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Business case mentality

I am posting this in the freelancer section but anyway, my background is a UK Chartered Accountant and a senior director in an investment bank as a head of a a continent (Asia) in my field.  I charge high rates.  I have no objection to people chargin low rates, this is a global business and, at least for commodity type products, price competition makes senes.  E.g. I want web scraping, type stuff, ok.


If I am an entrepreneur with initial capital and I am looking for next stage funding of, say, 20m USD do I want a business case written by someone who has raised capital and can actually value companies and may cost you a few k or a guy with a laptop who charges 5 an hour.  Maybe you wish to circumvent big 4 consultancies or IBs but really, you want to raise 10s of millions and pay 50USD for your comprehensive business model and sell on that basis.


Where did you assumption xyz come from?


abc in dcf wrote it


Have you any back up


No - I paid him, he is now writing the business plan for bkljbsldg for 10 USD.




What frightens me is the number of people trying to raise serious money on the back of the cheapest thing they can find with no come-back, that mentality says I wouldn't invest in you if you can't be bothered investimg in yourself.


It's very odd.  I have no doubt some of the 5USD guys are capable at using excel, I doubt they have sold 20m seed capital pitches and probably aren't that available when they delivered their model.


What I really question is the buyers who want 20-50m in capital investment but want to pay for a coffeee to get it.



That doesn't frighten me at all. I think it's a good thing. The reason I think it's a good thing is that a person whose business sense is so lacking as to come to a platform like this and hire someone as cheaply as possible to handle something so key to the future of the business is not fit to be entrusted with that sort of capital...thus, it's better that his poor judgment is made clear with the inferior document he's purchased and the investor is spared that mistake.

But, but, but,


Yeah, Tiffany, you are right but..


The same guys tendering for 20m USD business cases may be spending 250k on architecture but think 250USD on a business case is a good plan.


Sorry, I rant, it just beggars belief sometimes.


Added to which, good ideas may fail as they consider a business plan a cost to minimise rather than an investment.


One idea may be, don't pay me - give me 5%, how upwork would bill that I have no idea but fits start ups.


Thanks again.  I'm finding it frustrating in part I know I could have maybe helped someone and they minimised a cost they should not have and a good idea may fail as a result.


You know, Simon, I think if I found myself in that position I would just put in a bid for a reasonable fee and explain in the bid why it was worth their while to hire someone with true expertise at this stage of their business development. Maybe they'd get it and maybe they wouldn't, but you've have given it your best shot and if they opted out, then it would be their own dumb fault if they didn't get off the ground.

Tifaany, that is what I do.....


I wish them well, I expect they fail.  Such is life........


Again, thanks for taking the time to reply.  Best wishes.

Smiley Indifferent

I love the fact that Upwork allows clients the freedom to make poor business decisions.


Many of my clients are people who have tried to hire lowball contractors in the past, but learned it is more profitable to hire higher paid professionals.

Yes, Simon, the platform is designed around a handful of tasks which are easy to fit into a budget.


It lacks a bit to be desired when it comes to tasks that may expand the budget or could transform the scope as the issue at hand evolves. It also may be difficult to set the rates as that part of the negotiation sometimes comes later in our fields of expertise, no matter if it´s a fixed price or an hourly estimation.


I´ve been giving some advanced legal advice at a discount rate but on top of it there were spin-offs that I had to fit into the same budget. Five stars are cool but not eatable at the moment! To make things worse, most of the clients in those niches may not fall into the repeating category so we have higher fees, worse than usual rates (I estimate about 25% of what I should be charging and that´s disregarding Upwork´s cut) and also special difficulty to access a constant stream of work- more time lurking, less time working. 


Sort of a pity because there´s potential for these areas of work but the "one solution fits all" is probably not the answer.


Maybe a bit of an effort from Upwork to get visibilization of those atavic yet necessary profiles- such yours or mine- as a do ut des would be nice for everybody. I know the niche is there as enough people comes asking but the monetization is poor for me and consequently for Upwork. As I see it the strategic value for Upwork is also pretty high because rare, specific, localized tasks get done in the website.