The UK Freelance Market, Neglected or Non-Existent?

As many of you will know, I recently turned certain events around and decided that rather than seeking employment, I would go it alone in the big bad freelance world and see what I can make of it.

Now, there are a wealth of tools online to help freelancers out there, such as Elance, Freelancer, Guru and Odesk, but there only seems to be one that really targets the UK market, and that is PeoplePerHour. PeoplePerHour is a great idea, and one that has proved to work for freelancers all over the country, but it’s not quite what I am looking for, seeing as I am a developer and my work rarely entails a visual element that can be accurately portrayed to a potential client.

What I am looking for, is something like Freelancer, a listing site that will list UK projects, by UK clients, for UK freelancers. After spending some time trying to find this unicorn, I find myself discouraged by the thought that I’ll have to spend my days searching for work, battling developers in other countries who will do the work for a fraction of the cost.

It was at that moment I realised “Hey, I’m a Developer, I build web systems for a living” and thought to myself “Why can’t I build this system? To help not just myself, but other freelancers like me?”.

This project is actually something I thought about many years ago when I still lived in my home town, but unfortunately never got around to building. The fact that nothing has really sprung up in this time does slightly worry me, could it be that no one has thought about it? Are people content using US based sites? Is there little interest in a UK only site?

Here we are, finally the point of this article. It is my intention to build a site for UK clients to find UK freelancers, starting off small with simple accounts, bios, skillsets and listings, with the potential to branch out into a whole other host of things (I have hundreds of ideas in my notes).

Before I do this however, I need to see if there is actually interest, or need, for a site like this, so I have created a form on google docs for you to fill out when you have a minute to do so, which can be found here. Also, if you know of anyone that you think may also benefit from this, then please let them know, the more feedback I get, the quicker we can get things done.