When launched in 2017, OurErrands offered an on-demand personal assistant to help business professionals complete their to-do lists more efficiently.
While they had significant traction with both personal assistants and customers, co-founders Deshawn Stevenson and Justice Miranda felt like their product’s value proposition was too broad, hindering their scalability.
“We had an issue finding the right niche. We were doing everything from marketing to admin work,” says Stevenson.
“A lot of advisors taught us to make sure that you focus on a niche area and perfect that.”
The team joined Comcast’s The Farm accelerator to rework the model. Initially, Stevenson says that they focused on a concierge service for corporate employees. But that quickly changed once they received feedback from Comcast president Bill Connors.
“[He] shared that he needed help getting Comcast employees relocated and acclimated into their new cities. Often, new relocated employees contact his receptionist to ask about dry cleaners in the area or other services,” says Stevenson.
Coincidentally, this exact pain point had been experienced by Stevenson years before, when he was promoted and subsequently moved from Atlanta to Savannah, GA. Though he was with his company for 12 years prior to the relocation, he left after six months in the new city due to the lack of support during and after the move.
He’s not alone. Despite the fact that most corporations relocate a percentage of their employees on a yearly basis, Stevenson says that 41 percent of those relocated consider leaving their new city within the first six months because of difficulty acclimating.
Even though employers often provide a relocation budget, the employee usually takes on the entire logistical burden of the move.
Stevenson and Miranda pivoted OurErrands to provide that missing relocation support that employers lack.
“We analyze [the employee’s] current lifestyle and interests so that we can find them similar services in their new city.”
The startup’s technology platform keeps communications lines open between the company’s relocation specialist, the employee, and OurErrands’ specialized lifestyle managers.
The relocated employee first selects a tailored package that fit their needs.
The single package, for example, targets an employee moving on their own without an anchor office. OurErrands assists them with setting up utilities, mail, driver’s license coordination and location consultation.
“We can assist them by providing them with our top-rated resources within our network in their new city. We can also take on a project management role, if needed, to help with moving tasks and logistics,” says Stevenson.
There’s also a premium family package with added features — think best gym, childcare, restaurants, clinics, etc.
The goal is to help corporations retain their top talent and also help employees increase productivity by reducing relocation concerns. The dashboard offers employers a high view of all relocated employees so they can keep track of the health of their organization.
The assigned lifestyle manager stays in touch with the employee for 12 months to check in and make sure that there aren’t any additional needs. That follow-up service is covered under the flat fee charged to the corporation.
The team is currently conducting pilots with a handful of companies including Comcast. They’re also part of the Delta employee rewards program and have formed partnerships with the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Invest Atlanta to offer their relocation services to new companies moving to Atlanta.