How to Get Services for a Fraction of the Price

  • AUTHOR: Richard Geller
  • DATE: 02/27/2008

If you need someone to create a press release for you or put up your website, this article explains how you can find a reliable person to do this for you at a fraction of what you might otherwise pay.

Welcome to the world of competitive outsourcing. Offerings from StartupNation’s Vendor Services, or from others like eLance.com and guru.com, along with less well known but effective sites like GetAFreelancer.com and RentACoder.com are your startup’s friends.

You can join most of these services for free. And when you’re looking for someone to help you write or do the web stuff, post each of your needs as a project.

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Then you sit back and let the marketplace do the work. People will submit bids. They’ll tell you the price they are willing to offer you, and also the scope of their work.

It’s very important that you set up the project in the right way, so you get good bids. I have bid out and gotten tens of thousands of dollars of work done this way for a fraction of the cost I would have had to pay if I approached those needs the traditional way. Because I’ve transformed my approach to getting services, I’ve reduced my staff from 75 employees down to one—me! And it’s all because I’ve learned how to intelligently outsource.

Here’s some specific advice from the real world:

  1. Don’t be afraid of getting very low bids. Sometimes the low bids are very solid. Contrary to the common saying, you might actually get more than what you pay for. Believe it or not, I once had a need to get an article written. I paid $1.50. It could have cost much more. The difference? The $1.50 writer is a woman based in India who writes after her kids are in bed asleep. She’s happy to make $50 or so extra per month writing articles for me.
  2. You can often get a better price by putting your offer in the bid. This is one of my best tips. “Wanted: Press releases, $3 each” will get you only people who are willing to do press releases for $3.
  3. Be very specific as to what you want. Nail it down completely. The number of words. The number of webpages. You can’t be specific enough.
  4. Don’t know what you want? Then bid out a project to spec out what you want! “Wanted: a website plan for my catering business, $25” will get you people who will develop a good website plan for you, for $25! Then you can open a new project with the spec now that you know what you want.

You can outsource pretty much anything that doesn’t require physical presence. Telephone work can be outsourced, including customer service and even sales. I know someone with eleven people in the Far East who answer the phone, take orders, and process them.

Writing, website development, and graphics are the easiest to outsource. But even accounting and bookkeeping can be outsourced. Many times, your records will be stored on a server that you can grant a trusted outsourced party access to.

I hope this has opened your eyes to what you can do thanks to outsourcing.

Key points:

  • Outsource as much as you can
  • Use different outsourcing sites because each has its strengths
  • Be specific with you requirements
  • Don’t be afraid to go very low bid – you may be pleasantly surprised
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