The Flexie Bench is a global online marketplace designed to connect small and medium-sized businesses with a worldwide community of freelancers and independent contractors. The site allows businesses or individuals to post work and have it completed by qualified professional freelancers, who bid to complete the projects. Our goal is to give start-ups and SMEs a platform to combine their resources or to have access to the credible, experienced resources they need to compete in the contracting market.
By offering companies scalable and innovative workforce options, The Flexie Bench enables freelancers and contractors to interact with customers, bid on contracts and get work. Freelancers’ ability to get work is driven by their references and the quality of their portfolios. The Flexie Bench works with companies that understand the freelancers’ profiles and are willing to give them opportunities to expand their experience and honour their expertise.
Freelancers and independent contractors can offer mini-services or carved out services, such as handling marketing strategies, programme briefs, bids and tender responses, project plans and more. Freelancers have the opportunity to bid on a constant stream of full and part-time work opportunities from employers who need their skills.
Client companies can build their entire team from the Flexie Bench site. We have recommended specialists for every role, from inception to project management solutions through project closure.
The Flexie Bench facilitates SMEs working together to create joint bids and projects, providing them with a forum to work with new or established businesses and go after larger contracts than they could alone. By partnering with others, these companies have a better chance of getting those big contracts, growing their businesses and getting more contracts in the future.
Start by completing the sign-up form, including creating a username and password. Then create your User Profile, either as a Business or as a Freelancer. Fill out the Profile completely, so both businesses and freelancers know what skills you need and what you have to offer. Businesses and Freelancers with incomplete profiles are not allowed to post jobs nor to bid on projects. The Flexie Bench never shares personal information about a freelancer or a business with anyone (see Terms and Conditions).
The Flexie Bench strongly recommends both businesses and freelancers use the Milestone Payment system. This assures all parties that the work gets done and that payment is received on time. Milestone Payments also increases the reputation of both the business and the freelancer, by demonstrating a commitment to the Flexie Bench process. Once the project is complete and paid in full, both the business and the freelancer can use the Feedback system to provide references regarding the other.
Once you have established your profile there is no cost to post your job or manage the work in progress using The Flexie Bench. The Flexie Bench earns our profits based on the total cost of the job, once the work is completed.
If you as a business or a freelancer are not satisfied with the arrangement, contact The Flexie Bench Customer Happiness. We will arrange for another freelancer who is a better fit for the company, and we will work with the original freelancer to find more appropriate work.
The Flexie Bench accepts payments via bank account drafts dwith ABA routing numbers, bank wires, major credit cards and via PayPal.
The Flexie Bronze plan is the default plan you receive when you sign up to be a freelancer with The Flexie Bench. It is free to everyone. With the Bronze Plan, you receive the following:
COST:$0.00 per month
Upgrade to the Silver plan or $9.99 per month. Receive additional skills, visibility, team members for your freelancer agency, and more bids available per month, and you can get more work! With an upgrade to the Flexie Silver Plan, you receive all the benefits of your Bronze Plan PLUS:
COST: $9.99 per month, billed automatically and renewed each month
As the name suggests, the Flexie Freelancer Gold Plan is the top of the line best of the best we offer. For $19.99 per month, Flexies get ALL of the perks of the Bronze and Silver Plans, PLUS the following additional features:
COST: $19.99 per month, automatically billed and renewed each month.
Business customers also receive the Bronze Membership plan as their entry level default plan. Every client company creates a company/business/client profile on The Flexie Bench. As a client, this allows you the following privileges, all at NO COST:
Upgrade to the Client Silver Plan for only $9.99 per month. Clients who upgrade to Silver keep all the benefits of the Bronze Plan, plus gain the following advantages:
COST: $9.99 per month, automatically renewed and billed monthly
The Gold Client Membership plan helps our most professional entrepreneurs and larger clients stand apart from single-person clients and SME’s by offering benefits and advantages not available at the Bronze and Silver Levels. Gold Members keep all the benefits already attained by Bronze and Silver Members, with the following additions:
COST: $19.99 per month, renewed automatically and billed monthly
The Flexie Bench Enterprise Plan is how our largest, most professional clients fulfill their resourcing requirements. Responding to market demands agility and a dynamic workforce. The Flexie Bench is ready with critical resources to help your business navigate today’s ever-changing world.
