I coach CEOs to get stuff done properly for cheap by using websites like eLance.com, Guru.com, CrowdSpring.com or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Or check out an awesome new service called Outsourcing Things Done.
It’s really cool how they work: You post the projects or work you need done and people around the world bid on the project, offering their price to get the work done for you. They even provide references and samples for past work they’ve done. Over the last year alone, I’ve had research done by someone living in Karachi, Pakistan, for $2 an hour. I needed to get some contact info, addresses, and information related to venture capital firms and angel investors in Washington state and British Columbia. It would’ve taken me all week to do it and an employee would have cost too much when this person was thrilled to do it for $120 in total. And the output rocked.
I needed to have all of my training DVDs from speaking events transcribed so I used the transcription services of someone in Sweden for $8 an hour. I also had some media interviews that produced content I thought could be useful, so I simply emailed her the files and she typed them all up in Word for me. Many transcription firms used to charge $75-125 an hour for this. Her 20 hours of work was a little more than $125 in total.
I’ve used virtual assistants around the world to work on miscellaneous tasks for me. Even CEOs that I mentor are already starting to outsource work they used to delegate to employees. It just doesn’t make sense to delegate work to people for three to ten times what it costs us when you can outsource using services like this. As long as you’re getting the right quality out of these services, it’s worthwhile.