Help a Foreigner Out (as a Side Hustle)
Become the go-to local buddy for a foreigner in your country and earn some extra income doing it.
This article is a part of the series: ‘Online Side Hustle Ideas (on a silver platter)’. Here’s a list of all past and upcoming ideas.
If you take a pair of people at random, chances are: they are going to speak different languages. That’s why interpreting is one of the oldest jobs.
Now, how about you don’t take people at random, but focus on a specific beast: a foreigner who has just arrived in a country?
Foreigners coming into a country where English is not the official language… usually don’t speak the language.
I’ve been there and it sucks, but an adventurous spirit cannot be tamed.
Such folks are in dire need of an interpreter. More so a local buddy that will help them out.
Well, there’s a long list of tasks to be done: find accommodation, sign contracts, get a residence permit, open a bank account, get a SIM card, register in the police, etc.
They would gladly pay anyone to help them settle these inconveniences.
We use to have a guy that would get all foreigners settled when I moved to Italy many years ago.
His name is Babic.
Babic was doing it for free, though – his mistake, if you ask me. Now, whenever a foreigner had a problem we would say “Keep calm and call Babic”.
If you speak the local language, you could be someone’s Babic.
Most importantly, you don’t need to be local yourself, to be a Babic! You simply need to speak the language.
Foreigners that are just arriving in the country. Examples are exchange students, work travelers, or digital nomads, even longer-term tourists.
These are the type of people you are looking for. There are plenty of them even in a pandemic.
How to start this as a side hustle
We live in the 21st century. No need for you to actually meet them in person.
So let’s talk about the tech you’ll need.
I imagine this side hustle in the following way.
A person comes to your website and books a meeting with you. They pay for the service on the spot and receive a meeting link.
You host the meeting on your own platform (e.g. GettingSettledInRome.3veta.com)
At the arranged time, everyone with the link enters your platform and you guide them through whatever hardship they are having.
With almost no communication, negotiation, or anything, everyone knows where and when they should be. Moreover, all bills have been settled already.
Sounds a bit complicated? Well, it isn’t.
If you use a dedicated tool, such as 3veta, you can easily create your own website, schedule meetings or get booked, host video calls, and get paid. All in one place.
As with any other interpreting side hustle, entrepreneurs with no business abroad (so far) can try out your services, too. If everything goes well, you can develop a longer-term relationship and become their trusted interpreter.
But it is the foreigners you should be aiming for. Ceteris paribus, they are up for spending more money than the locals and on top of that… they are trying to avoid issues with the local authorities!
The best thing is they are extremely easy to find! Every big city in every country has a Facebook Group about this. Be there and try to be helpful, while pitching your services.
This side hustle is extremely sustainable as foreigners will start referring you to one another in perpetuity. You will have become a Babic for a living.
You can think about specializing in something. For instance, residence permits are pretty hard, while completely standardized. If you become good at this, you can save everyone a lot of time.
Think about charging different prices for different services. Opening a bank account is both important and tedious, so it should cost more than getting a SIM card
Think about a subscription model. Maybe your foreigner buddies can pay you a fixed fee each month for you to help them out. In this way, your income will be predictable, while they will have peace of mind
Ask for referrals. They say happy clients will refer you themselves, but it won’t hurt if you explain this to them
Look to develop long-term relationships with your clients. If they are happy with your help, you can become their go-to person for this country and they will involve you in other business ventures they undertake
Looking to start a side hustle but that’s not right for you? You can find a whole list of similar side hustle ideas here.
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