hiring a Freelance Team Will Save You Money
When you hire a freelance engineer, you are not responsible for many of the costs associated with a traditional employee outside of salary. In most cases, you are not providing office space, laptops, software, and much of the other equipment that is necessary for an engineer or product design team to work.
You are simply hiring a group of talented professionals. So, while you may see marginally higher rates than those of traditional employees, the lack of associated expenses still makes freelance engineers and production designers a more cost-effective hire.
In fact, you can be sure that you are getting the best engineers for the best value.
Freelancers must maintain competitive rates to keep themselves and their skills marketable. And as their workflow depends on the quality of their work (most will have portfolios of completed projects available for prospective employers to view), you can hire with confidence.
The element of competition that is inherent in a gig-based economy keeps rates fair for both engineers and clients, and hiring a team of freelance mechanical engineers and
The Design and Production Processes Are Streamlined
Bringing a product to market is a process that consists of many steps, from the initial analysis to the final display and exhibition. Working with large companies or within the confines of a traditional
Freelance engineers are subjected to fewer distractions, and a majority of the time will work on one project before moving onto the next, rather than balancing multiple projects that split their attention.
A freelance team, therefore, can work on a much more efficient schedule and can bring your product through the many stages of the design process in a timely fashion.
On the client’s end, even the process of hiring and selecting qualified employees is simplified (see more on this below). This faster-paced workflow is beneficial for another reason as well
From the freelance employee’s perspective, short turnaround times on projects make it possible to quickly evaluate whether a client is a “good fit.”
If everything goes well, a single gig can turn into a steady flow of work and a strong business relationship.
You Only Have to Hire Contractors When You Need Them
Flexibility is one of the best qualities of a freelance engineering and production design team. It makes this route an appealing one for a variety of clients.
Maybe you are part of a small start-up trying to keep costs low, or perhaps you are an individual who is only looking for professional input at one stage of the production process.
Instead of hiring employees without being able to promise a steady supply of work, you should consider working with freelance engineers and designers. This option allows you to tailor your team to fluctuations in commission volume by hiring on a project-by-project basis.
You Can Customize Your Hired Team to Suit Your Needs
Hiring a freelance engineering and production design team is a highly individualized process. As discussed above, you can modify this team based on the volume of work available.
But beyond that, you can utilize elements of a freelance team in a much less structured way than what would be possible with traditional employees. Specialists are available to provide expert skills and guidance in a wide variety of disciplines.
Regardless of which stage of the design process you’re in, freelance professionals can help you. For example, engineers and designers don’t necessarily need to be involved in a personal project from beginning to end.
Need help with CAD drafting, prototyping, navigating the patent process, or creating an eye-catching marketing scheme? Freelance contractors are available and will provide the professional input that your project requires.
Hiring a Freelance Team Increases the Possibility of Innovation and Improvement of Your Design
Working as a freelance mechanical engineer or product designer requires a very different approach than working as a standard salaried employee. To be successful, freelancers must be disciplined, independently motivated, and must continually hone their skills.
Freelance engineers and designers will often take on projects covering a wider range of topics than their salaried counterparts, whose value typically lies in their ability to specialize in a particular discipline
Freelancers, therefore, are continually learning and maintaining a broad knowledge base. This experience is incredibly valuable to clients, as they can benefit from a freelance engineering and design team’s fresh and innovative perspectives.
Throughout the production process, this creativity can elevate a project to new heights and capabilities. Members of a freelance mechanical engineering and production design team may also be able to offer suggestions regarding ways to make your design patentable.
Additionally, most freelance employees are working in a self-created environment that allows them to maximize productivity. From kitchen tables and coffee shops to shared office space, freelancers find the areas that help them do their best work.
This enables them to bring a very different approach to tasks than a traditional office-bound employee, and can further facilitate creativity.
You Can Expect Top-Notch Communication and Transparency
Given the freeform nature of working with a freelance engineering and design team, clients may feel concerned about hiring outside contractors as opposed to training employees in company procedures and standards.
However, the decision to hire a freelance team will actually remove sources of miscommunication and inefficiency throughout the production process.
