You could be forgiven for thinking that the freelancer market has been well and truly covered. From freelancer to Elance-oDesk, there are a variety of platforms out there connecting outsourcers with freelancers.
However, the time between posting a task and receiving the finished product can be lengthy. Whether we’re just getting too impatient or the business and tech worlds are moving too fast, an Australian entrepreneur has tried to solve the problem through Speedlancer, a freelancing platform that guarantees tasks will be completed in just four hours.
Founder Adam Stone, 20, gained experience in the e-commerce market buying and selling things on eBay at 12. From there, he has launched various ventures, with the idea for Speedlancer coming from his own experiences having to outsource work.
“The solutions out there at the moment are quite time consuming, both on the customer and the freelancer end. On the customer end, you have to post your task, wait for bids, find the best seller, and interview them, and that process can take days, which is inconvenient, especially for a small task which you should just be able to set and forget,” Stone says.
He believes Speedlancer is the first “set it and forget it platform where quality, price, and speed are achieved through the four hour guarantee and the curated marketplace.”
After coming up with the idea for the platform, Stone got to work finding freelancers to bring on board. Speedlancer now boasts 123 freelancers, all of them invited to the platform, interviewed, and the quality of their work verified. The freelancers using the site have an average task acceptance time of ten minutes, and an average task completion time of one hour.
Stone says the limit of four hours was put in during the site’s testing phase. With no freelancers going over it, it just stuck.
“It stuck out of chance, as it’s just enough time for the freelancer to complete the task to a high quality, and it also works for their schedules. Sellers have enjoyed the flexibility. They can accept a task whenever they need to and it doesn’t hinder their work process. They’re happy to accept small tasks because it fits in with their work schedules and whatever other things they have to do,” Stone says.
At the moment, Speedlancer offers data entry, writing, and design services, with a view to incorporate more soon.
Stone, who says he founded Speedlancer without any great expectations, was planning to spend the year bootstrapping the business while studying at university. However, he was recently chosen to take part in the latest round of the 500Startups accelerator program in San Francisco.
Working side by side with mentors and other entrepreneurs, Stone wants to refine the product and work on distribution.
“It means I can do the back end a little faster, which enables me to improve customer experience and increase repeat customers. I can also improve the marketing side of things; I can boost SEO and various other campaigns I’ve been wanting to run,” Stone says.
With quality assurance taken care of through the curated marketplace, Speedlancer could continue to grow steadily. Of course, it faces stiff competition from the well established players in the market, like Freelancer and Elance-oDesk, which boasts two million users around the world. These platforms have grown thanks to the wide variety of tasks – of different sizes – that can be completed by their freelancers, whereas Speedlancer’s four hour guarantee restricts the type of work that can be assigned. However, keeping with the unique selling point of the time limit, the startup could introduce new limits to be used for the larger tasks.
Having deferred university to take part in the 500Startups program, Stone says going to the US was an easy decision in the end because he believes in Speedlancer.
“People have a theory that you can only achieve two things out of quality, speed, and price, but I think Speedlancer has achieved all three. Quality is achieved through a curated marketplace, since freelancers been invited to the platform and internally rated, speed is our guarantee, and the price is reasonable because customers get to pick their own price that they think is fair.”