CorpNet: Using Elance to Create A Hybrid OrganizationGuest_Blogger | Dec 01, 2011
I run a small business called CorpNet that helps other small businesses incorporate a company, form an LLC and manage business filings online. One of my favorite things about running an online business is making use of the amazing online tools and resources that are now available that make life so much easier—and one of the most important online tools for my company is Elance.
My company CorpNet has a full-time staff of 7 in-house employees located onsite to do the daily work of our business—talking with customers, handling business filings, and offering free phone consultations to help entrepreneurs get the information they need to make an informed decision about how to choose a business structure and incorporate a business.
In addition to our full-time staff, we have also hired Elance contractors to deliver over $22,000 worth of projects to help our business grow. We are truly a “hybrid organization”—we use onsite and online hiring to create a new model for how to work.
We rely on Elance to outsource all of our web development projects, graphic design, short-term administrative work, and blogging and copywriting projects. As a small business, Elance is hugely valuable to us because it gives our small business the ability to efficiently “scale up” and “scale down” our hiring.
Here are some of the ways we have used Elance to hire online and create our own unique hybrid organization:
- We find all of our web developers through Elance. We recently went through a re-design of our site and it was hugely helpful to have easy access to online contractors to get this done.
- We hire graphic artists and graphic designers on Elance when we need to update the graphics and visuals throughout our website.
- If we have a short-term “mini-project” that needs additional administrative support—whether it’s data entry or other digital tasks —we can quickly hire cost-effective talent to get it done fast.
- We hire talented freelance writers like Ben Gran to help write our blog posts and handle our sales copywriting.
- As a hybrid organization, when we have an urgent project, we can go right to the experts online to get it done quickly and cost-effectively without having to commit to an additional full-time employee (or overburden our full-time staff). We can keep our full-time staff focused on what they do best, while enlisting the specialized talents and expertise of online professionals from Elance.
I talk regularly with entrepreneurs and small business owners from all over the U.S. and one of the common refrains is that we are all excited about the new opportunities available online. Despite the tough economy, online clutter and competition, there are amazing ways to find new customers, connect with new markets, and hire talented people who can help take your business to the next level. Elance is an ideal example of what the promising new world of online business is all about.
Some people might be uncertain about the possible challenges of creating a hybrid organization—how do you maintain your own unique company culture? How do you cultivate teamwork? At CorpNet, we don’t see any separation between our “onsite staff” and our “online contractors.” We view our online contractors as an extension of our team. By hiring online and drawing upon the talents of a diverse and widely dispersed group of freelancers, I feel like we’re creating a stronger and more cohesive team within our company than ever before.
I think in the future, more and more of us will be working in some form of hybrid organization. Perhaps many of you Elance contractors can relate to the feeling that some of your favorite co-workers are located on the other side of the country, or the other side of the world!
Thank you Elance, for creating this amazing online talent platform that is making such a big difference for businesses like mine, and thank you to all the dedicated Elance contractors who are making this new way of working online into such a big success.
Special Discount Available to Elancers
We're giving a special discount to our fellow Elance users—whether you're an Elance client or contractor, solo freelancer or a larger firm with multiple staff members, CorpNet can help you incorporate your business (as an LLC or other corporate entity) and manage your ongoing business filings. Get a 10% discount on any CorpNet Deluxe or Complete business formation service. Use PROMO CODE: ELANCER when you place your order, or call CorpNet at 888-449-2638 and tell them you're an Elancer!
About the Author
Nellie Akalp is a passionate entrepreneur, small business advocate and mother of four. As CEO of CorpNet.com, an online legal document filing service, Nellie helps small business owners form an LLC or incorporate a business in order to start and protect their new business ventures the right way. To access free guides, advice and informative videos on small business legal topics, please visit Nellie here.