Pros & Cons of Hiring a Freelancer vs. an Agency

Published on:
May 6, 2024

The escalating trend of outsourcing work to freelancers and agencies underscores the evolving dynamics of the contemporary business landscape. This shift is fueled by the demand for specialized skills, cost efficiencies, and the flexibility to adapt to fluctuating workloads.

However, the key to maximizing the benefits of outsourcing lies in carefully selecting the right option for each project. Whether opting for freelancers to address specific niche tasks or agencies to tackle comprehensive projects, aligning the choice with the project's distinct requirements is paramount. 

In this MarsDevs article, let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing work to freelancers versus agencies, aiming to provide insights into which option may be better suited for different projects and organizational goals. So, let’s get started!

Freelancers in App Development: Yes or No?

Freelancers are independent professionals who offer their services on a project basis, often remotely. They typically specialize in specific skills or industries and work with multiple clients simultaneously. Freelancers manage their schedules, rates, and work environments, providing flexibility for themselves and their clients.

This personalized approach coupled with their specific skills and relevant past experiences, allows freelancers to develop a good understanding of client needs and objectives, resulting in laser-focused solutions. 

These solutions are just what the client requested, and are built out how they requested it. With lower overhead costs compared to agencies, freelancers offer cost-effective solutions, making them particularly appealing for smaller projects or those with limited budgets and simple scope. 

Working as independent contractors, freelancers complete projects for customers on time and within budget. Freelancers are hired by clients to finish certain jobs or projects, and these relationships are frequently transient or brief. 

Since they often control their prices, and timetables, and operate from home, freelancers provide flexibility to both sides depending on their revenue projections and availability. Digital platforms and collaboration tools are used to promote communication and project coordination. 

Payment arrangements are negotiated in advance, and freelancers are frequently paid at the end of the project or certain checkpoints. According to Upwork, 36% of the US population, or 59 million people, worked as independent contractors in 2015. By 2027, there will be 86.5 million freelancers in the United States, accounting for 50.9% of all workers.

As research explains, “Freelancers hold 34% of the workforce globally at the moment & in the next 6 years, there might surge 14% more projects including freelance job opportunity.” 

Also, based on recent studies, 12 of the 20 most sought-after skills for freelancers are development-related. Now, let’s look at some of the pros and cons of freelancers:

pros and cons of hiring a freelaner for app development


  • Agility: Freelancers can quickly adapt to changing project requirements and timelines, offering agility and responsiveness that may be lacking in larger agencies.
  • Access to Talent: With freelancers, businesses can tap into a global talent pool, accessing diverse expertise and perspectives that may not be available locally.
  • Lower Overhead: Freelancers typically have lower overhead costs than agencies, resulting in potentially more cost-effective solutions for clients.
  • Personalized Attention: Freelancers provide dedicated focus and personalized service, ensuring a deep understanding of client needs and objectives.
  • Direct Communication: Working directly with freelancers facilitates clear communication, fostering a collaborative environment and enabling quick decision-making.


  • Lack of Accountability: Freelancers may not always be held to the same level of accountability as agencies, making it harder to enforce deadlines or quality standards.
  • Lack of Consistency: Freelancers are known to lack consistency in work delivery daily, a shortcoming they are commonly known to cover by working extra hours and charging some less-vigilant clients for it.
  • Limited Skill Sets: While freelancers excel in their specialized areas, they may lack the breadth of skills and resources offered by agencies, potentially limiting the scope of services they can provide.
  • Cognitive Load: The cognitive load of managing multiple freelancers for various aspects of the app development (SDLC) is passed on to the client hiring the freelancers.
  • Dependency Risks: Relying heavily on freelancers for ongoing projects may create dependency risks if they discontinue their services or pursue other opportunities.
  • Security Concerns: Sharing sensitive information or intellectual property with freelancers could pose security risks, especially if proper confidentiality agreements and data protection measures are not in place.
  • Single Point of Failure: Relying on a single freelancer for critical tasks may pose a risk if they become unavailable or unable to complete the project.

Are Agencies Better Options?

