One of the easiest, fastest and most fun ways to try out having others work for you is to use the service of Fiverr.com.
Personally, I have played around with it way too much. It is just too addictive to have a simple fast job gotten done by someone else for a seemingly really small price of $5.
It can add up – but it is a lot of fun. You can treat it as a hobby and easily learn the basics of outsourcing: choosing an employee, hiring him and giving him feedback.
Here are some things that can be done for $5 and that I have tried out myself:
- I got one of my websites critiqued and discussed via video
- Many people offer to write articles for you
- It is possible to get your Dropbox account expanded. You’ll have up to 18 Gigabytes of free Dropbox space. This gig is really recommended
- I got people to do funny videos for me where they behaved like a clown
- I asked another person to write 40 high quality comments on another blog for five dollars
- I got myself a Facebook fan page created – without knowing anything about it
Fiver is best suited for jobs that are related to internet marketing or work with a website. So, if you have one, you will find many interesting gigs there.
Gigs are what Fiverr calls its jobs.
Some gigs are really crazy
But you will find really fun stuff too.
- From beautiful girls sending you pictures with your name – or any text you want – on partially covered private parts
- Until creative videos with costumes or animals,
- People taking photos while holding up signs with a text of your choice at different places all around the world
- And people handcrafting small gifts and sending them for you.
You name it, you will find it.
Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing to Fiverr
- It’s fast and hassle-free
- It’s fun
- It’s crazy
- There are many possible tasks and you can suggest your own wishes
- And it’s pretty cheap (comparative)
- It’s addictive
- The cost can add up
- You intend to buy stuff which you don’t really need. Just for having fun with it.
And one real disadvantage is that Fiverr has grown so big that many people, especially doing gigs related to article writing, internet business and SEO, are taking over the market place. And some SEO related gigs are not so lucrative in my opinion.
If you look closely at some of the social marketing and business gigs, then you probably will find someone better on oDesk or a similar outsourcing service.
One solution for that last point is to check out some of the copycat websites which are similar to Fiverr:
- Justafive.com (gigs cost 5, 10 or 20 $, depending on how big they are)
- Tenyt (similar, only for 10$ you’ll get bigger tasks done)
- Fittytown (also similar, but all gigs cost 50 $. Look here if you need a serious job done at a fixed price)
Those alternative sites are smaller andyou might find more real and down to earth gigs there.
But no matter which of those sites you choose to use, have fun with it. Try to get your feet wet with outsourcing.
Ready for Outsourcing Like the Big Shots?
Have you gotten the taste of how fun it can be that someone does some internet work for you overnight?
Then you’ll want to learn about hiring a virtual assistant in an effective way.
Below I made some case studies of specific gigs I have created and what lessons I have learned from them.
Hire A Virtual Assistant And Have A Good Conscience About It
Understand the notion of ethics in business when you do learn how to outsource your work to freelancers all over the world. If you understand how to treat your VA the right way, you’ll have lots of success.
Whoever you are working with, wherever that person may live, treat them right
What is common sense for me, personally, sometimes gets ignored by others who are hiring virtual assistants, looking only for cheap work at possibly inhumane conditions.
I am not an encyclopaedia. But I have made real-life experiences with freelance workers from all around the world for many years now.
Outsourcing as a private person or a mini-business is way different than offshoring from a big enterprise. Still, the question: “what is business ethics in outsourcing all about?” is not only a duty towards your virtual co-worker, but also to your conscience.
The definition for business ethics when outsourcing can be boiled down to “treat others as you want yourself to be treated”.
Knowing the basics of Christian ethics in business is especially useful if you work together with virtual assistants from the Philippines. Even without discussing questions of faith here – there are many advantages for your business if you treat your online workers the right way.
Nothing beats the passion and effectiveness of a virtual helper who loves doing what he does for you. True loyalty cannot be bought.
I had the chance of meeting my full-time Virtual Assistant Jomvie in person in the Philippines. With him and other Filipinos, I made a first-hand impression of their manner to do business. If you really want to succeed in hiring Filipinos, you need to understand them well.
This is why I think the the combined view of my VA, Jomvie, and I will be helpful for you to understand Filipino business ethics.
Thinking Globally – Do your best to make outsourcing a win-win to both sides of the globe
The world is becoming more and more global. You can live in the US and hire someone from the Philippines, for example. But there are differences which you need to keep in mind.
Knowing about ethics in international business as an employer or a freelancer is a prerequisite to survive in this global world we now live in.
Attitude as an employer to your assistant
Think of global business ethics, which means that you need to be aware that your business partner lives in a country which is very different from yours. When you have a virtual assistant working for you, you need to know that they have a different…
- time zone
- attitude towards work and life
- cost of living levels
Attitude as freelancer to your boss
If you work for someone else, you are not only in it for the money. Always think about your business ethics and social responsibility that comes from
- the quality of your work
- and your work attitude.
If you only work for the quick money and instant gratification, you will fail in the long run. Learn how to do things well in order to live with satisfaction and success far in the future.
