In classic start-ups, there’s a technologist (the code) and the manager (everything else). Unfortunately I’m the manager with no in-house technologist so I’m currently busy elancing (elance.com) a couple of projects and I’m amazed at the true nature of globalisation in action. I’m finding the responses very interesting and wide ranging. These responses are of course extremely important first impressions and if a poor impression is gained, mountains must be moved to change it.
- Getting a generic reply – nothing personalised
- Getting a generic reply with reference sites that aren’t build on the technology that is needed for the project
- Avoiding answering the question
- Suppliers placing bids when they should be pre-bids
- Being asked if I would consider PHP instead of rails – er, no, that’s why I stated RoR in the project briefing.
- Suppliers bidding for fixed priced work and then turning around after they have understand more details about the project which normally include sight of the spec, saying that we don’t do fixed price work!!
- Not asking the right questions nor enough of them
Replies are only one of the major things to help me cut down the bidders and hopefully award the project.
References can also be helpful but I personally class this as ‘minor’ as the view is skewed from the start as the bidder is only ever going to pick glowing reference sites. I would like to see ‘dull’ references included, but they are most likely not to want to talk about their poor experience!
Another major thing is buyer feedback but half of the projects completed on Elance do not have any detailed feedback from the supplier which is pointless. We sometimes forget that we need to help each other especially when the outlay can be hundreds if not thousands of £ / $.
Once I’ve closed the bids and hopefully chosen a provider, I’ll be posting my top x checklist on how to pick a provider.