Updated: Aug 7
Covid-19 has brought a variety of challenges and opportunities for our friends and family. If you're like me, it has presented itself as an opportunity to reflect and even perfect. Where we have been as a developing business, where we currently sit, and where we’re headed. Flip back the calendar to February 2019. I met a group at a start-up event that were considering launching WingMom; an all-in-one solution for busy moms looking for help. I thought my consulting prayers had been answered. While the final decision from these women was to forgo building the service, the seed had been planted. They say necessity is the motherhood of invention. This one I would need to take into my own hands. Fast-forward to the Fall of 2019. Drawn from inspiration by similar businesses, DispatchMom’s logo, website, and app development had been pushed into full-steam.
At this point, I was most excited to create something that I was in dire need of; even more so than developing a business out of. Between my own boy, my consulting business, and every other “top-priority” task, I was beginning to...put lightly, “break a sweat.” Nonetheless, it was coming together and the support and interest from other moms ensured DispatchMom would be in high-demand come launch. I had decided then that we could get the ball rolling as early as March 2020 with a beta test in Denver, Golden, and Boulder. Sure, it would be a lot to handle in a short period of time, but with the number of “when are you planning to launch?” email requests received; I knew sooner might warrant soonest.
We interviewed various partners that would take part in the first launch based on two of the most requested tasks people need help with; caregiving and cleaning. Nanno simplifies finding a sitter by matching you with caregivers on-demand. Customers also have the option to partner with caregivers that are within your network. In addition, Zypwork is a Denver-based company that provides flexible and on-demand cleaning services. Getting to know the passionate individuals behind each of these respective companies has provided a sense of inspiration regarding DispatchMom's potential. It has also set a standard for the caliber of businesses that DispatchMom will require in all its future partnerships.
By February 2020 things were looking really good. We had successfully carried all the groceries into the house without cracking a single egg. A rare feat. That’s when life presented other plans. To depict what I mean, have you ever been out on the dance floor, really grooving to the beat? Out of nowwhere you sway left and miss hips don't lie swings right, completely knocking you off your feet. It felt a bit like that. Cut the music. Covid-19 shut-down all non-essential businesses and we had to press pause on our launch. While we are positive this was the right decision to make by local governances; businesses and individuals all effected by the pandemic will be relying on support to re-build.
We took it as it came. This DJ can spin the track. For one, this released the pressure to make sure everything was right on schedule. Now we had time to reiterate. Address each task one-by-one to decipher where we could make improvements. That leads us to date. Fingers crossed, we've gotten past the worst of the storm. An update on our progress:
To the Drawing Board
Original: Launch product with the most common pain points we hear about.
Revised: While we’ve kept two main solutions top of mind (caregiving and cleaning), March and April were used to conduct in-depth interviews with local moms and teachers. We discussed how Covid-19 has affected them and retrieved feedback regarding the services that would make their lives easier. What did we learn? After a 12 hour day, cooking a nutrient-dense meal that the entire family agrees upon is one giant hurdle! I spent some time getting to know and interview local chefs who could solve this problem. More to come on that.
Original: Wear five different hats to simultaneously build the service that would eventually save all moms from going overboard. (If it didn't kill me first)
Revised: Bring on new team members to help spread the word and build our DispatchMom community.
Original: A focus on our backyard. Colorado is home to some major kick-a**, get-it-done moms. Building a service for the local community is going to be a great way to test and reiterate as we expand.
Revised: Same as original! Good to be validated...
A Peek Behind the Curtains
This summer we are going to continually interview our target market, iterate with their feedback, and find the best ways to solve the daily struggles they find themselves in. How will the effects of Covid-19 affect education over the summer and into fall? What providers suite them well and how can DispatchMom free up more of their time? Along with this, we will put an emphasis on our partnerships and find ways to grow together. For those of you still wondering: August 2020 will be our re-beta launch!
DispatchMom is fueled by the opportunity to give busy moms back their time; Whether that's to work on your own business or sanity :) We will keep on adjusting with the weather - sort of speak - and hope coming months present an opportunity to meet in person. You can bet we miss happy hour just as much as you!
I'd love to hear your feedback and am always looking to connect with new faces. Reach out anytime, even if it's just to say hello...
Looking forward to smooth sailing ahead :)