Are you a cleaner who’s working on the Handy platform and you’re wondering how to make the most of it?
In this article we’ll be talking about how to make the most of working as a 1099 contractor on the popular cleaning platform, where you can choose your jobs and get paid within 1 business day.
You’re not alone – Handy has completed over 1 Million bookings as of 2014.
They also offer handyman services, however the bulk of their revenue comes from cleaning (about 80%).
Handy has over 692 reviews on Glassdoor, a website where employees (and contractors, in this case) can review their employer.
As you may expect, not all of the reviews are positive. The average rating that employees gave Handy is 2.4 out of 5 stars.
Why such a low rating, you may ask?
If you’re familiar with the business practices of this NYC-based tech startup, you won’t be surprised by some of the shocking Glassdoor reviews that you come across:
Okay, you smirk, but that’s just one review site – Glassdoor.
How about Indeed?
Indeed places Handy at 3.0 out of 5 stars with 373 reviews and counting. Plus, some of the reviewers are calling out Handy for submitting fake reviews to boost their rating (the ones from New York).
And on and on it goes.
How could a company that has raised over $100 million dollars in funding be such a wretched place to work?
You’d think they would at least have some perks for their workers, as most startups do.
This backlash from 1099 contractors is not a new thing – as far back as 2012, cleaners have lambasted Handy for its questionable treatment of contractors, low wages, and frustrating customer service – they were even sued for labor violations in 2014.
One article even called them a “Hellscape of Labor Code Violations.”
A former Handy customer writes in Money Under 30 that professionals were being paid a meager fee, and also mentioned that some reviews talk about customers being “robbed by Handy’s contractors.”
With all this hullabaloo over Handy, they still managed to be acquired by ANGI, the same company that owns Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor, for an undisclosed amount in 2018.
What does this mean for you, a 1099 cleaner that is interested in making some extra cash doing some cleaning appointments with this company?
Keep on reading to understand the pros and cons of this decision and how it will impact your life.
As a cleaning professional, I’m sure you’d like to make the most of working with Handy.
Although former contractors advise to stay away, you’ve decided to take the plunge and see how this “ATM in your pocket” works, as some cleaners have described this app.
Here are several ways you can make the most of dire circumstances – we’ll be talking about how to get more clients on Handy and keep your rating high at the same time.
HOW TO GET MORE CLIENTS ON HANDY
The best advice I can give you is to read the Handy Pro Terms carefully and thoroughly.
You may find that there are policies in place that you disagree with, but it’s better to be knowledgable about these practices rather than taken aback by them.
For example, it’s important to cancel bookings as early as possible if you can’t make it.
If you cancel a booking within 24 hours of the booking, you’re charged a fee.
If you cancel within 2 hours of the booking, you’re assessed an even higher fee that can border on how much you would have been paid to complete the booking.
Yes, you read that right. They will take the fee out of your earnings.
Some cleaners find this bordering on criminal, others are more understanding.
It makes sense from a business perspective, as Handy is losing out on revenue and angering their customers by having cleaners cancel at the last minute.
However, if you have a genuine and legitimate excuse for not being able to make it to a cleaning appointment (car trouble, other emergencies) it can be frustrating to have your pay docked as well.
Ultimately, by working on the Handy platform you are dependent on the platform to give you jobs.
It’s different than being a solo-preneur or small business owner, because Handy can re-route your clients to another professional or change the algorithm at any time.
Additionally, you can be locked out of the platform if you don’t abide by one of their litany of rules and regulations, as described in the Pro Terms.
In order to truly control their destiny, cleaning professionals are switching to using PocketSuite to manage their small business and clients, as this allows them to actually own their clients.
With PocketSuite, your clients are using and paying for your services directly, not utilizing a toll booth like Handy.
I would advise you to weigh the pros and cons of giving up control of your customer base to another company, as this ultimately means they control your destiny.
They aren’t dependent on another company to manage their customers or give them more business.
If you’re using Handy, you have to play by their rules.
If you don’t, they will lock you out and you’ll need to search elsewhere to earn your day’s bread.
This may be more riskier than going out on your own and growing your small cleaning business.
By becoming a solo-preneur and using PocketSuite to manage your business, you’re running the show and you get to call the shots.
You get to decide on which policies you enforce, which clients you keep (and which you fire!)
Every aspect of your business is up to you. No longer will you be subjected to unnecessary fines, outrageous work conditions, and draconian policies.
You can set your own hours, communicate with your own clients the way you want to, and not have corporate regulations imposed on you.
HOW TO GROW YOUR SMALL CLEANING BUSINESS
If you’ve decided to embark on a mission to build your own business and shed the limitations imposed on you by Handy, your first step is to read our article on How to Generate Online Leads for your Service Business.
Leads become sales, and sales are synonymous with bottom-line revenue. Revenue is the oxygen that your business needs to survive – without it, your business will fail and you’ll be right back in the same place you started.
A consistent stream of leads is important because it guarantees your future business will grow stronger and survive.
You should also create an online presence by submitting your business to online directories such as Yelp and Google, which will help to solidify your business as a trustworthy entity.
This is important for two subsets of folks – to potential customers searching for cleaning services, and to customers that have already found your business and are researching it to determine your trustworthiness.
Lastly, make sure that you read up on all of the articles online that describe how to start a cleaning business (even if you have no money!)
These should point you in the right direction:
Your fate is in your hands. If you want to take the plunge and become a small business owner or solo-preneur in the cleaning field, you need an app that will help you manage your clients, payments, accept credit cards, and every other aspect of your business.
Give PocketSuite a shot – there’s a free plan, and you can join the countless cleaning professionals making 6 figures on the app.
You can do this!
Written by Ilya Ornatov