Working Remotely with an eCommerce Developer

When you need help with an Online Store you have a couple options; finding someone locally to do the work or choosing to hire someone to do the work remotely.

Since we already know the advantages of hiring someone local, today I want to address the advantages and precautions of hiring someone who can do the work remotely.

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ADVANTAGES

You can Lower your Cost

eCommerce developers that work remotely are usually more competitive on their price structure because they are competing at a national or international level.

Freedom

Send emails, make some calls and then review the progress at your earliest convenience. You are not tied to a 9 to 5 office schedule like you would with a local agency.

Better Designers and More Knowledgeable Developers

When you open up to the possibilities of hiring someone remotely you are opening yourself to a huge pool of skills and knowledge that may not be available in your local market.

PRECAUTIONS

Ask for References

You would do this for someone local so follow the same procedure and request their portfolio and contact names and phone numbers. The remote firm or freelancer should be willing to provide these in no time. They need to build your trust and this is their first step to achieve this. You should then make a couple phone calls and ask about performance, meeting deadlines, and overall professionalism of the person and/or the company. You should also ask for any problems that came up while they were conducting business with the person or company you are researching. Lastly, ask very clear “Would you recommend their services?” It should be a simple “Yes/No” answer.

Get a Real Street Address

Just like if you were to visit them, ask for their current address. Then look it up in Google maps and go to the “street view”. Is it a commercial address? An apartment complex? or an empty spot in the middle of nowhere? Google Maps are not completely up to date and there are buildings being built all the time, but just do some digging.

Get as Much Contact Information as Possible

Phone number, fax number, cell phone number, street address, email address and anything else you can think of. You want to make sure you can reach them in several ways. You may choose to use only 1 or 2 methods while conducting business but keep the rest for your records just in case you need them.

Get a Contract in Writing

It should outline the price, the scope of work, deadlines, guarantees and exceptions. It should be signed and dated. Print it and keep it for your records.

Schedule Regular Meetings

You are the customer and the developer should accommodate your needs as much as possible. If you are only available evenings make sure to make this clear right from the beginning so the developer can confirm that you will be meeting at those times. Find a common ground based on the time difference. If your developer is in Florida and you are in California you will need to find the right time for both. Agree on your preferred method for meetings; you may choose to use Skype for face-to-face conversations plus web browsing, or just conference calls over the phone.

Set Clear Expectations

Gather a few examples of the work you are looking to get done and submit it for review. Ask if the designer/developer can accomplish something similar and ask for samples of previous (similar) projects.

Closing notes

It can be pretty scary when you decide to send your hard earned money out to someone you have never met before, but it is clear that if you take enough precautions you should be safe to hire an exceptional company or individual for your project. The advantages are clear and your chances to find the right fit increase considerably.

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