Do you need help with calls, research and other short tasks that can be handled by an intelligent, multi-talented assistant?
Here are a few examples of what I am talking about:
Custom Research (Data Mining):
Finding detailed answers or solutions to unique questions and problems facing you, the client, for example:
- Compile a list of all trade fairs coming up in the next few months
- Find all the day care options between my house and the office and set up visits for any morning you’re free in the next two weeks.
- Compile a list of outdoor events available near Cape Town including distance and price.
Deal with Customer Service:
Contact Customer Service on behalf of clients . . . examples:
- Call SAA/British Airways to get your laptop/Ipad/Tablet back which you left on the plane after your most recent trip.
- Deal with the warranty/guarantee process on your laptop/Ipad/Tablet that just died while you were using it.
- Cancel your subscription to Getaway magazine
Product and Service information:
Find, research and/or order products and services, for example:
- Phone around to find the stockist closest to you of your favourite wine
- Find out prices and how long it would take to make a dozen custom decorated cupcakes from a few bakeries near you.
Personal and Work Projects:
Miscellaneous projects lasting 1 – 10 hours where clients need some extra help:
- Put together a list of blogs and other sites that write about [your business] along with their Facebook and Twitter followers.
- Put together a list of suppliers of [name the product] and get at least three quotations from those closest to me.
Reservations and Entertainment:
Find and book restaurants, appointments and entertainment, for example:
- Find a restaurant for next weekend that can host a dinner party for 25 people, at around R120.00 per person, and has halaal and vegetarian menu options. A private room would be a bonus.
- Find a place in Cape Town that does kiddies parties, and can also do theme parties.
The tasks listed above share three common attributes:
This is a task you need to get done, but when you think about doing it, you wish someone else (like me) could just take care of it for you. They’re time consuming, boring or simply annoying tasks. Perfect tasks for outsourcing to someone else.
- Low requirement for perfection:
No one will be able to complete a task for you as well as you could do it for yourself. Make peace with this fact, then figure out which tasks you don’t need to be done perfectly. If someone else (like me) is finding information for you and only finds 90 percent of what you’re looking for, is that enough or do you need 100 percent of the information to be found?
The best tasks to outsource are the ones that don’t require preferences to be taken into consideration, and only rely on requirements to be met, e.g. the request to find a restaurant for a birthday party – there are a lot of objective conditions to be met for the request to be considered successfully completed.
A similar but poor request would be to ask for a fun and interesting restaurant for a date. There is too much subjectivity and personal preference in this request and the odds of coming back with a good outcome are slim to none.
- What do you have on your To Do list that I can help you with right now?
- Do you follow any personal guidelines when outsourcing tasks? What are these guidelines? Please share them in the “reply” box below.