I am thinking of starting a website similiar to elance.com where you can post projects for freelancing etc... but wanted to know exactly what would I need to start this.... in regards to programs? For example, I am assuming I am going to need a database of some kind, can anyone recommend anything?
Not to burst your bubble or anything but there are a lot of websites out there offering what you are wanting to start up. Do you know of any of them, no of course not - because they are small and have no community member base. They also do not have professional appeal or proper use of moderators and site admins.
elance is not a joke, its a serious business and is treated like one.
I can't tell you what you need to start it up but I hope the advice above will help to put things into perspective for you.
By the way, is your site a template, if so that basically takes away the whole concept of 'Design Services" if its not a template, nice design.