Outsourcing is something that Tim Ferris talks about in The 4-Hour Workweek.
I think outsourcing is a great idea, but it requires the management of people to get things done. In a way, by outsourcing, you are exchanging doing the work to managing someone else doing the work for you.
So to try outsourcing for cheap, I thought I’d buy a few things from Fiverr.
What is Fiverr?
Fiverr is a website where people post what they are willing to do for $5. This is called a ‘gig’. When I first heard about Fiverr, I was a bit sceptical. My initial suspicions were that you couldn’t get anything worthwhile for $5, or that the quality of what you would receive couldn’t possibly be very good. I also thought that everything would be provided by people living in 2nd or 3rd world countries.
Surely you can’t get anything good for $5
I was wrong – you can get a lot of good stuff for $5! There are lots of ‘personal’ services, from getting a piece of music recorded for you, to getting someone to call your friend and play them happy birthday.
There are also a lot of business services like graphic design, computer programming and social media services.
Do things really cost $5?
Usually yes – people offer to do something for $5. Note that if you want additional features you will pay more (these are called extras).
For example, I took up an offer to design a logo for $5, but I decided to go with an extra 3 designs and a copy of the file (so that I could get someone else to change the colour etc.) for an extra $20. I think $25 isn’t a bad deal for a logo.
Does everybody only charge $5?
No – I found a website update service on Fiverr that said to message the owner for a quote. After I provided my details, they quoted me $120 (ie. 20 gigs x $5 per gig).
Why you would use Fiverr – Cut the extra crap
One good thing about small business (or dealing directly with a person), is that the job gets done with nothing extra. For example, if you want a big business to create a (small) software program for you, they will have quality control procedures, documentation, customer support etc.
These are all great things but they cost money. Buy a $5 task to create a small software program (if someone actually offers this) and boom, someone has done it!
Is it as good as big business? Probably not. But it might meet your needs.
Are you exploiting people if you use Fiverr?
No – I don’t think so. People have posted up that they are willing to do the task for $5, so you probably aren’t ‘exploiting’ them.
If you consider that writing a resume/elevator pitch/recording a video etc. might take you a few hours. However, for someone who has to do 20, they will be setup in such a way that they might be able to get all the orders done in an hour or two.
I have considered how much money you might be able to make using Fiverr (and the answer surprised me) in my next article: Fiverr – how much can you earn an hour on Fiverr?