The world of work is changing. Increasing work location flexibility and the changing priorities that many of us are experiencing are increasing the opportunities for people to work independently of traditional employers.
The labels we use are varied – freelancers, solopreneurs, consultants – but at the heart of these roles are talented individuals running their own small businesses and mastering not only the skills that they provide to clients, but every other function of a business….bookkeeping, accounting, marketing, sales, administration, SEO etc etc.
These multifaceted individuals often find their clients directly through their own marketing and sales efforts, but many use freelancer platforms which act as a bridge between client and skill provider. But many of these sites are built with a philosophy which exerts a significant amount of control and restraint on both parties – everything from monitoring communications to measuring work keystrokes.
That needs to change. The idea that businesses can exist purely by acting as hosting platforms but charge high commissions (around 15%) on every transaction and spend a significant amount of that money with systems and staff to ensure that there is no “leakage” of fees from the system is antiquated and ripe for change.
In 2022, we will introduce three new platforms to challenge this model.
Firstly, Starter Barter – a fully free community for freelancers who need skills for their own businesses. If you are an SEO specialist who needs excellent marketing copy for your own website, why not find a copywriter who needs your SEO skills? Then work for each other without cost – service bartering.
Next, we’ll launch a similar platform for Founders. You have a great technical skill set and an excellent SaaS idea, but have no idea where to start with marketing your product? Rather than hire an agency, why not find a founder with skills to complement your own? Another cost-free community to allow businesses to grow and develop without any overarching control and fee structure.
Finally, a freelancer platform to provide an alternative to the traditional model. Fully commission free, allowing direct contact between skill providers and clients without surveillance and restriction. Treating both parties like mature business people and not extracting fees for other people’s work.
It’s a challenging agenda but one that we are determined to execute to develop some alternatives for this vital and vibrant sector of the new economy.