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Home | Blog | BPO vs Upwork and Other Freelancing Sites

BPO vs Upwork and Other Freelancing Sites

By Magellan Solutions

Updated on May 31, 2024

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BPO vs. Upwork and Other Freelancing Sites: Which is Best for Business Owners?

If you’ve been conducting business for a while, you’ve probably encountered the words BPO, freelancing, and outsourcing.

But to determine which is best for you as a businessman who wants to get more done, you must first grasp the differences between the two and the benefits of each.

In this article, we will explore that and more!

presenting the word outsourcing

What is Outsourcing?

Arizona State University defines outsourcing as hiring a third party to complete work services.

In one of their publications, they further explain why businesses outsource jobs and activities.

There isn’t just one explanation, but many. And they all rely on the company’s environment and needs. The following are some of the most typical motivations to get a BPO partner:

  • Reduce and control high operation rates (this is usually the main reason).
  • Improve the company’s focus.
  • Liberate inner sources for new purposes.
  • Increase efficiency for some time-consuming functions for which the company may lack resources.
  • Use external resources as much as possible.
  • I am sharing risks with a partner firm.

headphone and keyboard

What is a BPO company?

Business Process Outsourcing, or BPO, is a company that provides services to other companies.

But to understand it better, let’s look at the different functions of a BPO.

Businesses hire BPOs for two key reasons:

  1. Back office: Examples are Digital Marketing, Data Entry, and IT services.
  2. Front office: Examples of these are sales and customer service.

Organizations frequently outsource one or more functions.

Today, BPO provides firms a broader range of services and operations, such as payroll and staffing.

Furthermore, BPOs can also do two things for you:

  1. Inbound Calling – receives calls from customers.
  2. Outbound Calling – makes calls to customers.

Firms hire an inbound calling BPO to help them cross-sell and process orders. They also use this service to help and support customers with their purchases. Customer service is one of the most well-known jobs in an inbound call center.

Outbound Calling is used more in sales. It can be thought of as traditional marketing, but instead of going door to door, it’s through the phone. Callers call your prospects’ phones and pitch them offers and promos.

Outbound can also be a means to get customer data.

The Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020 found that the phone is still the most common tool for resolving customer issues. That’s why BPOs are still in demand. Besides, your company can get many benefits in both inbound and outbound call centers.

The Pros of Using BPOs

Here are some perks of having a BPO partner.

Low Cost

BPOs have better sales and customer service than in-house teams. But the selling point is the low price.

Hiring someone in the Philippines costs less than in the US or Britain. Firms can save a lot of money thanks to cheap labor. Due to the economic difference, they can save on rent and equipment.

Also, employee benefits in the country are fair but not as expensive. You will be able to work with experts for a lot less money. Imagine getting a CAD expert or a Virtual Assistant for a cheap price.

Another good thing about outsourcing is that BPOs can handle hiring and training, which is another thing business people need not worry about.

Improved Focus

Firms of all shapes and sizes always look for ways to run their businesses more efficiently.

It is easier for businesses to focus on crucial things when they outsource some of their work to others. They can leave the rest to the experts who work for them.

Outsourcing is good for productivity. You can use your time more easily. This will eventually lead to an overall increase in business management and open up more doors for the firm to grow.

Increased customer satisfaction

Firms that outsource jobs to BPOs are more likely to improve customer satisfaction rates.

Think about it: BPOs have tested operations and experts who know how to do their jobs well. In turn, this gives businesses many chances to grow and keep growing.

Improved service from good business practices also attracts more customers and entices them to keep coming back for more.

The Cons of Using BPOs

There are still areas that need to be fixed and improved about BPOs. Here are some of them:

Security Risks

A firm needs to consistently connect with its BPO service provider. Sharing sensitive data about your business and customers puts your business at risk. Data theft and a security breach of sensitive information can be a big problem.

That’s why it’s imperative to check on your BPO partner constantly. Check how they maintain all info and the security they have in place.

A BPO company should ensure that promises about data protection are in the contract.

Lack of Product Knowledge

Call center reps may not know as much about your company, including its culture, products, practices, and values.

This is a challenge. They won’t be as devoted to your company or your customers, and they might not be able to provide the level of service you expect from your staff.

But it is not all hopeless. The answer is simple: You need to train them and let them know more about you.

If your customers want and need good service, you can ask for the help of your BPO partner. Let them help you prepare your team with the necessary skills and knowledge they need.

Communication Difficulties

Also, there is a risk of language barriers when you outsource your work. Not only that, cultural differences are a problem. Agents outside the USA may not have the knowledge, communication skills, and fluency to provide excellent customer support.

Communication is the most critical aspect of contact centers and your business. Customers are frequently required to talk with agents, especially in jobs like virtual receptionist. Many factorsneed to be considered for them to be effective.

Examples of this are language fluency and grammar. Also, accent evaluation should be considered by BPOs before employing staff.

The Freelancing Platforms

It’s the freelancer’s era. Despite the hardships they face, a good number of workers are switching to freelancing. With thenumber increasing, it stands to reason that firms are interested in them.

Companies are now turning to freelancers rather than workers to finish a job. But what is it that makes them so desirable to firms?

The Pros of Freelance Platforms

Western Governors University listed down some of the advantages of freelancing below:


Many people who work as freelancers say that their status gives them a lot of freedom. They can work when and where they want. And the same applies to firms who hire them.

