Outsourcing isn’t just for large corporations that want an unintelligible tech support team. Many entrepreneurs start their business with some form of outsourcing – from web design and creative writing, to product development and manufacturing. With websites like Upwork (for tasks) and AliExpress (for products), it’s easier than ever for average Joe to launch a business for the cost of a website (as little as $2 a month).
But what about the rest of us? What if we aren’t looking to start a business right now? Is outsourcing still something we can use?
I have used outsourcing for a wide variety of tasks – mostly for my own small businesses, but occasionally for personal use as well. The following activities are ones that you could be paying someone else to do – potentially for far less than it costs you to accomplish! Read this list and let me know if you think of anything else that could be added.
1. Outsource Your Job Search
Sadly, many Americans have lost their jobs due to outsourcing. However, as with all of life’s changes, you can either fight it, or embrace it. Therefore, if you find yourself unemployed.,why not outsource your job search?
It’s incredibly boring to search for job openings, fill out the lengthy applications, and receive multiple rejection letters. Therefore, rather than waste your time with application work – spend your time networking and pay someone else $2/hr to fill out job applications for you!
Many people have received interviews from applications filled out by their virtual assistant. Whether you send your virtual assistant a list of jobs to apply for, or simply give him a few criteria to search for, you’ll save many hours by using an assistant.
Therefore, don’t waste your time being unproductive, pay someone else to apply to jobs and spend your time networking or freelancing work until you find a full-time position.
2. Outsource Your Job
For those who already have a job, it may be worthwhile outsourcing a few tasks. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend doing this without clearing it with your supervisor first. However, we all have miniscule tasks that take a lot of time, require little effort, and we find incredibly boring. If you think your time could be better spent elsewhere, why not ask your boss if a few tasks could be outsourced. You can save both time for yourself and money for your employer.
In fact, you may be able to hire a virtual assistant from the Philippines to help you full-time for a very reasonable rate!
DON’T OUTSOURCE YOUR JOB WITHOUT TELLING YOUR BOSS! I know of one programmer in particular who decided to outsource his job without telling anyone. However, after several months, when his superiors realized that he was accomplishing his work much faster than he should be, they caught on. Needless to say, he was fired. After all, if you are outsourcing your entire job, then why shouldn’t your boss cut out the middleman (you) and outsource themselves?
3. Outsource Your Homework
I am 100% opposed to outsourcing your homework. If you don’t feel like doing your coursework, then save yourself time, energy, and money by quitting. Life is too short to continually do something you find miserable.
However, after discovering that a college freshman was outsourcing his homework for $10,000 a year, I realized that I have to put this on the list. There are many people paying to have someone else do their assignments. Clearly, this is risky business – as when test time comes, you’ll be poorly prepared.
For those who agree that outsourcing your homework is unethical, there are still aspects of your educational experience that may be worth outsourcing. For example, you can hire someone to proofread and edit your assignments, or pay someone to compile a semester long schedule from your syllabus and remind you when essays, tests, and projects are due.
4. Outsource Your Social Media Presence
Building a personal brand is one of the most important things that you can do. If people Google you, what do they find? If you lost your job right now, would you have a big enough social network to find another?
Although many aspects of networking need to be done by you, and not someone else, there are some things that could be outsourced. For example, you could pay someone a couple dollars a week to find great articles (related to your profession) and share them on your Twitter and Pinterest. I’ve outsourced Twitter projects in the past – and it’s a great way to grow your following organically, without spending a significant amount of your own time.
5. Outsource Entering Sweepstakes
Who doesn’t love winning? Although the lottery costs money to enter – sweepstakes don’t! I’ve actually hired multiple virtual assistants to enter sweepstakes for me – and I’ve won! Over $600 worth of stuff.
Of course you aren’t guaranteed to win, but, if you enter smaller sweepstakes, your odds can be pretty good. Additionally, I’ve discovered that this is a task that is easy to get college students (from the Philippines or elsewhere) to enter very inexpensively. I offer $0.10 per sweepstake entered, plus 10-20% of any winnings (after pay is subtracted). Most people enjoy the opportunity to get paid a little in while striving to win big.
As long as you are aware of the sweepstakes that your assistant is entering, it is completely legal (have them send you a list). Just make sure that you create a new email address. This will prevent your regular inbox from being flooded with spam.
Hire someone on Fiverr and you could be entered in 200 sweepstakes this month for $20! If you try this out and win a sweepstake – let me know. I’m curious to see if it works as good for others as it has for myself.
6. Outsource Comparison Shopping
Anytime you need to compare a variety of items or products, bringing in an assistant can be helpful. I’m not talking about when you can’t decide whether to by the name brand pasta sauce for $0.50 (although I suppose you could do that). I’m talking about larger purchases.
Have a virtual assistant collect and compare automobiles for you. Thinking about moving? Have your assistant manage the bids for your move and look into the ratings and reviews of the moving companies.
Essentially, any larger purchase that can benefit from research could benefit from a virtual assistant. Of course you will want to make the final decision, but your assistant can save you time by pull the information together and siphoning out the worthless items.
7. Outsource Household Chores
Outsourcing doesn’t mean “overseas”. Outsourcing simply means hiring someone else to do something that you need to do. Therefore, when you bring someone in to mow your lawn or clean your house, you are essentially outsourcing.
What tasks should you consider hiring someone else to do? Anything that would take you more time than it’s worth.
For example, if you can make $25/hr freelance writing, and you can pay someone $15/hr to mow your lawn, pay someone to mow your lawn! Spend that hour writing another article and find yourself $10 richer than you would have been otherwise. Try out this $20 promo for TaskRabbit if you’re interested in hiring someone local for a project.
Have you considered outsourcing for personal tasks, or do you think it’s un-American? What could you start outsourcing right now to make your life easier?