Are you an entrepreneur running a small business? Don’t have or can’t afford a personal assistant to help you with tedious tasks that distract you from more important work? A new Cape Town-based Web start-up, Lessfuss, has been launched that hopes to make money helping you with things you’d just rather not be doing.
Launched in May by four friends — Bradley Whittington, Jennifer Poole, Marije Pierson and Lisa Retief — the website and e-mail service promises to “save people time so they can focus on the important stuff”.
The company charges a R300/month subscription, which offers users of the service up to 10 monthly tasks of their choice. Some of the recent tasks it has completed for clients include cancelling a Telkom line; finding a milk delivery service; tracking down circus performers for a wedding; calling the SA Revenue Service for information; collating US visa information; and searching for cars that are hard to find.
Co-founder Pierson says the four friends researched the idea worldwide and found examples of companies in other countries providing similar services. One of the better known is New York website Fancy Hands. Others include TaskRabbit and AskSunday. They decided they wanted to adopt a similar model.
The company, which is entirely self-funded — “boot-strapped”, in start-up parlance — says it will provide assistance with just about anything. “We are helping someone at the moment who is launching a website,” Pierson says. “He doesn’t have to hire or teach someone to help him.”
The idea is that as the business grows, it will add support staff with expertise in specific areas. The service is desk based, meaning Lessfuss won’t go and stand in a queue for you.
So far, it’s signed up 22 customers. “It’s still very small,” says Pierson. The company still consists only of the four founding partners, though it’s keen to hire people who can provide additional support on a part-time basis as it grows its client base.
Co-founder Whittington says the company is still in the “product discovery phase”, and is still working out the best way to charge clients for its services, but the plan is to grow to at least 200 regular paying customers.
Whittington, who is the technical brains behind the website, says the company has developed its own software systems to support the business.
Lessfuss is focused exclusively on the SA market. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral
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