Most of the time, workers get jobs with due dates. They can do that job how and when they want. People often work at times and on days that work for them. Some people like to get their work done early on the weekends.

They are often able to work from a remote office or at home. Many people have to work around their family’s schedules like this.

For firms, it usually doesn’t matter how long it takes and how it is done. What matters is the output. If you are a businessman who looks only at the end product, this service is for you.

Low Cost

Many small or start-up firms find that freelance workers help them quickly grow their businesses.

The only thing that they need to do is find people who already have their computers and can do the job. These people can be found quickly and without much advertising, sometimes by word of mouth.

Then, businesses can meet their goals and keep their costs down. They don’t have to spend much time and money setting up healthcare or HR programs. They can hire people to do simple projects that need to be done at the time.

Pool of Workers

When firms hire freelancers, they have a wide range of workers at their disposal. Finding someone who can do something late at night or early in the morning is easier when you need it done.

The fact that workers can do their work from home also makes them more willing to work on the weekends. This gives businesses more options and flexibility. There are many people to choose from, all of whom have their unique range of skills.

The Cons of Freelance Platforms

There are also cons to hiring freelancers. Community Care College suggests three disadvantages of it:

No Stability

For freelancers, it is hard to know when their next paycheck will come and how much it will be. Since they are not full-time workers, their pay is based on contract. Most of the time, it’s an hourly rate, but top freelancers can also get bonuses and incentives.

Sometimes, workers look for jobs that can be done from home because they don’t want to work as hard—easy work, easy money. This isn’t good for businesses since it encourages subpar freelance work. So, firms should be careful when setting expectations and hiring freelancers to ensure they get a good worker.

Subpar Output

Freelancers don’t know where their next paycheck will come from but still want enough to make ends meet. So they’ll have to spend a lot of time looking for well-paying clients and marketing themselves to everyone they meet.

They must work hard, spread the word, and ask for referrals. In most cases, they will handle multiple projects at the same time. This might affect the output they will present since they’ll juggle different jobs.

On that topic, freelancers are notorious multitaskers.

Besides being bookkeepers, they are sometimes sales officers, customer relations people, virtual assistants, and more—most of the time, they have to do all of this independently.

However, multitasking can cause high-stress levels and poor decision-making. It can also affect work quality. They’re most likely to produce low-quality work.

guru, upwork, fiverr, linkedin, toptal in text

What are the Trusted Freelancing Platforms?

Freelance service websites have made finding work easier for freelancers, SMEs, and other independent contractors.

In the same way, firms that need help with standard and non-core services can easily find the right freelancer on the internet.

So, if you’re considering getting the best freelancing website, here are the internet’s top suggestions:


Upwork is a place where people can find jobs as freelancers in fields like graphic design and data science. Many new workers on the site are willing to work for less money, but getting the hang of the site’s work can be a bit fuzzy.

Nevertheless, you can quickly attract remote workers interested in your industry. Beginners may be tempted to take on any job that comes their way, so you can hire them if you want. Just be careful with scammers and uncommitted workers.

All in all, Upwork is an excellent way to find workers.


Fiverr is an online platform that connects buyers and sellers. Its name comes from the starting price of services, which is $5.

People don’t have to deal with hiring, firing, or HR departments using Fiverr. Those who work as freelancers can sell their services to any company anytime. And you, as a firm, can hire anyone you want.

For example, Fiverr lets clients pay for gigs, which are any digital services that can be done online. These include WordPress design, logo design, writing, transcription, and even voiceover work.

All of the services on the site used to be priced at $5. Now, freelancers can set prices and offer package deals or “Gig Packages.”

At its core, Fiverr and Upwork are the same.


Toptal is an exclusive network of the world’s top talent in business, design, and technology. They provide access to leading companies, a community of experts, and resources that can help accelerate their freelancer’s careers.

Toptal importance is that it saves you from spending hours looking through freelancers for their work. You don’t have to jump through a lot of hoops. Consequently, Toptal uses a 5-step screening process to vet freelancers:

  • Language & Personality
  • In-depth Skill Review
  • Live Screening
  • Test Projects
  • Continued Excellence

Many entrepreneurs who hire on Toptal say that their support staff is very hands-on, which is good for them. Also, Toptal has a great UI and billing process that people love.

You can also try hiring freelancers on sites such as:

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

Which is better for your business?

Outsourcing can be an excellent way for firms to get the work done that they need without hiring full-time employees. BPO companies can provide a wide range of services.

On the other hand, freelancing sites are great for small—to medium-sized projects. Most freelancers don’t want to commit to a single firm, so their tenure with you is limited.

Nevertheless, both can help you save time and money. It is up to you to assess which will guarantee a positive result.

If you need help, you can always call us to discuss our program.

Quality BPO Company in the Philippines

Magellan Solutions is the leading SME-focused BPO among all outsourcing companies in the Philippines.

With over 18 years of industry experience, we offer high-quality customer support and call center services. On top of that, we are a certified ISO 27001:2013 company.

At Magellan Solutions, we combine technology such as ACD, CRM, and IVR with agent skills. We ensure our agents have all the necessary tools, equipment, and knowledge to serve customers.

We believe progress shouldn’t break the bank, so our services remain flexible and competitive.

Contact us now to discuss how we can help your business succeed. Complete the contact form below and talk to us for FREE!

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