7 tasks a business never thinks to outsource but should

| April 29, 2016

The growing sharing economy movement is showing no signs of slowing down – and now more than ever businesses are jumping onboard, too.

Some $13 million worth of tasks have been posted by businesses on Airtasker, the leading Australian community marketplace for people to outsource tasks or complete flexible jobs to earn money.

In fact, the number of businesses using Airtasker increased by 151 per cent between February 2015 and February 2016, with 5318 businesses now using the platform.

While businesses make up only 1.1 per cent of our total member base, they account for more than a third of the total value of tasks posted on the platform in the past year.

So why are more businesses turning to sharing economy platforms for outsourcing?

It’s simple. The sharing economy enables businesses to get odd jobs done as they look to expand and grow without hiring one-off expensive contractors.

Many businesses also turn to these platforms when it’s challenging to find specialised labour or when they are burdened by overheads in agency fees. Sometimes, there’s also not enough work to justify full-time roles or an agency hire.

The concept of being able to outsource is powerful. Platforms like Airtasker can help offset some of the costs of running a business and give those working in the sharing economy a chance to earn a supplementary income. Ultimately, there is a clear trend towards flexibility in the workforce — with both companies and employees looking for ways to improve productivity and maximise output.

Job posters and job completers (“Airtaskers”) receive reviews which can be viewed by anyone, cementing Airtasker as a reliable and trusted platform.

Here are 7 admin tasks businesses may never have thought to outsource but should:

1. Events assistance

Whether it’s a monthly executive meet-up or the occasional shareholder luncheon, hosting events are a time-consuming task. For small to medium operations, committing time and resources to this part of the business can be low on the priority list. However, the online marketplace is flush with event planners and assistants that specialise in tailoring events specifically to suit your business. Whether you’re looking for help with set-up, serving drinks, greeting guests or hosting fun and games, local outsourcing is a great way to find reliable and flexible staff. You’ll be able to access events experts while also balancing budget requirements as different vendors bid for your business.

2. Office admin/data entry

Anyone with experience in an office environment will be quick to concede that admin and data entry are two tedious parts of running a business. It’s the kind of work that requires constant attention — updating systems and entering information — without needing any specific knowledge of a company. It is entry-level work that can be facilitated online, quickly, methodically and with little risk. A review of sharing platforms will reinforce that there is a high volume of experienced office workers keen to help. Furthermore, by liaising directly with a hire, you can ensure they’re able to deliver exactly what you need.

3. Email maintenance

An overflowing email inbox is an unprofessional look for your business and delay in getting back to customers can be a serious cause for concern. However, if committing to a full time receptionist/assistant is unrealistic, then outsourcing is your best option.

Using a sharing platform, you can find a digital helper who is able to work the exact amount of hours you need per day, week or month. This then offsets the cost of a full time employee, while also ensuring your business doesn’t risk becoming unreliable.

4. Product/website testing

The reality of outsourcing online is that you’re tapping into a hugely diverse digital community who are all competing for your business. If your work relies on customer feedback, then there’s no better place to get immediate results. Product and website testing is quickly becoming one of the most popular tasks to outsource. Float what you need on a digital platform and experienced reviewers will be quick to surface. You can then stipulate the conditions and controls, ensuring you’re getting exactly what is needed.

5. Quick errands or deliveries

The beauty of living in this day and age is that practically everything can be delivered to your door by anyone with a set of wheels. So why can’t we apply that same convenience to your business? Instead of engaging costly couriers, jump online and pitch your delivery to the marketplace. Need a stack of documents sent across the city, signed and returned? You’ll find a budget friendly option online.

6. Marketing promotions

With online marketing becoming increasingly competitive, many small to medium-sized businesses are turning to fail-proof ways of getting their message into the hands of their target customers. Traditional marketing and promotional activities, like flyer handouts and letterbox leaflet distribution, can be effective for certain organisations. Instead of hiring a specialised agency that may be distributing your catalogues and leaflets bundled with five others (essentially diluting the marketing effectiveness), why not outsource it to local workers who can distribute your catalogues in targeted suburbs and areas?

7. Data collection

Data collection can be a menial task but it’s often crucial to businesses. Whether it’s monitoring competitor stores and activities, collecting survey responses or reviewing internal customer data, you can easily outsource these miscellaneous jobs online and take advantage of the army of assistants available to tackle the job.