If you’re running a home-based business, you already know that there are many hats to wear. Obviously, you simply can’t do everything or if you can, many things may not be the best use of your time. So where do you go when you want to outsource a task or project?
Over past few years, I have tapped Elance providers on several occasions. I’ve had mostly good experiences, but there were some that weren’t so good. Here are some questions to ask when you have posted an Elance project and are reviewing the provider bids.
Have they read your project? – Sometimes you get the distinct impression that the provider has not even looked at your project. In fact, many providers just bid on all projects in a category without really looking at them. They do this to try to increase their chance of getting projects, but I usually just skip over these providers.
What kind of Feedback do they have? – Elance has a feedback system which consists of a series of review questions. Each question can be answered on a scale of 1 to 5 and comments can be left in addition to the questions. You can tell a lot by looking at how the provider fared on the questions and what kinds of comments they’ve received from past clients.
How long have they been providing services on Elance or elsewhere? – Is this someone just starting out or have they been in their area of expertise for awhile? Sometimes the importance of this requirement depends on the project. You may be ok with hiring a beginner for some graphic design work, but if you’re looking for legal advice you will probably want a more experienced person.
Do they address specific questions or concerns? – Did they acknowledge and review any attached files or the URL of website? There is nothing that will make me reject a provider quicker than he or she ignoring the URL I put in the project and asking me if they can see the website I’m needing services for.
Is their service offering relevant? – Is the provider likely to be able to do the work? For example, I was looking for legal consulting advice when my company was forming and I got many bids from providers in India. Although it’s possible, it’s probably unlikely that a provider in another country will be familiar with company structure options in my state and all the tax and legal implications of each option.
What about you? Do you have tidbits to add from your Elance experiences? Click “Contact” above to send me a message and I can post any addendums.