We’ve spoken to a lot of engineers, contractors, draughtsmen and modellers as part of our research for EngLancer. As a platform which helps them find, deliver and get paid for their work, we thought it would be an easy ‘sell’ to everyone we spoke to. We thought the benefits we offer would have freelance and contract engineers alike crashing our servers.
The EngLancer platform offers guaranteed payment for delivered work, with no risk of not getting paid if your project goes on hold or your client disappears. Add in reduced costs associated with marketing and work-winning and we were actively asking why people wouldn’t want to try the site free of charge.
As engineers ourselves, it could be we’re still working on how to effectively communicate the benefits of the site, to both sides of our network.
Looking back on all this market research, one well-known phrase now resonates with me:
“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” – Ralph Emmerson.
Building a product that solves industry problems is, however, only part of what will make EngLancer a success. Listening and responding to our target market is another.
What we heard a lot was, “I have too much work anyway” or “I’m busy enough at the minute” and “work comes to me.”
Getting this sort of response so often did surprise me. And it really got me thinking. Why then, would you use a platform like EngLancer?
Firstly, if you have too much work, I would say you need to up your prices. It’s good business, of course, but many people don’t want to do this for fear of upsetting their clients.
EngLancer lets you test those boundaries. It helps you understand and quantify how much you’re “worth.” It shows you what you should be charging and what your clients would be paying elsewhere.
Secondly, so many of the freelancers we spoke to take a lot of work from only a few clients. This presents a real risk to your business, being overly-reliant on just one or two companies.
EngLancer helps you manage and mitigate against that risk. It lets you build your brand and reputation on a potentially global platform. Using our platform this way covers you if that large project goes on hold or if your client finds someone who claims he can deliver the work cheaper.
(You should know, I write this blog from a place of empathy; I’ve worked as a freelance engineer, myself.) And what I found when I was contracting was that certain types of work were more profitable than others. That is, I could earn the same amount doing a number of wind calcs in one day as I could completing site visits and reports across three or four.
EngLancer serves as a great tool for you to more effectively find and trial these different delivery mechanisms. Once you find what works, the site also helps you schedule the delivery to suit your capacity and commitments.
As engineers, we always talk about working “smarter.” And Stuart Rose’s famous quote warns us against being “busy fools.” (Not that I’m calling any of the people we’ve spoken to fools. Far from it.) They’re busy because they’re talented. But maybe they don’t need to be so busy… And they could be smarter by using the data and information available through the EngLancer crowd.
The same argument rings true if you want to work on larger, more challenging or more prestigious projects. Or if you want to improve your design experience in a different sector or speciality. Constant work from repeat clients is no bad thing, but by continually looking to diversify and improve, your business will grow stronger and more resilient to fluctuations in the market.
And lastly, if more work is coming in than you can handle, why not look into outsourcing the work yourself? People are still coming to you and you are putting your name to it. If you can develop a trusted network to deliver aspects and packages of work though, your business can grow and contract to match the demand. EngLancer is the perfect tool for facilitating this business model.
We’re passionate about high quality engineering design and project delivery. We want the best engineers, draughtsmen and CAD technicians to be rewarded for their talent and their work.
Come and find out what you’re worth.
Come and find out how successful your business can be.
Come and help us reengineer the way we engineer.