Elke Keely (pictured) is the co-founder of UrbanOutsource, an online business out of Sydney, Australia which provides a way for people to purchase various handyman services online. Customers can book services from a conventional computer, laptop or mobile device.
UrbanOutsource is an online platform where people who want a service can connect with service providers. Prices are upfront, the service providers are vetted beforehand and the whole business is designed to take the hassle out of hiring out such handyman services as gardening, cleaning and other tasks. Customers say what they want done and then can quickly book services at an arranged time after confirming payment details.
The business is designed to eliminate the hassles on both sides of setting up common service transactions. Consumers no longer have to spend hours online searching for a good gardener, handyman, or other service providers. At the same time, service providers do not have to relentlessly search for customers and market themselves. Appointments for cleaning, gardening and other handyman services can be set up extremely quickly.
Elke Keely co-founded UrbanOutsource along with Noga Edelstein. The two women, both busy executives, were frustrated with the amount of time they had to put in just to find basic services such as home cleaning. As they began talking to local cleaners, handymen and gardeners, they found they were equally frustrated in their efforts to connect with good customers. There are no upfront costs for service providers. The company’s first transaction was a one time deal which paired a cleaner with a semi truck which needed to be cleaned.
In starting her own business, Keely was determined to find a lifestyle which balanced work and family, and she has done so. She has expressed her belief in seizing every opportunity, good or bad, and learning and growing from that.
Elke Keely compares UrbanOutsource to Uber, the highly successful taxi company. It seems that this is a good comparison and that UrbanOutsource will continue to grow and thrive. The basic business concept is similar to Angie’s List in the United States, which is a highly successful online venture. Indeed, UrbanOutsource is poised to start matching customers with service providers in new cities soon.