Open communication is extremely important to engineers and designers who undertake freelance projects. They understand that being on the same page as their clients
In fact, a bit of advice that freelance engineers frequently give when asked about success in the industry is that communication skills should be developed, refined, and continually improved.
The same goes for transparency; the design process can be complex and murky, but a good freelance team can simplify the experience for you.
You Are Hiring Professionals Dedicated to Your Ideas
According to recent studies, 97% of people who freelance are satisfied with the independent style of work. The high degree of control that freelancing offers, along with the potential for a healthy work/life balance, is attractive to many college-educated engineers and CAD designers.
Many freelancers say that no amount of money would persuade them to return to a traditional working environment. Over the past five years, the freelance economy has expanded tremendously (read more on this below)
Taking on independent projects is no longer merely an option for new professionals looking to build experience. Now, it is often a side job for seasoned engineers and designers with considerable amounts of knowledge.
So what does this mean to you?
It means that when you hire members of a freelance engineering and product design team, you’re hiring extremely competent people who care about your project and dedicated to working with you!
Your Team Guarantees Privacy and Confidentiality
Understandably, the majority of clients are concerned with protecting sensitive design material and intellectual property. The logistics of keeping unpublished drafts and ideas private, however, can quickly become complicated.
It is especially true for those working on personal projects, who may not have access to proprietary software or design tools. For example, the use of free CAD software often requires that any designs created become public domain. Even larger businesses face this issue when deciding to work with outside specialists
Hiring a freelance team through the right platform will give you access to professional-grade software, a broad range of services, and the innovative approach discussed above, all while ensuring confidentiality.
Freelance engineers and product designers must sign a legally binding non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that protects your designs, ideas, and intellectual property. As the gig-based economy expands, NDAs are rapidly becoming a gold standard for freelance contracts.
See Cad Crowd’s FAQ page for more information on our unique approach to the NDA process.
Online Platforms Make It Easy to Get Connected with Top Talent
The convenience of assembling a freelance mechanical engineering and production design team is one of its most underrated benefits. In today’s fast-paced, technologically driven workplace, you need a hiring method that can keep up.
Freelance engineers and designers can almost always be located and contacted through an online platform. This provides an accessible and user-friendly interface that allows clients to find exactly what they’re looking for.
By simplifying the hiring process, you can put energy into what really matters: designing, producing, and marketing your products.
As mentioned previously, freelance employees should have previous work available for prospective clients to browse through, and sourcing through an online platform enables you to quickly locate the team that will best support your project.
Hiring a freelance team puts expert advice at your fingertips, and can provide both large companies and small businesses with a competitive edge.
The Engineering Industry Is Changing
A 2018 study from the Freelancers Union shows that over a third of Americans freelanced last year and that the freelance workforce has grown by seven percent over the past five years. This growth rate is a lot higher than the two percent increase seen in the traditional workforce.
The numbers don’t lie – the American economy is moving towards a freelancing model! Check out this article for a more in-depth discussion of the role that freelance workers play in the modern engineering market
Tips and Strategies for Hiring a Freelance Engineering
1. Use a Reliable Online Platform
Remember, you’re searching for qualified, accredited professionals. You should work with a service provider who has a system for vetting engineers and designers.
2. Check the Legalities
Check that your platform of choice has a clearly explained legal system that protects your intellectual property rights. Any designer who works on your project should be required to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
3. Communicate Your Ideas Clearly
Communication is important. Before pitching your idea to freelance contractors and beginning the hiring process, you should have a clear idea of the services that you require and what you expect from your employees.
This includes areas in which you require expert advice or skills, the budget you have for the project, time commitments, and availability or hours needed.
4. Be Open to Innovation
Working with a freelance team is a collaborative process that can take your project to a new level. View it as a chance to learn from professionals and improve your own work.
Check out the detailed steps of Cad Crowd’s approach to the design process.
Cad Crowd is an excellent place to begin your search. This platform can connect you with any number of talented engineers and CAD designers who specialize in a variety of areas (modeling design, rendering services, architectural drafting, just to name a few).
Nondisclosure agreements protect your unique ideas, and they offer hourly services along with a time-tracking tool. If you’re interested in connecting with qualified professionals in the engineering industry and bringing your design ideas to life, see how it works or get a quote from Cad Crowd now.