Outsourcing the Domestic Arts

LauraAppleyardFlickr I almost died when I found out that one of the other moms at my children’s school had a personal assistant. Surely someone had it wrong. It must have been a nanny. But no. This woman had a personal assistant to do things like pick up laundry, plan meals, and order fancy cookies with the school colors oozed out in frosting. And while this family must have some serious disposable income, they’re not living in a $5 million estate either.

Personal Concierge Service For Everyone

Careerplanner.com has identified home automation as one of the top trends driving changes in employment opportunities. But if you’re reading this, you’re less interested in working in the home as you are in creating a business model to capitalize on the trend.

Here are some of the tasks that represent the greatest opportunity for time-saving at home:

  • Meal preparation
  • Cleaning
  • Grocery shopping
  • Helping kids with homework
  • Ironing

None of this is new. We have machines to wash our dishes and clothes, cook our food, and clean the floor, but there are still many areas that can be outsourced or automated to save even more time at home. However, until now only the rich have had means to hire others to do these type of chores. Cleaning, Personal chefs, and Personal Assistants services are on the rise in part because if you can’t afford a full time employee, you can hire someone piecemeal through an agency such as Envy Concierge, or even go online with sites like Red Butler. They can research major purchases, take your car in for repair, and pay your bills. 

Beyond Outsourcing

Hiring someone else to do your mundane tasks at a low cost is one thing, but the real profit potential lies in true automation and optimizing resources:

  • What if you could order all your groceries online? (I’ve done this. It’s heaven. Online grocer, please come to my town.)
  • What if you could order full meals? (The diet services seem to have this model worked out.)
  • What if you could enter everybody’s birthday and preferences online and rest assured that cards and gifts would be sent?
  • What if you could push a button and a party showed up at your door?
  • What if you could save people time?
    You’d be very successful, that’s what. What happens to society when we’ve outsourced and automated our entire lives? We’ll worry about that later.