3 WAYS TO MAKE SOME ex­tra cash

The cost of ev­ery­thing is ris­ing, but there are ways to al­le­vi­ate the squeeze on your wal­let, writes Maya Fisher-French

CityPress - - Business -

With ev­ery­thing from in­ter­est rates and tax, to elec­tric­ity and petrol prices, in­creas­ing faster than our salaries, it is not sur­pris­ing that it is be­com­ing more dif­fi­cult to make ends meet. If you have stretched your bud­get to its limit, it is time to start think­ing out­side the box to find ways to make ex­tra cash. 1 PAY-PER-TASK SITES Pay-per-task web­sites have trans­formed the work en­vi­ron­ment by cre­at­ing plat­forms where com­pa­nies list jobs that can be done re­motely.

This phe­nom­e­non has been called crowd­sourc­ing, and is usu­ally used by small and medium-sized com­pa­nies to hire skilled peo­ple in­ter­na­tion­ally.

For ex­am­ple, a South African com­pany may en­list the skills of a writer in Aus­tralia to do their press re­leases. A com­pany in the UK may hire a South African to de­sign a new web­site. These are all con­tract based and don’t need you to sit in an of­fice.

Some free­lancers make their liv­ing off these sites, but many full-time em­ploy­ees moon­light dur­ing evenings or at the week­end to sup­ple­ment their in­come.

Use your free­lance skills

If you have skills such as web de­vel­op­ment, graphic de­sign, proof­read­ing, writ­ing, typ­ing or even book­keep­ing, there are many op­por­tu­ni­ties for free­lance work on web­sites like up­work.com or peo­pleperhour.com, but you have to build up your online cred­i­bil­ity.

The down­side is that thou­sands and thou­sands of peo­ple are us­ing these sites, so com­pe­ti­tion is fierce. You may have to ac­cept lower-paid jobs un­til you have built up your rank­ings.

Ros Brodie, a free­lance subeditor and proof­reader who uses up­work.com, rec­om­mends that if you don’t have very spe­cific and in-de­mand skills, you may want to price your­self very low when you first start.

“Since you have no work history or rat­ings, price is the only fac­tor that you can com­pete on. There are a lot of peo­ple from places like In­dia, Bangladesh, In­done­sia and the Philip­pines who are will­ing to price them­selves very low. Try to ap­ply for jobs that have some sort of ‘test’ at­tached to the ap­pli­ca­tion so you can prove your abil­i­ties and show the qual­ity of your work,” says Brodie.

The more good work you do, the higher your rank­ing, so you get even more work. The op­po­site can ap­ply and a neg­a­tive re­view could hurt your chances of fu­ture work.

In terms of pay­ment, this is done via PayPal, a US com­pany op­er­at­ing a world­wide online pay­ments sys­tem. Brodie says that although she has never not been paid for a job, there is an el­e­ment of trust in­volved.

“Just as em­ploy­ers rate free­lancers, free­lancers also rate em­ploy­ers,” she says.

You are able to see the em­ployer’s history in terms of how free­lancers who’ve worked for them have rated them, and also how much in to­tal that em­ployer has al­ready paid out for all of their jobs. Be wary of scam­mers – no le­git­i­mate site will ask you to pay a reg­is­tra­tion fee be­cause they make their fee by tak­ing a per­cent­age of each job.

“Ob­vi­ously, you’re tak­ing a chance on a brand-new em­ployer who has no history, and any em­ployer is tak­ing a chance on a new free­lancer who has no history, but I think any sen­si­ble per­son can gauge from cor­re­spon­dence with the prospec­tive em­ployer whether there are likely to be is­sues or not,” says Brodie, who adds that the web­site also has a dis­pute-res­o­lu­tion process.

Check out these web­sites: up­work.com peo­pleperhour.com workath­ome­sos.com

Ideal for call cen­tre agents

Sites like click­worker.com and mturk.com have tasks that in­volve data cap­tur­ing, tex­ting, re­search­ing, cat­e­goris­ing and tag­ging of data.

For ex­am­ple, Me­chan­i­cal Turk, which is run by Ama­zon specif­i­cally for its web­site, hires peo­ple for spe­cific in­ter­net-based tasks. It runs what it calls hu­man in­tel­li­gence tasks, where you are given a spe­cific time pe­riod to com­plete the task and the amount of money paid is clearly in­di­cated. Af­ter the re­quester ap­proves the work, the money is de­posited into your Ama­zon pay­ments ac­count.

The tasks can range from fill­ing out a mul­ti­ple-choice sur­vey to find­ing the Twit­ter ac­count of a web­site URL and cat­e­goris­ing im­ages.

