Small business owners are in charge of many administrative tasks, but some start-ups are beginning to assist fellow small businesses struggling with specialized tasks. These start-ups range from specialized skills to menial tasks that a small business owner may need accomplished.
One such company is Fiverr which can help small business owners cheaply manage tasks that arise in the day-to-day operation. Fiverr company chief executive, Micha Kaufman, says “Pretty much anything you imagine can be found on Fiverr.” On this site, $5 will get business card designs, cards written by hand, even edited newsletters. The website dubs itself, “the world’s largest marketplace for small services,” while Kaufman calls it “an eBay for services.” The company has offices in Amsterdam, New York, and Tel Aviv; it also has active members, buying and selling across 200 countries.
Another company helping with specialized tasks that a small business owner may have to accomplish is SkillPages. This site helps find experts for more complex tasks such as typists or payroll administrators. There are even non-professional specialists available to assist, like beekeepers or clog dancers. The company creator, Iain Mac Donald was looking to help others find professionals after his own bad experience. He had hired a tree cutter from online to do some lawn work, but the man who arrived came with an enormous truck and a large price tag: $3,000. Mac Donald notes, “It just wasn’t right,” and worked on a way to network service providers with clients in a format similar to other social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook. SkillPages matches customers with experts and makes the professional’s sample works available online. Right now the basic services available on the website are free, but the company does sell premium memberships.
TaskRabbit is a start-up that assists with errand-running jobs, along with other fast tasks such as assembling, packing, mailing, etc. Called “rabbits,” errand-runners are requested through the network and are interviewed by video. All rabbits have a background check. TaskRabbit’s largest increasing user group is small businesses, says Busque.
Bruder, Jessica. “A Wave of Start-Ups Helps Small Companies Outsource Their Tasks.” Small Business, Business Day. The New York Times. 12/19/12.