Bad business attitudes and lack of respect will hurt your success
Of course, there are many people who treat freelancers badly. Just because they live in a different, often poorer country than the employer does not mean that it’s OK to disrespect a virtual assistant. There are many cases of bad business ethics which can show you what not to do.
The top 3 mistakes for your outsourcing ethics in business you can make are:
- Lack of communication before, during and at the end of your cooperation. Worst case scenario: an employer firing his assistant without any further notice. Or a freelancer quitting the job without saying a word.
- Miss commitment- over committing but not delivering at all. This also goes both ways.
- Disrespect. Treating your employer (or assistant) as if he is stupid will come and bite you in the long run.
Of course, virtual assistants can also sometimes be at fault.
I started out as a private person trying out outsourcing for private projects only. I only recently started to think of me as a one-person enterprise.
That was also when I had to evaluate if my methods working with virtual assistants stood up to acceptable levels of ethics in business – which I am glad they did.
Honestly, if you spot any ethical issues on this whole website that looks cheesy, fake or slave-labor-ish, rush over and let me know!
My code of honor:
There is a strict set of rules I have set firmly into my mind of how I will treat my virtual assistants. I summarize it as my personal business ethics policy and try to live by it.
My virtual assistant from Pakistan as a case study in moral outsourcing
I have worked together with my virtual assistant for more than one year now. He does great work and is very affordable. The importance of ethics in business was clearer than ever to me when I started discussing having a virtual assistant working for me with my friends and met some difficult questions.
Since we share a high level of trust with each other, I profited from his experiences as a freelancer to ask some personal questions. This interview resulted in a thorough business ethics case study, all from the point of view of a virtual assistant from Pakistan.
Stay Tuned about global ethics in business for maximum success for your outsourcing business
I care about my virtual assistants being treated right. Still, it’s important to know what happens to ethics in business around us, especially in such a global world we are living in.
To stay tuned in, we’ll set up a business ethics news section. Head there to read about the newest pieces of information about ethical outsourcing from all around the world.
Timeless, must-read business ethics articles for any outsourcing business and cooperation will stay up as their own discussion pages. I’d love to see an honest, no-holding-back-discussion about the pros and cons of outsourcing going.
If you have travelled a bit, you will have made the difference that when you visit foreign countries, you might sometimes be surprised by how cheap everything is.
That’s when you feel the difference of cost of living from a foreign country.
Want an illustration?
Data entry job for students in Germany: 10 €/hour
Data entry job over oDesk in India: 1$/hour
When we interviewed different candidates for outsourcing case studies, we also included a questionnaire about how much living cost in the different countries.
You will find our results of this research of different cost of living by state below on this page. What I want to emphasize is that the process of outsourcing is naturally caused by these differences of income.
If you want to find out how much income levels differ in different states, then you can make use of a cost of living comparison calculator.
It doesn’t make outsourcing bad. Only if you adapt the money you invest into a foreign currency, and still are a cheap rip-off then there is nothing ethical in your business attitude.
If you are living in a country in Europe or America, chances are that your income levels are much higher than in so-called underdeveloped countries like India, China or even the Philippines.
Be smart and make use of the talented people there – you can then easily create a win-win situation.
- Create a job for someone who needs a job.
- Get quality work done for a fraction of the price you would pay in your own country.
- If you do it right, you don’t have to feel bad about it because you have the possibility to do much good even above borders of your country.
I put up this page here on my website to illustrate how different the world can be, how much difference there can be in the cost of a burger.
There are countries where feeding a whole family for $300 a month is not only a possibility, but reality.
Cost of Living in Thailand
Escape the boredom of 9-5 and working for “The Man”. Be your own boss now and start building your own future online!
But it takes so long to build a business…
It sure does. I am not saying that you’ll be rich and successful overnight. If you don’t want to take
to learn the specific skills to build an online business, then go with outsourcing.
Especially for tasks needed only from time to time and which involve the internet and are to be done in English, outsourcing would be the No.1 response for you.
Never work on boring tasks ever again
I don’t know how often you had to do something and thought:
“OK, someone else can do it in minutes, while I will have to read for hours to understand it. And I only need this done once.”
This also works for tasks that need to be done regularly – if you don’t want to do them, you don’t have to.
- too boring,
- too mind numbing,
- too time consuming.
You have more interesting decisions to take.
Are you the owner of a small company, a very small company? Then you are at the right place here at ideal-helper.com.
How can you do outsourcing in a better way?
If you are small entrepreneur your time is best used to make key decisions which will bring or lose much money.
If you, as a boss, sit down and do excel tables for two days…
- stop what you are doing
- do stuff that matters and outsource stuff that is tedious but necessary
- impress others with your work
- rise up the latter of the corporate world…
Be your own boss now and keep the money you make
Managing an online business is not impossible. But if you are doing it alone, it will get pretty gruesome over time. Having a virtual assistant working with you on the same online business will greatly increase the working speed of both parties.
If you choose to be your own boss now, you have the path of becoming a successful entrepreneur directly laid out before you. Success meaning that you will be making money online.
Leverage your efforts and business plans together with the focus and willingness to work from your outsourced virtual assistants, and you should be good to go.
Outsource your work to virtual assistants. Believe me, it works like crazy.