With the Enterprise Plan, your business receives the following benefits, in addition to the resources you need for posting Work Orders, hosting Virtual Workrooms and retaining Flexie freelancers.
Cost _____ per month.
Once enrolled in your new Membership Plan, you will receive a prorated number of Connects as a BONUS for upgrading your Membership! You will also receive your Membership Upgrade perks, such as your new Project Bid amounts and Profile Skills if you are a Flexie, or your new Work Orders and Flexie Support tools if you are a Business.
If you have any problems with your Membership Upgrade, contact The Flexie Bench Customer Happiness Team for support.
If it is time to scale back your work or your use of Flexies for a time, you may want to downgrade your membership to a more basic Flexie Bench plan. No problem! Plans bill month-to-month, so changes reflect on the first day of your next billing cycle. Simply follow the same steps outlined above (How to upgrade your Membership Plan), and select the new Plan you want in Step 4.
Your Membership plan is billed on the same day every month. Your Bids, Projects, and other Membership Level benefits refresh monthly on that same date according to your billing cycle. If you have changed plans, those changes take effect on the first day of the new billing cycle. If you have any questions or concerns about your Flexie Bench billing, contact Customer Happiness Support.
No. The Flexie Bench primarily provides opportunities to contractors and SMEs, but this does not preclude individuals or bigger businesses from using the service, too.
The Flexie Bench allows growing businesses to scale their workforce up or down as needed. We help prospects to secure contracts with those companies, or join virtual teams to bid and win those contracts. This concept is also used in larger consultancy firms where a “bench set” of skills is available in-house on demand, and can be rotated in or out of projects as needed. The Flexie Bench will let smaller companies do that without the associated overhead costs of maintaining full-time staff. Employers pick from among the available freelancers with the precise skills needed for their job, without having the expense and time of hiring a full-time employee.
Log into your User Profile and create a Work Request form. Set the budget and milestones for your project, and provide as many details as possible about the nature of the work you need from freelance providers. Next, start looking through the registered freelance providers on the FI Bench. The business customer invites freelancers to their team and/or accepts bids from freelancers and freelance teams. Once you have your team selected, either through invitations or bids, you Confirm your team to finalize it so work can begin on your project.
As a business customer, you send invitations to freelancers registered on the FI Bench, if they have skills that meet your needs. When you post your Work Request, freelancers can also bid to join your work team. You have the option to accept or reject their bids. The Flexie Bench requires business customers to accept, counter or reject bids from freelancers within ____ days, as a professional courtesy to our freelance contractors.
The Flexie Bench automatically creates a shared workroom for customers and their freelance team. This space allows everyone to share files and message one another once they have joined the team. Freelance providers and the business customer can also privately message one another.
The team creator monitors the work of the other team members and has rights to add or remove any other member from the team if they feel they are not performing as expected. The Flexie Bench strongly encourages team creators and business customers to stay in close contact, in case the customer has concerns. If a team member must be removed for any reason, their payment share will be divided equally amongst the remaining team members at the time of the next milestone payment. The business customer can only rate the freelance team once the entire work project is completed.
First, the business customer creates a Work Project Request and posts it on the Flexie Bench. If your qualifications and profile meet the needs of a customer, prepare a Bid. Include your Profile Information and your rates and prospective milestones for completion of work on the project. Submit this to the customer. Either the business customer will accept your bid and invite you to join their Team, or they will reject your bid. The client has __________ days to accept or reject your bid. The customer can also counter your bid.