The amount paid is very small – of­ten less than R1 – so you need to do quite a few tasks in an hour to earn any real money.

Trent Hamm, au­thor at thesim­pledol­lar.com, tested out Me­chan­i­cal Turk to work out how much he could make in an hour – he made about R80, which is not a bad in­come to make on the side.

He says there is very lit­tle skill in­volved and it is of­ten a repet­i­tive task, so it is best done spo­rad­i­cally dur­ing the course of the day. This could be ideal for some­one, for ex­am­ple, who is man­ning a call cen­tre and can com­plete a few tasks dur­ing de­lays be­tween calls and earn ex­tra cash.

He rec­om­mends avoid­ing very low-pay­ing tasks, but says you must re­fresh fre­quently be­cause well-paid tasks get picked up quickly. Writ­ing tasks are bet­ter paid, so if you can write quickly, es­pe­cially about a topic you are fa­mil­iar with, you could earn a bet­ter rate. You can earn a qual­i­fi­ca­tion that makes some higher-paid jobs avail­able by com­plet­ing an online test.

For stu­dents or week­end work

The US has sev­eral sites where peo­ple and com­pa­nies can post small jobs and er­rands – like col­lect­ing laun­dry, sum­maris­ing a lec­ture or find­ing a band for a party. These sites are specif­i­cally de­signed for stu­dents who have a few spare hours a week to help peo­ple who are of­ten too busy to get the day-to-day stuff done.

In South Africa, un­for­tu­nately, these sites are not as pro­lific. There are some sites, like rentas­tu­dent.co.za, that list some jobs, but if you have a car and can run er­rands, then list your ser­vices on web­sites like gumtree.co.za and olx.co.za. A word of warn­ing: There are some strange peo­ple out there, so vet them care­fully be­fore you take on the job. 2 DRIVE SOME­ONE HOME SAFELY As South Africans be­come more aware about drink­ing and driv­ing, many driver-as­sist busi­nesses have opened, cre­at­ing a job op­por­tu­nity at the week­end.

As the de­mand for this ser­vice peaks at the week­end, there is a high de­mand for part-time driv­ers to work a 12-hour shift.

Un­like a reg­u­lar taxi ser­vice, in the driver-as­sist model, the driver is dropped off at the lo­ca­tion by a “chaser” and drives the client home in the client’s car. The “chaser” fol­lows and col­lects the driver once he/she has dropped off the client at home. This means there is no need to have spe­cial in­sur­ance or a public driver’s li­cence, and it can be a per­fect part-time job for a cou­ple.

What you need to know is that hired driv­ers and chasers all need to sub­mit to drug screen­ing on re­quest and are sub­ject to back­ground checks.

As the driver, you would usu­ally re­ceive a train­ing course be­fore you would be al­lowed to drive clients.

Com­pa­nies use dif­fer­ent mod­els – some pay a set fee for the 12-hour shift, while oth­ers pay for each trip taken with a min­i­mum book­ing fee. Over and above the book­ing fee, a driver can make good tips.

Alan Wheeler of Cape Town-based Drunk Driver says tips can be about R300 a shift. 3 GET YOUR HOME ON TV There is a huge de­mand by both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional film and pho­tog­ra­phy crews for lo­ca­tions for pho­to­shoots, es­pe­cially in Cape Town. You don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to have a de­signer home be­cause many TV ad­verts are look­ing for or­di­nary homes to shoot com­mer­cials in.

Jeanne Wat­son of shoot­my­house.tv says the weak rand is mak­ing South Africa a top des­ti­na­tion for in­ter­na­tional ad­verts. The catch, how­ever, is that the house needs to be fairly generic and easily adapted for an in­ter­na­tional look.

“We are look­ing for homes that are fairly generic but that are open-plan with a lot of space where small changes can be made to suit the re­quire­ments,” says Wat­son, who adds that kitchens tend to be the most in de­mand for shoots.

The pho­to­graphic crew will need to make some changes to your home, such as putting in ad­di­tional coun­ters or putting up blinds, but these are all changed back af­ter the shoot.

Wat­son says in­sur­ance is taken out by the film com­pany to cover any dam­ages, but in her ex­pe­ri­ence this is sel­dom re­quired be­cause the crews are very care­ful. A generic home for an av­er­age com­mer­cial can earn be­tween R8 000 and R10 000 a day.

Be­fore sign­ing up, you would need to sub­mit pho­to­graphs of your home. If it meets the cri­te­ria, pro­fes­sional pho­to­graphs will be taken and listed on the site.

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