There are seven main advantages of outsourcing work to freelancers that I personally have experienced.
1. Get results faster
The simple truth is that two people work faster than one. Hiring a virtual assistant to cooperate with you on the same project will get you your results much faster.
2. You get highly qualified work force for relatively cheap
Getting this sort of help from an assistant would not work otherwise, financially and available for anyone. If you tried to outsource your work to local workers at your place, this would not be possible on a grand scale.
3. It frees up time so that you can do other more inspiring stuff
One of the main advantages of outsourcing your work is that you don’t need to do potentially boring and repetitive tasks and are free to do other stuff in that freed up time.
The one commodity one can never have enough of is: free time. Outsourcing gives you more time.
By outsourcing, you automatically learn leadership skills. You master team work with your virtual assistant and you learn to effectively give instructions to your co-worker.
All these skills are typical for highly successful people.
You want success, don’t you?
5. You are helping out people
Assuming that you are outsourcing ethically and that you are giving people overseas additional work opportunities that would else not exist, you are actually doing a good thing. You are helping people out and creating a win-win situation for both sides in this way.
6. You can leverage your own efforts
Think about what you can get done, alone, if you work really really focused. Then take the one thing you have learned that works and teach it to someone else, for example your virtual assistants.
Then, use their time and their skills to reproduce your efforts. This will effectively multiply you.
Reusing your success and replicating it with others is one of the greatest advantages of outsourcing.
7. You get things done
Since virtual assistants are very organized, this will greatly help you to get your organization checked. Especially if you are a creative and chaotic type, then you will greatly profit from having one hard working and very logical virtual assistant at your side. Then your dreams do not stay dreams, thoughts and projects – but turn into real results.
Use the opportunity
Do you have an entrepreneurial mind?
Then take this opportunity.
This last tip is not really an advantage of outsourcing. It rather is a possibility that would not be there for you else way.
Have you ever thought about renting out your virtual assistant?
That is what other outsourcing companies do.
You can do that too.
If you want, you can start your own outsourcing company this way. Just teach them one skill at a time that other people are desperately looking for.
Then, rent out your virtual assistant to those customers by negotiating a higher price than you are actually paying him. And then keep the difference.
This last strategy is for experienced entrepreneurs who would like to create their own online virtual assistance business.
However, the seven advantages of outsourcing I have listed above apply to anyone who wants to gain free time and get more organized.
We’ll cover two different histories:
- The General History of Outsourcing
- My Outsourcing Background
General Outsourcing History
Outsourcing done via the internet started in the USA in the mid-nineties (formally a business strategy since 1989) and was accepted practice in Europe from the early 2000s.
Any task that was not vital for the companies, (especially tedious) work like
- data entry jobs
- support services
- mail distribution within the company
- and human resources
were more and more outsourced (more exactly, off-shored) to cheaper countries.
Outsourcing to India
The history of outsourcing to India started in the mid-1980s and mainly focused on online services. Outsourcing telecommunication tasks followed in the nineties and lead to many jobs being offshored from the US to India. Billions are invested nowadays into offshoring tasks.
Why to India?
- There are many, many capable Indians around
- They all speak English
- They generally are low-cost workers
Potential for outsourcing in other countries
India is not the only country well-suited for virtual assistants. Other countries also are more and more a force to be reckoned with. Some, from whom I personally have hired employees over oDesk are:
- The Philippines
oDesk was founded 2003 by Odysseas Tsatalos and Stratis Karamanlakis, with the latter living in Greece. They collaborated over the distance “virtually” and developed a system to make this worldwide cooperation possible. Its biggest strength was that all online work was visible and everyone’s effort could be accounted for.
This platform was the base for oDesk, which enjoyed roaring success that still is not stopping, even now.
My Personal History of Outsourcing
Where do I come into play? I’m running this website about outsourcing from personal experience, so I’ll introduce my story.
What can I say? I did not start out very originally.
- I read the book “Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferris and was hooked.
Personal development and all creative to crazy ideas about life have always been alluring to me. No wonder I devoured Ferris’s book in half a day.
Now, I thought I was smart, and quickly jumped to implement the only last chapter of the book: outsourcing. Pretty stupid move, but I would probably do the mistake again.
The previous, priceless lessons about the definition, elimination and automation were just less… sexy in my eyes. What I didn’t know was that I had some ideas from the book already covered from countless lessons about goal setting in the past.
So, I would learn about automation the hard way, by managing numerous projects with freelancers from all around the world.
What about elimination?
Well, I stopped watching TV, but I guess this doesn’t cover the lost hours and hours spent on Facebook and the rest of the internet! More seriously…
One of the biggest time wasters I have encountered in the outsourcing world was… the hiring process.
You can eliminate most pitfalls of time-waste if you follow along closely with the information found on this website.
Where did outsourcing lead me?
After some initial time setting up the cooperation with the virtual assistants and getting jobs done since 4 years, I enjoyed, amongst others:
- Getting written text transcribed effectively
- Web research or data entry jobs being done overnight
- And even learning new skills with a virtual teacher
The one place I recommend for outsourcing is oDesk – it’s like an all inclusive package.