After a long day, the last thing you want to do is a load of laundry or head back out to the grocery store. While there are many services out there that lend a hand with chores, Nashville-based Please Assist Me provides an errands solution all in one place, ridding you of the additional task of managing multiple apps, delivery times and points of contact.
“Coming home at the end of a trip or just at the end of a long day and then seeing laundry and dry cleaning, and going to the grocery store in the little free time I had, it was managing my life,” says CEO Stephanie Cummings. “And then I had no time to rest. So I started talking to other people and doing market research and realized that it was a widespread issue. In fact, 55 percent of Americans are stressed because of household chores.”
At this time, Cummings was struggling to balance her own life working full-time, managing family responsibilities and attending business school. She reached out to busy moms and working professionals in her life to tailor a solution to the needs of her target market.
“The thought was, if we can provide a solution where a dedicated personal assistant communicates with you via the app — do everything like buy groceries and then they come to your house weekly and handle everything for you — you could just come home and everything’s done,” says Cummings.
Please Assist Me’s personal assistants are all W-2, part-time employees that have gone through extensive background checks and intensive interviews to make sure they are a right fit. “Trust is paramount,” says Cummings. Every assistant wears a body camera while they’re in clients’ homes.
Through the app you can order help to pick up dry cleaning, shop for groceries, wash and fold laundry, take mail to the post office, and even wash your dishes. Your assigned assistant learns your preferences over weeks — folding patterns for your clothes, food allergies, your favorite dry cleaner, etc.
After exploring customer behavior, Cummings and her team decided to move from a B2C to B2B2C model to scale faster and reduce the barrier of entry.
“We partnered with apartment complexes who then offer this luxury amenity to all of their residences. It’s $100/month added to their lease,” says Cummings. “We have signed with five apartments in Nashville, including the tallest skyscraper downtown, now. We’re excited about that opportunity.”
After completing the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange program in Durham, N.C., Please Assist Me is eyeing other cities in the southeast. Currently services for an individual home start at $28/week with everything but the actual cost of materials for groceries, dry cleaning, and laundry included. This also includes a home refresh — taking out the trash, wiping things down and other surface needs.
As Please Assist Me begins to scale, Cummings is looking to raise a seed funding round following a $25K capital infusion made by Backstage Capital last week.
“We are raising a seed round for $500,000. This will allow us to expand to additional cities and continue to scale up Nashville. Plus it will allow us to enhance our mobile platform,” says Cummings.