Growing Irish businesses despite Economic turmoil through online freelancers
GUEST BLOG FROM Steffen Breinholt Hedebrandt of Elance.com
Elance.com, the world’s leading online work platform, just spend three busy days in Dublin. Here we met a lot of inspiring and determined Irish people, who despite the challenges of the current economic environment are now launching new businesses.
Dublin has within the recent years been hailed as one of Europe’s most promising StartUp hubs, not least thanks to the
good work of Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Internet Association (IIA). But there are also challenges: around 1,500 IT developers are urgently needed, while on the other hand there is a high unemployment.
Elance.com offers a potential solution to these issues. Every month, more than 100,000 jobs and projects are posted on
the platform, by businesses looking for freelancers. The jobs range from IT development to Creative tasks, Marketing, Virtual Assistance to Translations, Accounting, Book keeping and Engineering. In fact, as long as a job does not demand a physical presence, it can be completed through Elance. For businesses facing the challenge of finding niche skills that can be immediate applied to projects Elance can provide the skills they need. On the other hand, for those who have been made redundant during the financial crisis, Elance is a place to apply your skills and find work.
How Elance has helped grow a Dublin business
Pat Walsh, a Dublin based Elance user has been hiring freelancers for five years on Elance, which has enabled him to grow
his Irish Businesses, amongst others, the Sky Business Centres network of Services office centres. Pat Walsh says “Elance has enabled Sky Business Centres to access a global talent pool as and when we need it. We have access to 24 hour workers and can upsize and downsize our development teams to suit whatever our current project commitments are.
In addition to providing Irish businesses access to a global workforce, Elance provides the opportunity for any Irish unemployed person with an internet connection to bid on the 100,000 jobs posted monthly on the Elance.com platform.
Areas in Ireland which have been hard hit by unemployment including administration, legal, architectural, and engineering
are in high demand on the global Elance platform. There is strong demand for native English speaking freelancers with professional skillsets.”
Start as a freelancer, become an entrepreneur – Elance Freelancer
If you are in the unfortunate situation that the financial crisis has left you redundant in your company due to decreasing turnover, there is a solution available online that might lead you to the next step in your career. Local Dublin-based business A-Cubed Software Limited had been using Elance.com since inception and Aditi Bhattacharya, their Head of Technology Adoption says: “Elance.com is a platform that takes your local business to a global audience and market. It is one of our main sales avenues with a genuinely low initial outlay (towards membership fees) and definitely proven return on investment. It’s almost like having a Sales team work for you as they bring a lot of buyers from around the world. It’s safe for the businesses to use too because Elance.com provides the basic checks on the prospective clients and offers the escrow facility which
means none of the project works will ever go unpaid. The feedback facility is an added bonus for serious businesses such as ourselves where we can showcase with conviction the skills and talent we have.
We see Elance.com as a strong tool for growth and already more than 50% of our revenue comes from outside Ireland thanks to Elance.com’s global reach. Kudos to the Elance.com team!”
How does the future look for online work?
The advantages of Elance, while very relevant to the current situation in Ireland, also reflect the wider global changes taking place in the way we work. Thanks to innovative and disruptive technologies, geographical location is a far less relevant factor in getting a job done. Dr Johnny Ryan of the Irish Times says:
“Anything that removes geography as a hiring impediment is a good thing for project teams. The bones of the Internet itself, the protocols that govern how machines communicate across it, were developed decades ago by people working at remote
locations and swapping reference documentation. Now that power of remote collaboration is open to businesses of all sizes, the market for labour and skills can be tapped in a way that suits agile businesses working on novel projects.”
Smart businesses and freelancers are reacting to this trend. By harnessing the power of remote collaboration, Irish businesses and those individuals affected by the downturn can turn the situation to their advantage.