When I started in 2007, I intended to start the business with employees in a brick-and-mortar office.
But hiring freelancers on PeoplePerHour let me avoid fixed costs like payroll and office space, which are huge in the publishing industry.
We make personalized children's books. Having freelancers design, draw and process the books keeps my company incredibly flexible. When business is up, I spend more money. When it's down, I cut.
Sure, there's a little sloppiness. Sometimes you get people who are not good. But it's not like contractors stay with me forever. I look at their work, and if it sucks, they're gone.
Best of all, we get round-the-clock production. When customers send in kids' photos, my freelancers in Bangladesh crop the pictures. Freelancers in Canada, Poland and the United Kingdom retouch them. A designer in New York creates text. An artist in Maine develops the books. We're all over the world.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story included The Marketing Zen Group and CEO Shama Kabani. It incorrectly identified her employees as freelancers. The company maintains a virtual office and employees work from home. However, they are not independent contractors, and Kabani does indeed pay taxes on their labor.