Personal Outsourcing: Outsource Your To Do List

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Monday, June 4, 2007

Overseas outsourcing has transformed U.S. economy. Now some families are adopting outsourcing for personal tasks, getting them done for a fraction of what they would cost at home.

When David San Filippo decided to create a tribute video in honor of his sister’s wedding, he could have gotten a recommendation from a friend or looked up video editors in the phone book. Instead, he did what big corporations have been doing for more than a decade: sent the work offshore.

On the Internet, Mr. San Filippo located a graphic artist in Romania who agreed to do the whole thing for $59. The result was a splashy two-minute video with a space theme and “Star Wars” soundtrack. It won raves at the wedding.

Personal outsourcing is still new and represents a tiny fraction of over $20 billion overseas outsourcing industry. However it is likely to evolve into a larger niche as opportunities are identified.

RentACoder has long popularized outsourcing school homework for pocket money. You will find tons of jobs advertised for 20$ or less in rentacoder and they do get done.

Outsourcing tutoring is already gaining a foothold in the industry. There are several Indian companies which provide such services.

You can also outsource accounting, tax-filing, tour-planning or probably even wedding planning as you can do almost anything over the internet today. Outsourcing your personal todo list may give you the much needed free time to spend with your family and friends.

Any work that doesn’t need physical presence can be outsourced.

Consumers must also be able to recognize when a routine task can be done digitally, and across time zones. Earlier this year, Dan Frey went in search of an artist to illustrate a children’s book his mother had written for the grandkids about her life growing up in New York City. He thought about finding a student from a local art school, but then it dawned on him that he could outsource it without leaving his house. The job didn’t necessarily require a face-to-face meeting — he could just email the draft.

He logged on to Guru, which he’d learned about from computer programmer friends who had used it for work. Within a week, 80 bids had come in from countries like Lebanon, Ukraine and Malaysia.

The woman he finally hired lives in the Philippines. He says her drawings, styled after Japanese anime, were more cheerful than other entries, and he was impressed by her polished portfolio. She offered to do 25 drawings for $300 — what some others wanted for a single illustration. “I was kind of amazed at how easy it was,” says the 36-year-old sales and marketing consultant. He says his mother was “overwhelmed” when she saw the finished product.

Source: ELLEN GAMERMAN (found in email)

The key challenge is to evaluate a vendor who will render the job to your satisfaction. Look for credentials and available bandwidth of the provider. Do not go with ones who promise a project manager for your tiny work, as they will charge more for their overhead. Communicate well, if necessary over the phone. Use IP telephony if possible to reduce the cost of overseas call. Work out deliverables and part payment where possible to reduce your risk.

March 16, 2010: 9:22 pm

Almost everything is being outsourced nowadays - even Twitter. So it is not surprising to learn that a lot of people are now choosing to personally outsource. There are a lot of people all over the globe who are good at what they do, and you will be able to cut costs too.

November 3, 2008: 3:10 pm

I just got a new website. Did the whole thing using TaskUs (
). I’m starting to believe in this personal
outsourcing thing.

will not be displayed