A little over a week ago, I wrote an article asking if Outsourcing is exploitation. In the end, I do not believe it is exploitation, and it seems that most, nearly all, readers felt the same way as I did. Of course, we want to always treat our employees in a fair way, and with respect, but the fact that wages are low here does not mean that the workers are exploited, in my view. As long as you are paying the market price for labor I don’t see how that could possibly be considered exploitation. And, when it comes to outsourced work, generally people pay a little more (or even a lot more) than the normal market price for labor in the Philippines.
Toward the end of that article, I mentioned that I had an idea regarding outsourcing that the “regular guy” reader might be able to employ to start a small business. Let’s talk about that today.
Here is what I got thinking about a few weeks ago. One of the common complaints that I hear from foreigners is that they have to send money to support the wife’s family in the Philippines. Why not use this for your advantage? Look, it’s a rule of thumb that if you marry somebody from the Philippines, you take on some responsibility for supporting the family. Most all of us support our Philippine family financially to one extent or another. Why not let them work for the money you send them?
Think about this… these people are family, so you don’t necessarily want to make them work for everything you give them. I mean, they are family, right? However, maybe by setting up something where they would have to do some work for the money you send to them, it will work toward their advantage. I am not trying to get religious here, but I think we all know the quote from the Bible about giving a man fish, or teaching him to fish, right? Well, why not let some of your family members learn some useful skills so that later on they can sell their skills on the labor market.
As an example, let’s say that you set up a small online business on the Internet. You sell some product or service. You are already sending your family in the Philippines $200 or $300 per month. Let them do work on your website in exchange for the money they are receiving from you! In addition to building a work ethic in them, they are also going to learn more Internet skills as they do the work and gain more and more experience. After a while, they can continue working on your site, but they can also take on jobs from others who will pay them for the work! Frankly, this is a win-win situation for you and for your family members here.
So many Filipino youngsters these days are going to school to learn computer skills, IT, Graphic Design or whatever, you should come up with some business that you can put up that will make you money, and also use the skills that your nephews or nieces are learning! It will make a little extra money for you, and it will make a little extra money for the family here too, in addition to giving them real world work experience.
If you live abroad, this “online” type of business will work perfectly for you. If you live in the Philippines already, there are other things you can do too. For example, Feyma has been doing work in Relocation Consulting. On some jobs, she needs some remodeling or construction work done. Feyma often hires people in her family to do the work. Now, you have to be the “boss” and keep on top of these people, family or not, to make sure you are delivering quality work to your customers, but in addition to Feyma making a nice chunk of money, she is also helping her family get a nice regular income too. What kind of business are you doing where you could use the skills of people in your Filipino family? It’s a perfect way of helping them gain a bit more income.
Another plus for you, if you are living abroad. Many of you who read this site are wanting to come and live in the Philippines like I do. Well, if you start some kind of online business while you are still living in the States, or wherever your home country is, use your family members here to provide inexpensive labor, you can build up the business in a way that a few years down the road you can move here and already have a thriving online business to support your life here! It’s a good situation to be in!
So, think about trying to outsource work to your Philippine family! If you are already sending money for support anyway, why not them provide you with a little added value for what you sent them? I think it’s a winning situation for everybody involved!