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Young Aussie Entrepreneur Adam Stone has Built a Revolutionary Business in Speedlancer and Scaled it to the US.
By Lauren Fowkes
Here’s another episode of the “Perfect Pitch Show” where Brandon Burns, Head of Community – Runway Virtual, interviews small business founders / entrepreneurs about the secret sauce to their successful start-up journey.
Today we are excited to introduce you to Adam Stone, Founder of Speedlancer and was one of the members on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list! Adam found Speedlancer off the back of another business he owned as he quickly discovered the weaknesses and gaps to finding talented freelancers to outsource. He then decided to devote his time to building a team that was hand picked and solely dedicated to producing quality work for their clients. Now based in Los Angeles in the United States of America, Adam started off in Victoria, Australia and wants to promote the wonderful resource that is his platform.
Speedlancer isn’t his first business but he believes it is his best, and a lot of that success has come from his previous attempts at changing the world through entrepreneurship. We hope our regional and remote Australian entrepreneurs will take some inspiration in Adam’s story and potentially utilise him as an excellent source of information, resources and experience.
Adam isn’t a novice at running a business, and it was through his trials with previous attempts that he found the need for a company such as Speedlancer. Speedlancer is the product of Adam’s desire to bridge the gaps in the world of outsourcing talent, it definitely isn’t the first website of its kind but is certainly a different approach on this kind of platform. Speedlancer consists of hand-picked teams that are tailored to a specific area, for example they have a Content Marketing team, a Design and Development team and a Thought Leadership team, but this barely grazes the surface on the resources Speedlander has to offer. These teams will then work together to deliver the highest quality product to fit your needs.
Instead of merely hiring a writer for a content campaign you will have access to a full team that will also work on strategy and how to implement this, increasing the effectivity of the work they are putting out. All teams have a base cost which can be seen on their website, a link to which you will find at the bottom of this article. However, if you’re wanting to start a little smaller and don’t want to commit to hiring a full team just yet, you can begin with hiring for individual tasks at a lower cost.
Adam and his team know that your time is valuable and so Speedlancer helps to eliminate the lengthy recruitment process when trying to find a new talent to add to your team and is more reliable than most freelancer-based websites. As the teams are hand-picked it is much easier to find reliable work of a high quality with all members having been previously screened. You no longer need to scroll through the abundant number of members on other similar platforms or reading through their reviews to try and find the perfect fit for you, Speedlancer has already taken care of that for you. Additionally, the platform includes a concierge service that will manage your projects for you, eliminating an extra process of administration and allowing you the freedom of knowing your work is in good hands.
Who is Using Speedlancer?
Speedlancer is a platform that is beneficial to all sizes of businesses, but Adam has found that most of their clients come from small to medium sized businesses. That being said, we can really see the potential aid this platform could bring for our remote and regional entrepreneurs just starting out. Runway Virtual is building a platform for these entrepreneurs to gain access to mentors and coaches, and we believe Adam’s company and vision is an excellent addition to this. We know not everybody has immediate access to the teams they need and Speedlancer provides easily accessible, high quality work for new businesses that may not have the means to commit to a 6-12-month contract with an agency or individual. Speedlancer has no lock-in contracts and if you do decide to sign up for a plan you can cancel at any time.
Adam’s Advice and Key Learning Points
Adam’s favourite piece of advice came from the founder of startups.com when he was first starting up Speedlancer. At the time they were struggling to get people to sign up for their one plan that was valued at $50, but with a few small changes Adam found people were actually wanting to pay more for their services. The advice he was given was to implement some higher priced tiers for these packages, but to ultimately not have the fundamentals change from each package, adding extra guarantees and such to the higher tiers that won’t cost you anything more to do. From there Adam found they were actually under-pricing their services and by having the varying tiers their customers were more interesting in their service when they could see the seemingly higher tier work. Adam stated that it was rather eye-opening to see how having multiple packages at varying price points drove in more revenue than only having the cheapest option available.
Regarding the worst piece of advice he had ever received, Adam admitted it was difficult to look back and know if advice he took was actually bad in hindsight. He does, however, believe there are areas people can get stuck in when starting a business. Adam believes that in 90% of cases trying to find investments or raising funds is time taken away from more important tasks, such as growing and expanding your business. Investments are better sought when your business has unlimited potential to grow and finding stakeholders too early in your journey can end up restricting your opportunities. It can take away some of the control you have over your business by needed to then meet the requirements and expectations of your investors and getting the end result they want rather than the one you want. Adam believes you are better off taking the money you are making with your business and saving it rather than spending it and you will increase your cash balance that way.
Adam knows that changing the world takes time and patience and that your time is better spent focussing on nurturing it than just trying to generate cash flow. So, he recommends starting a ‘side-hustle’, noting never to underestimate the power that will give you. You can generate revenue through your secondary project which will then help you grow your main idea. But most importantly, Adam says you need to be passionate about what you are doing. The easiest way to continue to drive yourself is by being dedicated to your purpose and once you reach it you can keep working harder or try something else if it didn’t work out the way you wanted. The most critical thing is doing something that empowers you and that you believe in.
Biggest Challenges and Helping Adam
Failure is a natural part of entrepreneurism and life in general, but we should never let it stop us from trying. Adam believes that overall you can learn from your mistakes and your failures and use them to grow, therefore they’re not really a failure anymore but rather an opportunity. Adam’s biggest challenges stem from customer satisfaction and not understanding what it is exactly the customer wants, but this is a part of his journey that he has learned to handle and build from. There are always risks in starting and running your own business and some of which cannot be avoided, but Adam likes to use them as guiding points.
Exposure is the key selling point of Adam’s business, getting customers in the door (or on their website in this case) is the primary focus. Speedlancer offers the chance for you to talk to the freelance teams directly and enquire about the products and details of the packages before you sign up, therefore you aren’t losing anything by giving it a go! We will continue to promote his good work here on Runway Virtual, but we would love to ask our members to spread the word and reach out to Adam if you want to learn more about him and the work he is doing.