Handy home cleaning has survived a lot of ups and downs from its beginnings in Massachusets. Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua founded the company when they were roommates and fellow students at Harvard Business School. They had a third roommate who was a very untidy person. They came up with the idea of an on-demand cleaning service powered by the internet. The market was fresh and the country was emerging from the recession. Venture capital started to flow again and there was little competition in the field.
Handy, at the time called Handybook, immediately began on-boarding professional cleaners. In time, the company saw the potential to do more than just cleaning, and they expanded to other types of services such as light repair and furniture assembly. Their main competition was Homejoy. In 2015, Homejoy went out of business and the market share for Handy increased. But this caused problems for the company,
the increase in demand for their services meant the company needed a larger supply of trained contractors. They attempted a 100% online onboarding process for new professionals and it failed. At the same time, poor reviews for contractors was skyrocketing for shoddy work and missed appointments. Handy had been in a growth stage of development but now it was time to focus on customer satisfaction and profit.
Handy.com scaled back plans to expand beyond the 28 markets they already established. They established a customer care center to handle complaints and outsourced customer care services to Florida and Missouri.
The strategy worked, Handy saw a decrease in the amount of money they spent to bring on new customers, customer satisfaction has increased, and they strengthened their influence in current markets.
Hanrahan and Dua know they aren’t done expanding, but by scaling back growth and focusing on core values,they’ve increased Handy’s reputation and marketability.