You can make your life more fun and your business more productive by outsourcing activities.
These days it’s super easy to delegate both personal matters as well as business activities.
Almost anything you are currently doing can be delegated or outsourced.
Doing what you’re not good at or what you can pay someone else to do for much less than your hourly rate, is draining the life out of you holding your business back.
The point of delegating some of what you do to someone else is so that you can focus your precious time on the things that you do well and enjoy and that allow you to create the most value.
Delegation does not equal dumping. Initially, it will require extra time to describe what you want done and how you want it done. In the end you will save time and be more profitable.
You will have a more profitable business if you outsource the things that are not the best use of your time, and you use that additional time engaged in high value activities.
I don’t want you to get overwhelmed by all of the choices here. So decide on one activity you’d love to outsource and then compare your options for getting that done. Start small, you can always outsource more later.
Note: oDesk and Elance recently announced they are merging, read more here.
At oDesk their motto is, “Get the right contractor. Get the job done.” They work globally and you can post your job offer for free. They offer contractors in the following main categories: Web Development, Software Development, Networking & Information Systems, Writing & Translation, Administrative Support, Design & Multimedia, Customer Service, Sales & Marketing, and Business Services. Their key selling points are:
- Hire on demand – Build a flexible workforce based on skills, ratings, and reviews.
- Manage the work – See work-in-progress screenshots, time sheets, and daily logs.
- Pay with ease – Rest assured with safe global payments and the oDesk Work Guarantee.
Another well-known option is Elance. They work globally and you can post your job offer for free. Most Popular Skills: Programmers, Designers, Writers, Admins, Marketers, Consultants, Accountants, and Mobile Developers. They boast over 1,800,000 rated & tested professionals to choose from and highlight the following benefits:
- Get candidates right away
- Approve work before payment
- Staff up and down as needed
3. Fancy Hands
Fancy Hands is available worldwide only in the English language and assistants are located all over the United States. You pay per request, not per hour. They offer a subscription based model, you pay monthly. See all packages here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
4. Get Friday
Get Friday works around the clock 24/7 and caters to busy individuals and small businesses in 30 odd countries across different time zones. You can choose for monthly plans or task based plans.
They offer the following service categories: Calendar Management, Customer Interaction Management, Home Assistance, Online Research, Purchases, Phone, Travel, Data Entry, Database Management, Follow Up and Reminder, Secretarial, and Personal. For more detail visit this page.
5. Brickwork India
Brickwork India offers services in Remote Executive Assistance (Business Support Services, Accounting & Taxation Support), Research & Consulting (Business Research, Investment Research, Healthcare Research, Procurement Consulting India Strategy Assessment, Legal Services, Content Development), and IT Services (Graphics & Animation, Opensource & Microsoft Technology, Internet Marketing Services).
6. Ask Sunday
Ask Sunday does currently service members from around the world but the requests must be English-based (they can’t call a shop in Germany and speak to them in German).
Request Types include: Data Analysis/Entry, Internet/database research, Outbound calling, Social media management, Real-time remote login for technical and general support, Continuous processes, Document Editing, Uploading content onto websites, Managing online postings, Email correspondence, and Miscellaneous – get creative. They are open 24/7 and offer a free trial. Services are sold in blocks of hours per month, more on this here.
7. International Virtual Assistants Association
International Virtual Assistants Association offers a directory where you can search to see if there is someone in your area.
8. Task Rabbit
Task Rabbit is currently only available in The United States: Boston, San Francisco Bay Area, San Antonio, Austin, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles & Orange County, New York City and soon it will be in the United Kingdom.
Task Rabbit offers many specific services under each of these main categories: Delivery, House Chores, Shopping, Office Help, Handyman, Moving Help, Virtual Assistance, Event Help, and Skilled. There are even more categories, see the complete list here. For more on how it works see this page.
9. Niche Providers
You can also search for specialized niche providers related to your industry. For example, a wonderful friend of mine is the owner of NGO Office Support. As the name communicates, she provides office support for NGO’s and she offers this virtually and in person.
I hope I’ve convinced you that there are a multitude of effective options for outsourcing some of your workload. Make the decision today to choose one activity to delegate, take action to find the right partner, and get it done. That way you’ll have more time to focus on the activities that create more value for your business.
© Stephanie Ward
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Who do you use to outsource your work? What is your experience with delegating? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.