If your home business involves the selling of services such as freelance writing, research or even graphic arts, you may be familiar with Web sites that invite you to bid on available projects. While there are probably hundreds of such sites out there, there are two major players: Guru and Elance
If you are not familiar with these types of sites, they can best be described as the ebay of the home business world. Companies looking to have certain specific tasks completed post these jobs on the Web site; contractors such as you and me “bid” on these jobs and most often, the company will take the lowest bidder.
There are many who say that these types of job boards work against freelancers because in the end, the company usually gets the job done at a bargain-basement price. In true Catch -22 fashion, freelancers accept these low prices in the hope that once they build their portfolio, they will be able to command a higher price.
So are these types of job boards worth the time? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is yes.
I have actually had quite a bit of luck using job boards like these to find work. The trick is to take the time to thoroughly read the job descriptions and bid only on jobs that are clearly defined and already have a set price. If you limit your bidding to positions in which the employer has already determined what they want to pay for your services, you will not run the risk of having to accept less money than you are comfortable with. And, because the employer has already given some thought to how much your work is worth, it’s a pretty safe bet that they will turn out to be a legitimate employer.
Many of these types of services require you to pay a membership fee in order to view all but a very few of their job postings. Before you pay, try to determine how much of your income you intend to derive from that source; if you are using it only to fill in the gaps during slow periods, it may not be worth the expense. If, on the other hand, you will use the source as one of the primary tools by which you will build your client base, it will probably be money well-spent.