Handy, a start up home cleaning company who received a lot of buzz initially, went through a rocky path in 2016. Oisin Hanrahan, Handy CEO, dreaded Tuesday mornings when he attended leadership meetings that reiterated what he already knew, the company was doing poorly. What made it so difficult was watching a plan he pushed for backfire repeatedly.
Hanrahan had pushed to have their new cleaners, or “pros” as the company calls them, join the company through an online onboarding process in all 28 of Handy’s markets. Co-Founder Uman Dua pushed back against Hanrahan’s plan stating that a lot of qualified candidates wouldn’t complete the application process if there was no human help on hand. Finally, the two men agreed to give the online onboarding plan a shot and rolled it out in January 2015 in two of the company’s markets.
In November of 2015, Handy realized that with the close of its $50 million Series C venture capital funding, there may not be any more investment money coming. Rolling out the online onboarding could save the company millions, and with the new financial crisis, it had to be done.
January 2016 Handy.com rolled out online onboarding across all 28 of heir markets. There was hope, and it did save money, but unfortunately, Dua was correct bout his reservations. The company saw a 40 percent drop in the number of “pros” joining their application and in turn, it forced Handy to cancel a high number of bookings due to the lack of skilled workers to fill the demand. But then something changed, and things slowly began to level out.
The company is now seeing organic growth, or growth through referrals. Things have began to level out and people are using the online onboarding process. Through customer referrals and the money saved instead of advertising, there is a nice balance being struck. By 2017, Handy expects not only add new cities into their market, but to also get back into profitability. For a more detailed account of Handy’s rough patch and the positive outlook for their future go here.