“Uberization” of home services : between risks and opportunities. 2/2

Less than a year after Helpling, HomeJoy and Hassle were launched in France,  Helpling is the only one to have succeeded to settle after its competitors completely stopped their activity.

It’s not that it’s a bad idea or that the market is too small for more than an actor, no. Homejoy collapse was accelerated by four legal procedures. Like many on that sector the company was functioning with independant workers so as  to remain flexible and cut on costs. (see first part of the article ). The legal prodecures demanded that the independant workers were given an employee status. That’s what caused its fall and the fall of the whole economic model. But on top of that those companies suffered from bad evaluations from their customers

 

However Helpling deemed it safer to buy the remains of Homejoy and Hassle and secure its share of the nearly 200 billion dollar world market.

 

Some startups have decided to anticipate such as Instacart who decided to employ its “personal shoppers”, or Shyp with its drivers. Maybe Helpling will have to consider changing as well.

The French Department of Labour listed the elements that define the work status of an employee (Rep. Min. n° 7103, JO AN du 6 août 2013) :

 

  • The very existence of a declaration of being an independant worker (in contradiction with self-employment).
  • The fact that the same job was performed with a work certificate before.
  • A unique contracting party.
  • Respecting instructions other than for  security reasons, customer satisfaction, or a decent product delivery.
  • A paycheck  based on a number of hours or days.
  • No or a limited number of initiatives in performing their job.
  • Being part of a wage earning team.
  • Supplying material and equipment.

 

All these elements help magistrates and labour officers from URSAFF and work inspection officers to requalify the status as a work certificate.

 

The impact of such a reclassification is important, it is therefore crucial for the actors that have previously opted for that model to think again and to get ready.

 

Uberization is now a fact. Everything can be rented, exchanged, shared, chosen and rated. This last idea is essential to the Uberized economy : the crowd  is at the core of every digital innovations. The idea that the community of users define its value. This is the Second wave of the digital revolution. Better surf the wave than get hit. Some service companies tell us they prefer direct contact with the customer so as to keep a humane side to the service they offer and that is essential to home services.

 

But what does the customer like best? All customers are not ready to order a home service from an internet plateform but that’s only a question of generation and time. Who would have thought that AirBnB would be the first hotel in the world?? Certainly not the big catering companies who wanted to keep a humane service and saw it as a craze and  didn’t fear its competition!

 

The world is changing ever so fast!!

As for us, we have decided to embrace change. Some of you are aware of the Ogustine project. The latter was threatened by newcomers armed by millions so we decided to innovate and be ever more performing to answer your needs. Will you be ready on the 1st of January 2016? We will….