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How Much Should You Reveal When Hiring Help for Your Business?

A consultant emailed me the following question:

I want to get help developing a marketing plan for the assessment tool I developed, so I am posting an ad on Elance (now Upwork). But they’re asking me for a my budget. I’m leery of giving a number since I don’t want to discourage someone who is really good with a low number, but I don’t want people to inflate their fees based on my budget. What’s your advice?

Here is the answer I gave the consultant:

It’s interesting how we respond when we’re in our client’s shoes! Consider your worry that fees will be inflated based on your budget: isn’t that the same logic you wish your own clients would avoid?

Be as transparent when you’re hiring help as you want your clients to be with you. I recommend you determine what the value of the project is and what you think a fair fee is based on that. Then get the very best person you can for that fee or less.

If you’ve used Elance or a similar service, have you revealed your budget? If so, did you lowball it or say the maximum you would spend? In general, how much should you reveal when you’re hiring help for a project?

Share your thoughts below. 


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You can see more discussion of this question by joining the Solo Consultant’s Network on LinkedIn.

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