Monday, March 19, 2007

Start and Run a Business Affordably in the Digital Age. How Elance Changed the Game.

Gone are the days when millions of dollars in venture capital funding were necessary to incubate and launch a great idea. With online resources such as, you can hire professionals on-demand for highly targeted tasks at a very attractive price. Now, professionals all over the world are eagerly standing by to help you build or run your business. Simply post your requirements via a project. In hours, you will have proposals from qualified providers competing for your business. Alternatively, you can search the network of professionals directly and hire someone that meets your need. There are tools such as secure billing and payment, a complete history of feedback, and an escrow service to ensure the safety and success of your transactions.

Typical projects that get done on Elance:

· legal assistance to establish your corporation
· accountants ready to maintain your books
· expert marketers to conduct market research
· technical professionals to assist in website development and search engine optimization
· admin assistants to crunch through and enter thousands of lines of data
· design professionals ready to build your marketing collateral and presence
· writers to create and publish articles or press releases for your business

The list goes on with the possibilities only limited by the imagination and the business need. The digital age has enabled a true “virtual workforce”.

Examples abound of the latest and greatest companies making it happen for pennies on the dollar. Whether it is Digg (top 100 ranked Internet website) founder Kevin Rose building the early version application with a programmer he found on Elance with a $2000 initial investment, or the small business owner that uses Elance for all supporting business functions to severely cut operating expenses, Elance has clearly changed the game for the small business owner.

This is a phenomena referred to as “democratized distribution” by Chris Anderson in his book The Long Tail. Access to the world’s professionals and suppliers has been brought to the front of your small business door through the highly efficient platform that is Elance. As Alex Goldfayn puts it in his May 2006 Chicago Tribune article , Elance truly is the “best kept secret on the Internet”.