Shifting focus from growth to profitability for startups: The “Handy” way

Alike Handy, a booming platform to connect clients with professional apartment cleaning NYC service providers, most of the startups in the market need to reshape the way they think, plan and operate their businesses. In the face of recent changes in the market, technology, and people, it has become eminent for startups to decide whether they should stick to growth strategy or focus on profitability to sustain itself in the cutthroat market for the future.

Handy was conceptualized and founded by Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua who wanted to develop a platform where the people could find professional household service providers through an easy and quick way. Thanks to positive Venture Capital trends in the market, they were able to start their business in 2012 and rapidly expanded into 28 cities and started providing an array of household services with attractive promotions, leading to a massive growth in the early stage. Eventually, they were able to acquire most of their competitors and their biggest competitor eventually went out of business. Last year, this company secured $50 million investment for itself as well. Everything was going so smoothly for Handy.

Regrettably, the duo reached a stage of hurdles when it’s clients and the market was growing beyond their capacity. With thousands of booking online, it was getting tough for Handy.com to ensure quality services and the customer complaints were escalating. Even a huge force of customer experience Associates of 100 employees wasn’t enough to deal with this calamity, and their existing chatbots were inefficient. Some their initiatives i.e. Online Onboarding were also backfiring at them and plummeting interest from the investors made the situation even worse for this company.

At this stage, the company had to make a tough decision to shift their focus from growth to maximizing profit through ensuring quality services by outsourcing customer experience services, renovating their chatbots, re-engineering their onboarding system and emphasizing on existing market only while ignoring the interest to expand into new ones. This strategy has paid off as now they are more efficient in serving clients and in a strong position to sustain itself on its income rather than depending on the uncertain investors.