As businesses exclaim, “An agency plays a vital role in linking businesses with qualified workers, facilitating effective workforce solutions.”

Agencies put their reputation on the line when they take on a project. They understand intuitively that in their line of work, word of mouth can make or break them & they lay heavy focus on quality, on-time delivery, future-proofing, and consulting as part of their services on the architecture layer for the long-term sustainability of the products and solutions they build. 

With their knowledge and experience, they offer a holistic approach and usually offer a buy-and-forget model of services. Agencies initiate client engagements by conducting comprehensive needs assessments and devising project plans, meticulously outlining milestones and resource allocations under the guidance of project managers. 

They are slow to start but once they build momentum, they keep it going. Leveraging multidisciplinary teams built painstakingly to ensure high-quality standards that justify the cost overheads, agencies execute sprints with precision. 

It also implements intuitive and practiced communication protocols and rigorous quality assurance frameworks to deliver reputation-forming products and solutions.

Through strategic resource utilization and rigorous oversight to maintain quality & their reputation, agencies navigate complex project landscapes, ultimately delivering solutions that usually exceed client specifications and pre-defined results. 

It offers robust after-sales support, often at 50% of the development cost. The following are some of the pros and cons of agencies:

pros and cons of hiring an agency for app development


  • Diverse Expertise: Agencies naturally offer multidisciplinary teams with specialized expertise in areas, like strategy, design, development, project management, quality assurance/deployment & marketing, providing clients with multiple skills under one roof.
  • Long-term Partnership Opportunities: Agencies prioritize building long-term client relationships, offering ongoing support, strategic guidance, and continuous improvement over time.
  • Access to Established Networks: Agencies often have extensive networks of contacts and partners, providing clients with access to additional resources, such as media outlets, influencers, or industry connections.
  • Accountability: Agencies typically have clear lines of accountability and responsibility, making it easier for clients to be accountable for project outcomes & performance.
  • Holistic Approach: Agencies can provide integrated services across multiple disciplines, ranging from branding to development and post-launch, resulting in cohesive and synchronized work sorties.


  • Higher Costs: Working with agencies can be more expensive compared to hiring freelancers, as agencies have higher overhead costs, including salaries, office space, and administrative expenses.
  • Communication Hurdles: Communication with agencies may involve navigating multiple points of contact, project managers, and team members, potentially leading to communication bottlenecks, delays, or misunderstandings.
  • Rigidity: Agencies may adhere strictly to standardized processes and workflows, limiting flexibility in accommodating unique client requirements or changes in project scope.
  • Complexity in Decision-Making: With multiple stakeholders and decision-makers involved, reaching consensus within agencies can sometimes be challenging, potentially leading to delays or compromises in project execution.
  • Lack of Personalization: Due to their size and structure, agencies may struggle to provide the same level of personalized attention and customization as individual freelancers, resulting in less tailored solutions.

Assess Your Priorities

Evaluating your priorities and preferences is vital in selecting the right option between freelancers and agencies for your project. Firstly, consider the specific requirements of your project, including its complexity, scope, timeline, and budget constraints. 

Monitoring these factors can determine whether freelancers or agencies are better suited to meet your needs. For instance, if you have a small-scale project with a tight deadline and limited budget, freelancers may offer a more cost-effective and flexible solution. 

On the other hand, if your project is large-scale or requires diverse expertise, agencies may provide the comprehensive services & resources that must deliver optimal results. Furthermore, consider the skills and expertise for your project. 

Identify the specific skills needed, like graphic design, web development, or marketing, and assess the proficiency and experience level of potential freelancers/agencies in these areas. This evaluation will ensure a provider with the right capabilities to execute your project. 

Also, factor in your communication and collaboration preferences. Evaluate the communication channels and responsiveness of freelancers/agencies, and determine compatibility in work styles and cultural fit. Effective communication and collaboration are essential for project success, so choosing a provider that aligns with your preferences in these areas is paramount.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Option

So, what to consider before you make the final decision? Let’s take a look.

Project Requirements

Assess the scope, timeline, and complexity of the project to determine whether it requires the comprehensive services and resources offered by agencies or the specialized focus and flexibility provided by freelancers.

