The last time when I was shifting my furniture, I desperately looked for help in moving the huge assets but couldn’t arrange it. Thankfully, Schlep has created a service that helps in moving these huge, unmanageable belongings. Schlep is a friendly and secure marketplace that brings people together to seek help and render help in moving cumbersome, bulky stuff. Imagine “Your Neighbor With A Truck”: how convenient is that! Someone you can call upon for an extra set of muscles and their under-utilized vehicle capacity – and you treat them with a six-pack of beer. Well, that doesn’t quite exist in urban areas. Now it’s here… Schlep comes to lend a helping hand when you buy new furniture and keep wondering how to take it home or when you need to get rid of unusable things or even when you are busy lugging boxes and you wish you could pay someone else to do that work so you could focus on other life priorities.
The Team And Their Idea
The team is the convergence of Arkansas and Chicago. Two neighbors from North Little Rock (Hunter Riley and John Godwin) and two first-ring Chicago suburb athletes (Dan Fell – Skokie and Craig Williamson – Kenilworth).
Dan is the scrappy business development king and access point for a lot of Schlep’s growth. Hunter thoughtfully runs operations and has created the Schlep customer experience. Craig manages Schlep’s finances and investors. And John has brought brand to the forefront of developing the company. Together the team is a lego’d together group of seasoned professionals: a work-hard, fun-first team of individuals ready to take the stress out of moving large, heavy stuff. “Dan presented the idea of Schlep to Craig and me. A service to move a mattress or a table or any other large item people couldn’t move on their own,” stated the co-founder Hunter Riley. He then drove a pickup truck up from Arkansas to New York and then Chicago and assessed their instinct and surprisingly every friend in town was in need of a truck and made an offer to buy dinner or a beer in turn for giving them access to the truck and aid in moving furniture and other large items. At that point, in October 2013, they decided to execute on the idea and create a business model that could make it work.
Challenges Faced On The Way
Syncing up the team on each part of the business (brand, Schlepper vetting/recruitment, customer acquisition, technology, etc.) and finding the time and opportunities for the co-founders to work in the same space was the biggest challenge. After 6 months of testing the business model, they came to a conclusion that Schlep was definitely something worth pursuing.
Schlep provides a service that is yet to be served by the market in a secure manner – helping folks who don’t have the vehicle, or in some cases the physical ability, to move large and heavy stuff on their own.
They also provide a channel for supplemental income for individuals with a vehicle, empowering them to make supplemental income, whether that individual is between jobs, saving up funds for a life event, or full-time and using this as a more reliable platform to find jobs.
The solution is beautiful because it taps into an already existing resource on one end (“Your Neighbor With A Truck”) and matches it to a consumer need.
Schelp sees rental truck companies (like Uhaul), vehicle subscription services (like ZipCar – ZipVan), and the black market (non-secure platforms on the internet and on the corner telephone pole) as their competitor. These are the traditional ways people would go about getting something schlepped.
Growth of the service
Schlep is firmly anchored in Chicago and currently focused on the growth of their Schlepper base there. Expansion to Milwaukee happens in January 2015.
“We have arranged an 80/20 split with Schleppers. We are providing a more affordable option than renting a truck for customers and at the same time we are providing an opportunity for Schleppers – individuals with trucks and muscles – to put more money in their pockets,” stated Riley.
If you have a heavy load to move in or out of your house, schlep it at http://www.schlep.it/.