I’ve been following the adventures of a guy named Jed who has embarked on full implementation of the principles listed in the Four Hour Work Week. His blog, The Newly Rich, has some great examples of what did and didn’t work during his experiments outsourcing to a virtual assistant.
He originally took the same path as a LOT of people who just finished reading the 4HWW and started out with GetFriday and a few alternatives. He ended up with a stateside college student and has been having good success. I’m especially excited that Jed started a new post series called Outsourced Wednesdays where he’ll post a weekly sample of a project he’s outsourced along with the responses from his virtual assistant.
Honestly, I wish more “buyers” would blog about their outsourcing experiences. It is fun and educational to read detailed examples of correspondence between buyers and providers.
Jed has even started up a new company called Having Things Done. He’s even listed out some of the philosophies behind Having Things Done where he addresses many of the hurtles and problems people have been experiencing with other VA services.
I’ve been really happy with my experiences outsourcing with oDesk so far. Their system of tracking hours and providing me with visibility into what my providers are doing is wonderful!
In the past 5 months I’ve posted about 6 different “jobs”. Each have been hourly based and while each were instigated by a specific need / project, they all had potential for longer term relationships.
Well, this changed. I had a VERY specific project that I don’t anticipate, at least not immediately, the need to employ someone long term or on an hourly bases. I needed a shopping cart created for one of my sites. Nothing fancy, just osCommerce installed with a few modifications and plugins. I’ve installed OSC a few times myself, but I’ve never really dove into modifying it or hiring anyone to do so. I didn’t want to pay someone hourly for something I had no idea how long would take.
Three (well actually two) options presented themselves:
RentACoder – Used them many times in the past for project based work. While I’ve had great success with them in the past, their system isn’t the most user friendly and payment to providers isn’t super straightforward. Their system is based on a per project system and they have a bunch of tools and policies in place to make sure a buyer gets what they were promised.
::oDesk(“a”):: – As mentioned above, I love their hourly platform but I haven’t tried their project based option. Payment for hourly projects is super easy and straightforward. Their per project system seems to still be in its infancy and seems to be lacking some of the tools / policies that RAC has developed over more years of experience
eLance – Well, I signed up a few months ago, posted a project, wasn’t terribly excited about the responses I received. Their UI looks really clean, but there wasn’t really anything that was there to pull me away from RAC or ::oDesk(“a”)::.
In the end I went with ::oDesk(“a”)::. Posting projects is pretty straight forward and I’m assuming that payment will be just as easy as they have been with hourly providers. I’ve already received about 25 project bids and have chosen a programmer. I’ll keep you posted with how things progress.
My questions for you:
Do you prefer hourly or project based pricing models? When and why?