Skills and Expertise Needed:

Evaluate the specific skills and expertise required to execute the project successfully. Determine whether freelancers possess the necessary skills for niche tasks or if agencies can provide a broader range of capabilities across multiple disciplines.

Communication and Collaboration:

Consider the communication preferences and collaboration styles of both freelancers & agencies. Assess how effectively each option communicates, collaborates, and integrates feedback into the project workflow.

Portfolio and Reputation:

Review the past work and track record of freelancers and agencies to gauge their capabilities, quality of work, and reliability. Look for testimonials, case studies, or client reviews to assess their reputation and credibility in delivering successful projects.

Why Choosing Freelancers Might Be A Better Option?

Statista's research shows a trend that predicts 86.5 million independent contractors in the US by 2027, accounting for more than half of the workforce. 

So, what should you do? 

Choosing freelancers offers tailored expertise and cost-effectiveness for projects. With specialized skills, freelancers deliver high-quality work suited to project needs while maintaining competitive rates due to lower overhead costs. 

Their flexibility allows for scalable solutions without long-term commitments, ideal for dynamic workloads. Direct communication fosters collaboration, ensuring prompt feedback and resolution of concerns.

Also, freelancers provide personalized attention, knowing client objectives deeply and delivering customized solutions. Combining specialized expertise, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, direct communication & personalized attention makes freelancers a reliable choice for various projects.

Why Choosing Agencies Might Be A Better Option?

Choosing agencies can benefit projects requiring diverse expertise, scalability, and streamlined management. With multidisciplinary teams, agencies offer comprehensive solutions to complex challenges, ensuring efficient handling of different project sizes.

Also, agencies have reputations which is significant in scaling businesses. Customer recall of a brand typically takes five to seven impressions, according to research. 

Ninety percent of customers say they avoid doing business with companies of poor reputations. 

Established processes and quality assurance measures ensure consistency and reliability in project delivery. Clients benefit from centralized management and accountability, as agencies provide a single point of contact for seamless coordination.

Moreover, agencies offer integrated solutions across multiple disciplines, ensuring coherence in branding and messaging. The combination of diverse expertise, scalability, established processes, centralized management, and integrated solutions makes agencies a compelling option for various projects.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, freelancers and agencies offer unique advantages depending on a project's specific needs and requirements. Freelancers provide specialized expertise, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, direct communication, and personalized attention, making them ideal for niche tasks or projects with limited budgets. 

On the other hand, agencies offer diverse expertise, scalability, established processes, centralized management, and integrated solutions, making them suitable for complex projects requiring comprehensive solutions and streamlined coordination. 

Ultimately, the choice between freelancers and agencies should be made based on carefully considering project requirements, desired outcomes, and available resources, ensuring the best fit for successful project execution.

Confused? Contact MarsDevs & we would be happy to help you make the ultimate decision! 


MarsDevs has spent 75,000+ hours in the last 5 years in code writing, maintenance, and upgradation for 63 clients in the Early and Growth stage startup space hailing from 10 different industry verticals and 12 different countries.

We have successfully combined the pros of both Freelancers and Agencies to create a model through which we offer on-time, low-cost, high-flexibility solutions, and services to our clients and partners globally. 

We do not compromise on quality, code health, your IP rights, and the security of your solutions & can offer entire offshore teams or individuals that can work under your tutelage, or ours if you need someone to manage your project.

Working with us is like working with Freelancers, only better, faster, and safer.


  1. Are freelancers a wise choice for big businesses?

These days, most businesses—including huge corporations and SMEs—hire independent contractors to help with growth.

  1. Should I hire a freelancer or an agency?

Independent contractors deal directly and independently with their clients. Agencies are accounts for independent contractors that enable their clients to add team members to projects. If more than one person is needed to do your job, you might imagine employing an agency or many independent contractors.

  1. Why agencies are better than freelancers?

Smaller tasks are typically taken up by solo freelancers. Because agencies are teams, they can handle more work. A freelance business is harder to sell than an agency. The fact that you will be working with clients and the services you may offer remain the same regardless of the strategy.

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