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Working from a distance - or different country

     
1:47 pm on Jul 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just wondering if any ofyou guys work totaly from a distance, and how you get on.

I am in Spain where I run my own sites and do some work for English people in the vicinity - I have not yet done web development work for people that I have not met.

I am considering making a push for work from the UK (my lower costs would help me compete), where I would not expect any face to face contact with the client.

Are many of you working in this way? How well does it work? Does it require you to make more effort to tie the client down with a contract?

2:48 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Does it require you to make more effort to tie the client down with a contract?

denisl doing any work on sites for "clients" without a contract is a "disaster waiting to happen" This has been discussed over and over in this forum and it is "always" reccommended to get a contract for any and all cliets close or far away.

3:51 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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my lower costs would help me compete

I am not sure why you think this as an advantage. It really depends where you're located. If you're in Madrid or Barcelona vs someone in UK's small towns your rates will be likely higher.

Another thing is how fast you do the service. Is not just the rates. Someone can bid with a low rate but take long time to finish the work and eventually the total is higher than someone else who seems to have higher rates.

As of contracts depends on the project. If it's a bug fix or minor modifications you will likely spend more time to write the contract than do the job. There are always risks but keep a balance.

4:32 pm on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Working fully remote from clients is hard work, you are in competition with the rest of the world, including some very low cost countries.

A good presence on the outsourcing sites will help, plenty of examples of work and contact details - simple things like updating your profile & always being available on skype will get you the work. I have chosen suppliers before simply because they were online to answer questions when I was reviewing bids and built a good relationship from the start.

7:42 am on July 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thank you for the responses. My limited experience of trying to work someone I had not met were not very good. That was with someone who didn't appear to understand that he needed to provide content. After a mockup (which he appeared happy with but didn't appear to understand it was just a mockup), he stopped replying to my emails.
Shall certainly take note of the use of Skype and the alwasy available comment.
2:20 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I work remotely (from Malaysia) with clients in Europe and the US. However, I always go to their location and meet with them in person before starting anything. Normally they'll pick up the tab for the trip anyway.

Working for people you don't know and have never met sounds like more trouble than it's worth.

But that aside, working from far away can be easy. Fedex costs me US$20. Thanks to VoIP, phone calls are free. For the odd occasion when it's necessary, video conferencing is easy over broadband.

I definitely do not discount just because my "costs are lower". That's my business. They're paying for the work they get.

3:53 pm on Aug 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It can be difficult, yet it can also work out well. (Just like it's hit-and-miss in the traditional work in someone's office world.) One of the best employees we've ever had is someone we've never met in person and only talked to on a the phone maybe a half dozen times. She works across the Pacific Ocean from us without any direct supervision.
5:25 am on Aug 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I did SEO/PPC for a US client for over two years from Australia. They flew me out for three weeks once and paid for my hotel/car if I was visiting the US and visited them for a week or two. They set me up with a Vonage VoIP line. No contract but a friend introduced me to them, so I knew they were OK.

Only nuisance was that 2-3 times they tried to find an in-house person to do my work (price wasn't an issue, timezone was), so my hours kept going down and up. In the end I wanted something more constant, so I could plan my time better.

 

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