I've gone 'all temp'

Forget employees. These businesses rely entirely on freelancers. That means no taxes, unemployment insurance or labor regulation.

Business on vacation

vallerie mellema temp
  • Entrepreneur: Valerie Mellema
  • Company: Words You Want
  • Industry: Content writing
  • Freelancers: 15

We're a freelance company that hires freelancers. That means there's almost no overhead, and I don't have to worry about all the usual headaches: government red tape, payroll taxes and health insurance.

My husband and I run the business. Firms hire us to write blogs, e-books and press releases, and we spread that work out to freelancers across the country. As long as they do what they're supposed to, it goes really well.

Labor and related freelance fees cost me $340,000 last year. Because I work from home in Texas, office supplies were only $12,000. I joke that my husband wants a new computer but can't justify the cost, because we just don't spend on much at all.

Then there's the freedom. Last year, I managed the business during a two-week family vacation in the Canary Islands. In the evenings, I distributed assignments from the hotel on my laptop. During the day, my freelancers wrote while we rode camels, ate tapas and peeled shrimp 'til the butter ran down our arms.

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.
  @Jose_Pagliery - Last updated March 21 2013 09:33 AM ET