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Using freelancers to help start your company

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potvinp

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Jun 20, 2018
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Pembroke, ON, Canada
Hello,
I am a new entrepreneur that has decided to start a computer sales and repair company, and would like to ask a couple questions to some experienced entrepreneurs:
  • Is it a good idea to utilize freelance platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, etc. when starting your company, for things like developing a brand, website, or business/marketing plan, social media management, copywriting, etc.?
  • Are there any benefits to using a freelance platform over a local and (more-likely) well-known company, other than the potential to save money in the start-up process? If so, what are they?
Thank you,
Peter Potvin
 

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Lex DeVille

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Is it a good idea to utilize freelance platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork, etc. when starting your company, for things like developing a brand, website, or business/marketing plan, social media management, copywriting, etc.?

Do you already have sales? If not, then this probably isn't worth it. If your business is already growing and you can afford quality, then it might be worth it. I'd go through referrals before going through the platforms though.

Are there any benefits to using a freelance platform over a local and (more-likely) well-known company, other than the potential to save money in the start-up process? If so, what are they?

Money savings is the big one. Freelancers can be a bit more nimble and flexible. Sometimes local agencies can be static in their offerings. They might want to offer packaged services, whereas a freelancer is happy to take one-off projects. Freelancers may be faster to deliver. But then again they might not!
 

NMdad

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Depends what you're hiring for and whether you need people in the same physical location as you.

Regardless of where you source subcontractors/freelancers, you'll want to have at least rudimentary understanding of what specifically you're outsourcing to them--ideally, you'll want to have direct experience & expertise with whatever you outsource. That way, you can easily vet the best candidates & assess their output.

I've had both good & bad experiences with Fiverr & Upwork. The better experiences have been tasks I'm familiar with, and where I've had a specific systematic series of steps for vetting candidates, assigning tasks, and reviewing deliverables. If you don't have a process, you increase the probability of a bad outcome--which may not entirely be the freelancer's fault.

Start small, with a specific task that you can easily evaluate, then ramp up the task size & responsibility that you delegate, monitoring & supervising along the way.
 

NMdad

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All that said, I'm curious about your business model:
Will you focus on specific brands (e.g., Apple) or hardware (e.g., laptops) or a specific market (e.g., cellphone tower construction companies)?

The reason I ask is that often, aspiring business owners don't identify their target market & ideal customer--they go really broad--which makes it tough to find customers, since potential customers interpret "I can do everything for everyone" as "I have no idea how you can help me."

But if you say something super specific like "I build, maintain, & upgrade GPS & other electronic devices for in-the field oil & gas technicians" (or something equally specific), then your target market will know exactly what you do & how you can help them.
 

potvinp

PARKED
Jun 20, 2018
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Pembroke, ON, Canada
Do you already have sales? If not, then this probably isn't worth it. If your business is already growing and you can afford quality, then it might be worth it. I'd go through referrals before going through the platforms though.

Money savings is the big one. Freelancers can be a bit more nimble and flexible. Sometimes local agencies can be static in their offerings. They might want to offer packaged services, whereas a freelancer is happy to take one-off projects. Freelancers may be faster to deliver. But then again they might not!
Thank you for your input. While our company is still in its start-up phase, we do not have any sales as of yet. We do have multiple investors interested in our company, though, and most of them have already invested some funds into it to assist with the start-up phase.

The reason why I've been looking into freelance platforms is to find affordable services that can assist with developing our company while still receiving the best possible quality.
All that said, I'm curious about your business model:
Will you focus on specific brands (e.g., Apple) or hardware (e.g., laptops) or a specific market (e.g., cellphone tower construction companies)?
Our company is more focused on selling laptops to businesses, as they are easier to carry and can be brought to meetings without any problems. We also sell our products to individuals, most of who are college students looking for affordable products they can use while studying, as there is a community college located in my city. We have thought of partnering with the college as a source of affordable devices for students (they would get a 15-30% discount just by showing their student ID), though no official agreements or plans have been made as of yet. We would also be selling desktops, monitors, printers, and other accessories, as well as repair services to both business and individual customers, though still mostly focusing on business customers.

A few of the investors, as well as myself, currently hold industry qualifications, such as CompTIA A+, Network+, and Linux+, as well as various experiences with companies in the tech industry.
 

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