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How do you grow your startup with Online Freelancers?

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by Startacus Admin

How do you set the right budget? Fixed Price vs. Hourly rate

On Elance you elect to hire contractor for either a Fixed Price or Hourly project. You will set up your project as Fixed Price or Hourly when setting up your job post. Here’s a brief description of each type of project.

online freelancer costsFixed Price: A set budget and client / contractor agree on key milestones. The Elance Fixed Price Work Guarentee ensures that you as a Client only pay for work received and Freelancers get paid for work delivered and accepted. Freelancers can start work with the guarantee that the funds are available in Escrow. Clients are guaranteed they will be able to inspect work delivered before they release funds from Escrow. In the event of a dispute over the work, Elance will assist both parties in finding a resolution before funds are released to either party.

A set budget, but payment is made weekly. The Elance Hourly Work Guarantee means Clients can verify and Freelancers get paid for hours using Work View. When both parties agree to use Work View, Clients have the ability to view screenshots and comments for the hours billed by the Freelancers. Additionally, Work View allows Contractors to document hours worked online so Elance can guarantee payment.

Negotiating and awarding the job
Upon receiving proposals, negotiation and further discussion is part of the process. You may need more information before deciding whom you want to work with, or a Freelancer may need more information before settling on a price. During this process, you should always maintain a professional approach during these negotiations. They are perfectly normal and can quite often result in a more positive experience for both parties. In instances where a new budget is agreed upon, it is important to document these changes in the project via the workroom and modified terms of your project. This acts as an important documentation to make sure you and your client are on the same page. And, it can be important should any problems occur down the road for which you need Elance’s help.

How do you manage your job to ensure the right outcome?

When you have selected a freelancer and finished negotiations and set milestones, now is the time to get the work done. Elance provides an Online Workroom to help you do so. The workroom is the collaboration space for you and your freelancer. In fact, a workroom gets created when you submit your job post. This is your work space to keep files, communications and deliverables in one place for easy reference.

Leverage this space appropriately by documenting all communications here. Ask for files to be uploaded to this space and request weekly status reports that are automatically posted to the workroom. This is not only helps you manage your project efficiently but also provides you with the necessary documentation, if should you need Elance’s help to resolve any differences.

A few rule of thumbs to stay safe

Very similar to a contract that you sign if you were hired to work on-site at a company or business. Elance’s Terms of Service agreement is in place, not only to protect the integrity of the platform, but more importantly to protect you, as our customers.

Be vigilant – check with Elance if freelancers: Are asking for financial accounts or other private/sensitive information. Ultimately, keep an eye out and let us know if there’s anything that doesn’t seem right. Check with Elance if a freelancer appears to be unavailable through the platform; if they’ve asked for any sensitive information like financial account info, these are red flags.

Set boundaries – paying or leaving feedback early reduces your options: If you are open and honest about how you like to work, clarify what is accepted and not, talk thoroughly through all the tasks that needs to be carried out and document this through the online workroom, you will give the freelancer a chance to learn who you are and the freelancer will know what it takes for you to be satisfied about a result.

If you aim to follow the advice given above, I am sure that will be a platform that can help you succeed with your startup. Results like considerable cost savings in hiring and quick access to specialist skills and manpower are just one click away.

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Published on: 10th March 2013

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