Codeable outsourcing service paid out $1 million over 90 day period

In their latest contractor newsletter, the Codeable team shared that they paid out over a million dollars in the previous 90 day period, which is a record for the outsourcing service that matches up clients seeking contractors.

Contractors on Codeable are not often full timers, though some are. Typically, Codeable contractors are moonlighting their day jobs. On a recent Saturday, Codeable contractors performed $20,000 in tasks in one day, according to the newsletter.

Tasks on Codeable range in size and scale, but generally I understand proposed tasks are in the hundreds of dollars. A big task for a typical Codeable contractor would be in the low thousands of dollars — which sometimes includes complete site buildouts; but some tasks have gone through the service that are actually in the low tens of thousands of dollars.

Speaking to one contractor on the service, he says, “depending on how aggressive you are with it you can easily make a full income.” And I understand some of the top performing and most active contractors on Codeable can make between $50,000 and $100,000 over the course of a year. Codeable bragged last year about at least one contractor making $80,000.

The way it works on Codeable is a client submits a task, and one or more of the two hundred pre-screened Codeable contractors will respond to the task and provide a quote and timeline for the work. From there, Codeable tacks on a 15% fee and all of the communications and project management happens through a Codeable interface.

Outsourcing services face a significant challenge: it's always a battle managing client expectations, preventing price wars that make it unsustainable for the best contractors, ensuring high quality, and balancing demand for tasks to be performed with available contractors.

Other providers like Elto — which was acquired by GoDaddy in the spring, and is publicly relaunching soon as a GoDaddy marketplace — learned the hard way that managing an outsourcing service is hard.

In the contractor newsletter, Codeable CEO Per Espensen acknowledged that not all the news was good:

Unfortunately it isn’t all good news. Over the last month we have had to deactivate the accounts of 5 experts (nine in the last 2 months) because they weren’t living up to Codeable’s standards and/or failing to follow the rules.

  • Only estimate projects you can solve
  • Reply to comments from clients quickly
  • No more than 5 estimates per project
  • Estimate based on scope
  • Be careful not to over or under estimate
  • Be fair, polite, and professional at all times
  • Come to us if any issues arise, ideally before the client messages us

And that's just the reality of this type of market. However, there is a lot of upside if companies like Codeable, GoDaddy, and Envato (they have the Microlancer service) can figure out how to maintain quality and sustainability.

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