Keeping costs low was a key priority in the early days of the company. Mike Barnett, Director of Medialounge, and his partner, Adam King, started with limited resources but the workload quickly started to build up. Hiring additional staff was important in allowing the agency to take on bigger projects, but there was also still a need to keep overhead costs low, especially with the economic uncertainty.
“When we started, we decided from day one that we did not want to hire too many full-time staff simply because we knew the money was needed elsewhere to build the agency,” said Mike. “Hiring people is a big financial commitment and, at that time, we did not want to put too much strain on our budgets by paying full-time wages when we didn’t know from one month to the next what projects we would have coming in.”
Medialounge faced the dilemma of needing experienced and talented staff to grow the business, but was unable to commit long-term. Outsourcing work to freelancers was the logical solution for the company. However, Mike was unable to find skilled or available freelancers locally and so hit a dead end.
It was at this stage that Medialounge started to hunt down an online service that would allow it to hire talented freelancers online, no matter where they were based. Mike came across Elance’s online employment platform and immediately saw it as an attractive solution to all its challenges.
Elance immediately gave Medialounge the opportunity to respond flexibly to client demands. Using the platform, the agency quickly grew by 40% and developed a competitive advantage over other agencies providing similar services as it could take on large jobs and scale very quickly.
“Agencies put pressure on themselves by promising the world to their clients and then failing to deliver because of resourcing problems,” Mike explains. “Elance takes the pressure off, allowing us to take on bigger projects knowing that we can always meet client expectations.”
Medialounge used Elance to achieve a healthy balance; it built a team of in-house experts at its core and then used talented freelancers from Elance to support this work as was needed.
Elance gives Medialounge the opportunity to access the best global talent to strengthen and support its business. The flexibility of scaling staff up and down on an ad-hoc basis has been just one of the advantages for Mike and his team. Bringing in new skills that the agency doesn’t currently have is another benefit that has proven to be instrumental to its success.
“Without Elance we wouldn’t have the confidence to grow as quickly as we have,” said Mike. “The platform is very well regulated so the system cannot be cheated and the number of cost-effective, skilled freelancers is fantastic.”
Being able to hire as and when required, building the skillset the agency can offer and keeping overheads low are crucial benefits that just wouldn’t have been possible without Elance.
As Mike recaps “We’ve found our comfort zone, Elance has been instrumental to our success and the best thing is that it will continue to benefit us, no matter how fast or far we grow.”