Before You Hire… Try Outsourcing
For years, small businesses have been outsourcing some of their important operations in order to free up more time in the day. But certain day-to-day tasks can become annoying when so many important matters require attention. Picking up dry cleaning, stopping by the grocery store for a gallon of milk, or even getting a photo of a local attraction for your website can take time away from the important business of running your business.
Long ago, busy entrepreneurs had personal and administrative assistants for such tasks. To save money, many businesses cut out the administrative assistant position years ago, leaving management-level employees to draft their own letters. Still, in the world of outsourcing, there’s a way to take care of these tasks. Here are a few sites that can take mundane tasks off your to-do list, giving you those extra minutes you need each day.
TaskRabbit. The great thing about TaskRabbit is that workers undergo a background check, which is exactly what you need when allowing strangers to help with your personal errands. Simply post an errand you need completed (house cleaning, restaurant food pickup and delivery, etc.), and local members bid for the opportunity to complete the task for you.
The site currently only offers services in seven states (California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington), but virtual services are available for all states.
Fiverr®. For five bucks, people will do any number of things. Website design, article-writing, photos of local landmarks — buyers simply browse the list of offers on the site, and offer five bucks to the person of choice. Buyers can also request gigs, so if you need a logo designed or a video for your site, give it a try.
TaskUs. The concept of a virtual assistant isn’t a new one, but TaskUs provides a team of workers to tackle any project too big or time-consuming for your small staff. TaskUs can take your calls, monitor your social media sites, and even provide comment moderation for your sites and blogs.
FancyHands. The great thing about FancyHands is that it allows you to pay a flat monthly fee rather than an hourly fee. The bad thing about FancyHands is that most tasks are handled remotely, rather than locally. If you need someone to research cleaning services in your area and provide the best one for you, FancyHands can take care of it. Just don’t expect someone to show up at your house and clean it top to bottom for that money. Still, a part-time researcher has value of its own.
Craigslist. Craigslist is an option for everything you could possibly want in life, and it’s free. However, the site can be very risky, since respondents aren’t screened, and there’s no way to read reviews as you can on other sites. Still, if you check references and conduct your own background checks, it can be a great way to find someone who will become a long-term valued assistant.
As entrepreneurs find themselves loaded down with work, online assistant services will become more valuable than ever. By choosing wisely and carefully checking the background of assistants, you can have your errands handled safely and inexpensively.