If you’re starting out and looking for ways to outsource the elements of your business that you’re not comfortable with, the ‘gig economy’ has created many websites that promise to easily link you up with professionals who can help, as well as bringing you pizza for those late-night brainstorming sessions or helping you to get around. Whether you want a platform that connects you with someone who can do an odd job such as paint your new cafe’s walls, a platform that can find you a content creator, or a platform that can get you a new logo designed as quickly as possible, there’s a whole range of options available - from the general to the specialised.
The tools we use: Taxo’d
Dave Legion is the founder of Taxo’d, an app that aims to make handling tax simpler for founders and freelancers - itself an awesome tool for business owners!
The growing number of 'gig economy' services such as Fiverr and Upwork is evidence of the change in how we work. When you’re starting up a business, funds are often low but your to-do list is high. It might be just you or a small team, but the tasks that need doing require a multitude of skillsets.
For things like design, copywriting and development, I prefer to go to places that specialise, like Creativepool, YunoJuno, and Synergyart, to name a few. These places have quality-controls, feedback loops, value their clients and freelancers and champion their work. I want to see solid examples of the quality of someone's work. I want to hear what kind of service other clients got. These places show me that.
Right now, sites like Fivver, Upwork and Freelancer.com are lagging behind a little. Of course, they're cheap (and this might be attractive as a startup) but their quality control needs improvement. They open up opportunities worldwide, but tend to focus too much on price. With freelancers scrambling to be competitive, that makes comparing the standard or work difficult.
Is someone in India charging $10 for a logo a worse designer than someone in the US charging $100? Until you shift the focus to quality, judged on feedback, you'll probably never know.
The Virgin StartUp pick
Tools for when: you need someone to do a practical task
Sometimes you need help completing a practical task - whether it’s home decoration, arranging furniture, moving or fixing something - and there are a number of apps out there that can help you connect with a person who will help. Taskrabbit is probably the most well-known of these, offering everything from odd jobs to quirky tasks - you can even hire somebody to stand in a queue for you, if your time is that valuable. Bizzby is a platform geared more towards finding a specialised professional in your area, for services such as plumbing, electrical repairs, and even personal training. This is also the focus for app GoFantastic, which even covers pest control.
Tools for when: you need someone to do some design
As mentioned above by the Taxo’d team, there are many options out there for founders looking for design work - whether you want to find fresh freelancing talent who could potentially work with your business on an ongoing basis (Creativepool) to whether you want to take a risk on a cheap logo (Upwork). There are also apps out there for if you fancy giving it a go on your own - Canva is a really popular option, with free and premium versions, both of which allow you to create professional-looking graphics with no specialist training.
Tools for when: you need someone to write you some content
If you need someone to do copywriting or blog creation for your business, the most popular platforms in this area are Upwork, PeoplePerHour, and Freelancer. They differ slightly, but the general model is that you can post your project and budget, and wait for the offers to come in from content-writers. While quality might be variable, portfolios and ratings can help you find a freelancer who seems like a good fit.
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