If a freelance provider wants to bid on a work project, but they need a team to complete the work, they can recruit other freelancers and add them to their team. This is similar to a primary contractor subcontracting with other specialists. The primary freelance contractor also decides what roles each team member plays, the share of the work and the share of the budget each team member receives. Team members are not allowed to change their shares inside the team after it is created.
At the time a freelance provider places a bid on a work project, they propose milestones for work steps as part of the bid. The customer receives this information as part of the bid process. If the bid is accepted, these milestones become part of the common work space information. Each freelancer can view their personal milestones and their rate. The business customer can see the overall budget and the milestones for all the freelancers involved in the project. Once each task is completed – or a milestone is met – payment is made for achieving that milestone. Final payment is made to all freelancers once the entire project is completed to the customer’s satisfaction.
When a freelance provider creates a team to bid on a project, The Flexie Bench asks them to decide how to divide payment among team members, if they are the selected bid. The division is called the “split type.” Once a split type is selected and the bid offer accepted by the customer, the split type cannot be changed by the freelance team.
There are two types of splits available on The Flexie Bench, Allocate or Equal.
The freelancer or freelance teams provide milestones for payment as part of the bid to the business customer. They also state notify The Flexie Bench which split type (see above) they desire for payment. Once the team begins work, payments are released to the freelancers as milestones are reached. The Flexie Bench distributes payments to the team members based on how they decided the split should occur. The customer must approve each milestone as complete and acceptable before we release payment.
A Retainer is an amount of money a client pays to guarantee a flexie stays bound to work only on their project for a set period of time. In addition, the Retainer allows the client to use the flexie profile to bid on external contracts.
When a client posts a project, they choose whether to display the project as a “project with retention,” and they decide the retention dates. If flexies decide to apply for that project, they sign and upload the retention contract. If they are chosen for the project, the client also signs and uploads the retention contract back to the flexie.
Clients can set the retainer based on a fixed amount or after negotiation with the flexie. Sometimes, the client pays a retention bonus to the flexie at the time of the final milestone payment. Regardless of the amount and type of the retention payment, the Flexie Bench takes the retention payment as an escrow payment in advance. When the project is completed, the flexie gets the retention payment.
The Flexie Bench supplies a Retention Agreement that must be signed by both the client and the flexie and then uploaded to our system. This must be on file prior to starting the retention project.
A flexie assigned to a Retention project can work on other online projects, but cannot work on other on-site projects during the retention period.
If the client releases the flexie before paying any milestone payments, the client and the flexie split the retention bonus 50%/50%. If the project is already in project and the flexie has received at least 2/3 of the milestones payments when the client cancels the project, the flexie receives 100% of the retention bonus but the final milestone payment reverts back to the client.
While a flexie is assigned to a Retention project, their work status shows as Unavailable while they are under retainer.
Flexies on the web site can make their availability for work known to clients by manually changing their work status. Clients can make decisions about project invitations based on these work status indicators. There are four kinds of work status notifications available:
Flexies have three options for Work Status. These indicate how quickly they respond to invitations to work on projects.
When clients look at a flexie’s Profile, they see Availability as well as your Work Status on your profile.
If you indicate you will respond to invitations within one hour or one day but our system shows you do not do this, it will affect your reputation in the marketplace for flexie talent. When clients send out work invitations and flexies don’t reply, clients get frustrated.
Your Stats on your profile indicate your typical response time to invitations. If you have not had enough work invitations for us to determine a response time, this indicator will not show on your profile.
Replying to a work invitation does not necessarily mean accepting the invitation to work. It means you have either accepted or declined the invitation to work, rather than ignored the invitation. It is also important that you let the Flexie Bench staff know about spam. If you are busy, on vacation or have other issues that prevent you from replying to invitations, let us know right away.
Clients can withdraw work invitations any time for many different reasons. If they withdraw the invitation in the first 24 hours, it does not count against your Response Time, even if you did not have a chance to reply.
First, you should try to resolve the issue with your flexie. If this does not resolve the situation, we will help you connect with Arbitration, as per our Terms. Disputes can only be filed regarding payment issues.