Handy INC. is the Uber for the home service world; instead of employing a regular maid or handyman, people can pick and choose what services they want on demand. It is a brilliant idea and one shared by multiple other start up offerings. However, Handy, is just now showing promise of coming through the other side of rather significant growing pains. Trying to turn a great idea into a profitable business has taken a lot of tough choices.
The choice to focus on better service to its 28 existing markets, rather than expand into new markets is perhaps the sole reason why Handy has outlasted its top competitors. In 2014 and 2015 investors poured record amounts of money into start-ups; during this time growth and market penetration were the measure of how successful a company would be regardless of the profit projection. That all changed at the beginning of 2016 and thankfully Handy had already began to operate with the idea that only start-ups that have long-term profit sustainability would survive.
Handy’s founders, Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua, have made mistakes, but by making the hard decisions to rectify them are standing at the brink of turning profit in 2017. They have streamlined their business by downsizing their human labor force and using more chatbots to interact with their customers. Hanrahan implemented a self-service onboarding initiative and while at first it seemed to be a huge failure he stuck with it. By sticking with the program until it was sorted out, Handy.com is now seeing successful onboarding at a rate 10 percent higher than before the plan was implemented. This has enabled the company to cut the cost of onboarding significantly while increasing the positive customer experience. By making smart business over emotional choices, Handy looks towards a profitable future.