Satellite Orbiting Earth

Product/Service Name

TaskUs

Brief Description

TaskUs is an hourly premium virtual assistant service. The company offers American admins who work with international specialists to ensure that your tasks get done “right.” Target audience: Overworked professionals and entrepreneurs who want to free up time and money through outsourcing.

TaskUs

TaskUs

The Inspiration

People spend a whole lot of time doing things that someone else could do for them. I strongly believe that if people micromanaged less — and delegated more — they could increase productivity, earn more money, and spend more time with family and friends. So I launched TaskUs to give people access to a pool of premium personal assistants without the expenses of fixed salaries, taxes and extra office space, or the hassles of management, hiring and firing. ~ Jaspar Weir, Founder

Key Features

  • American administrators. Work with your own American-based project manager to ensure your tasks are completed correctly.
  • Talent screening. Don’t worry about sorting through proposals; TaskUs has a rigorous 5-step screening process for all of its service providers, and it guarantees their work.
  • Pay-as-you-go model. Flexible payment structure for businesses and individuals who don’t want to invest in a part-time or full-time assistant.

Future enhancements: Custom website design projects as well as full-time offshore staffing.

Benefits

People generally spend a significant portion of their day doing menial, yet necessary support work (the “have to-dos,” as Seth Godin calls them) — e.g., data entry, telemarketing, online research, transcription, etc. By delegating these non-value-added jobs to TaskUs, companies and individuals can save significant time and money. These freed-up resources can then be reinvested in higher value or revenue-generating pursuits.

Costs

  • Hourly packages: 10 hours @ $13.95 per hour; 50 hours @ $11.95 per hour; or 100 hours @ $9.95 per hour.
  • Pay-as-you-task: $15.95 per hour

Offers a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the results of the task.

Similar Products/Services

There are a number of virtual assistant and personal outsourcing service providers, including Elance, AskSunday, GetFriday, and Brickwork. TaskUs is unique, insofar as I can tell, in that the company uses American admins to oversee the completion of your farmed-out tasks by low-cost global resources. Not only that, it pre-screens the service providers from all over the globe for quality. Sort of like an international talent search.

Opinions from around the Web

Positive: “Use TaskUs to ‘punch it up a bit.’” (Duct Tape Marketing)

Company Background

Founded after much frustration, confusion, and disappointment working with other outsourcing companies, co-founders Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir launched TaskUs in November 2008, in Santa Monica, California.

Smartlife’s User Advice

I’ve been engaged in personal outsourcing since 2004. If I had only one piece of experiential wisdom to share about effective personal outsourcing, it would be this: TALENT IS EVERYTHING. Communications is very important, too, but without talent, you run the likely risk of wasting your time and money, the complete opposite of why you set out to outsource your life in the first place. Talented helpers simply make your life easier and add only negligible overhead.

It’s all hype. Trust me, I gave it a shot. I worked with a virtual assistant and it was a complete waste of time. Wouldn’t do it again. (Web Worker Daily)

I agree with this source that personal outsourcing has been over-hyped, especially within media circles. Couple this hype with very immature personal outsourcing practices (as a collective community, we’re all still learning), and I can only imagine the amount of time and money people have wasted. Most virtual assistant and personal outsourcing service providers don’t do a good job of protecting users from common mistakes and issues such as talent identification and cross-cultural communication barriers. This is why I’m excited about the service delivery model that TaskUs has established, as the model represents a sign of a maturing market. I haven’t used TaskUs’ services extensively, but from what it has done for me so far, I’m confident in expanding my use. I recommend giving TaskUs a try.

Smartlife’s Recommendation: TRY IT

Image credit: cristimatei / iStockphoto

###

Product Watch is part of an on-going series that cuts through the sales propaganda and marketing hype, and reviews products and services from the standpoint of the user and how they actually help us get more out of life.