For Startup Founders: How to work with Freelancers

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Jorge Araujo is the one of the co-founders of Nubelo.com, the largest freelance marketplace for Spanish-speaking professionals.

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Many of the startups and companies that publish projects on Nubelo.com come to us with two main concerns which I’ll address here.

1) How do I know what cost to assign to my project when I don’t really know the true nature of my project?

There are times when, as a founder, you have to hire an outside professional because you simply don’t know how to execute the job yourself. It’s natural, then, that you won’t always know how to assign a value to the project at hand.

From what we’ve seen from the over 41,000 freelancers registered on Nubelo.com, the freelancer’s own offers are what eventually create a cost trend. For that reason, we allow the companies seeking freelancers to see the highest, middle, and lowest values of each project. The average cost, then, is the market value of your project. From that value, we can then begin to define the price/quality parameters that we’re willing to accept for the job.

2) How can I evaluate a proposal that I don’t technically understand? (Again, that’s why you’re hiring a professional!).

When you receive a proposal from a freelancer, the best way to understand what they’ve put forth is to be aware of the following characteristics (always feel free to get a second opinion as well):

-Logical Organization: your candidate’s proposal should follow a logical order from beginning to end.

-Structured Timings: the best way for a freelancer to demonstrate that she/he knows what they’re talking about is knowing how and at what intervals they’ll deliver their work.

-Coordination and communication: even though you can’t necessarily do the work (that’s why you’re hiring a professional!), it doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion. It’s important that, from the start, the freelancer offers seamless communication during each stage of work.

-Follow-up and samples: the freelancer should deliver their work in different stages so that it will be easier for you as a founder to give input. This way it will be easier for you to arrive at a final outcome that you both can be proud of.

-Privacy and identification with the project’s objectives: the freelancer should be wary of sharing any private company information and should also be enthusiastic about the project at hand.

When looking at a freelancer’s proposal, you should keep in mind the proposal’s actual content, the samples and other completed work stages, and planning work around milestones. If you thoroughly analyze these three points, it’s easier for you to determine a candidate’s true professional evaluation.

Finally, as a founder, it’s extremely important to revise the information that you initially provide, considering that’s the information on which the freelancer will base their proposal. Being clear about the project and the goals for your startup will help both you and the freelancer during the entire work process. Clear communication is fundamental!

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