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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 158 IDEA: Work with a Virtual Talent Agency

Every week, Grover Righter, CEO of Aftertising.com, works with two or three people he's never met. “It's the modernization of work,” said Righter, founder of the small San Francisco-based firm, which enhances the impact of online advertising.

He relies on Elance.com, a leading virtual talent agency, to find freelance programmers and market researchers to hire by the hour or the project. He monitors their work online and pays them through an escrow account using a credit card.

“We could never hire all the skills we need without Elance.com,” said Righter, who has spent about $60,000 in the past two years on talent he's found through the site. He said Elance's systems and procedures to track work ...

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