Do you own a plumbing, HVAC repair, or other home services small business? Want a hassle-free way to find new customers? Consider partnering with Jiffy, a new Canadian app dubbed the Uber of home services. This app notifies you of nearby customers who need your services right away.
Jiffy: A Brief History
The seed for Jiffy was planted when its co-founder, Paul Arlin, needed light fixtures installed in his home. Seems like an easy task, right? And it was — once he finally found an electrician who’d do the work.
The hard part, Arlin came to realize, was making the hire. First came the price research and detailed comparisons of online reviews. Then came the tedious calling around to see which electricians could work him into their schedule. Even when he found one and scheduled the job, he had no idea if he was getting a fair price.
Arlin’s frustration with this process stuck with him. He realized, amidst the endless calls and voicemail messages, that his neighbourhood probably had an electrician who could knock out the job in a hurry. That’s when the idea hit him for a dispatch app similar to Uber, one that could connect idle home services professionals with homeowners in need of their services. And so Jiffy was born.
How Jiffy Works
Jiffy works just like Uber. Remember hailing a cab in the dark ages? You’d clutch your briefcase as you splashed through the pouring rain, yelling, "Taxi!" Getting a ride in those days was as stressful as Arlin’s efforts to find a home services professional. And just as Uber revolutionized transportation with its ride-sharing app, Jiffy is changing the home services industry with similar technology.
A homeowner can use Jiffy to hire a home services professional just like a ride-seeker uses Uber to hire a driver. The user simply opens the app and picks whichever home services person they need, such as an electrician, plumber, or HVAC repair person. There’s no need to enter an address or postal code, as the app gets all that information from the phone’s GPS.
Once the homeowner taps to book the job, Jiffy dispatches the nearest available professional. That person can accept the job, at which point they must head right over, or decline it. If they decline, the app dispatches the next-closest person, and so on.
Both the customer and professional know the price when the job is booked. Jiffy sets all prices based on going rates in the industry. Also, the customer can read reviews on the professional and even find out their insurance coverage.
How to Get on Jiffy
You can become a Jiffy professional by signing up directly on the company’s website. Getting your business added to the app isn’t instantaneous, though. Jiffy is selective about the small business professionals it allows on the platform. That’s understandable, since any shoddy work by Jiffy’s partners reflects poorly on the app.
Jiffy screens applicants by reading reviews and checking references. If you have a good reputation in the community and your customers are happy with your work, you should get approved.
How Jiffy Benefits Business Owners and Customers
Jiffy is a win-win for business owners and customers. The app helps home repair services businesses connect with new customers, and it helps fill in time gaps with paying work.
Say you’re a home services professional with two jobs in one afternoon. The first is at 1 p.m.; the second isn’t until 4:30 p.m.; and they’re both far enough away that returning home between jobs isn’t practical. As it turns out, the first job is a quickie — you’re done by 1:45 p.m. Now you have almost three hours to kill in which you’re not making money. If you’re on Jiffy, you can just open the app, list yourself as available, and pick up an extra job during your idle window.
Best of all, you don’t pay upfront to be on Jiffy. The app just takes a small commission when a customer pays you for a completed job. If you’re also using QuickBooks, tracking mileage on the fly is a breeze.
Customers benefit just as much from this app as professionals, and Arlin’s experience is a testament to that. The next time he needs light fixtures installed — or a leaky sink fixed or a deck refinished or any other home repair — he can use his own app to bypass all the legwork.
Jiffy launched in Toronto but is expanding fast. As of April 2018, the service is available in the greater Toronto area and in Ottawa. In the United States, the app is up and running in Boston and is scheduled to launch in Chicago later in 2018. If you live in an area not currently served by Jiffy, keep your eye on its website, as the app may come to your city soon.
Finding and marketing to customers is one of the biggest challenges for any small business, and the home services industry is no exception. Partnering with Jiffy lets you connect with customers at their moment of need.