The next time you need to move or have an odd job done, Sweeps can solve your problems.
Morris Gelblum founded Sweeps with his mother as a Raleigh cleaning company in 2006 while he was still in high school. After graduating from UNC, Gelblum expanded Sweeps into what it is today: your go-to place to hire workers—many of them college students—for hourly odd jobs and projects.
Sweeps will be one of the companies presenting at CED’s virtual Venture Connect summit (March 23-25).
Now based in Carrboro, Sweeps is a marketplace platform that strives to make it as easy as possible for workers and customers. Customers can post a job on the website and quickly find help from workers who have the skills and ability to perform the job, reducing friction in finding odd-job workers.
“We want to provide an easy, meaningful way to get paid around people’s free time and their skills,” Gelblum said. “If you need work, we want to make it as easy and as quick as possible to start working at what you already have the skills for, when you’re available, and have jobs and leads basically delivered to you.”
Customers most often find help assembling furniture and moving things within the home. But they also can find virtual tutoring and tech help as Covid-19 has turned so many jobs and schools remote.
Companies who have projects, like installing tablets at grocery stores or wrapping and delivering gifts, can also look to Sweeps for workers. Even finding a lost dog can be outsourced to Sweeps workers.
Sweeps charges customers a certain rate by the hour. Pay starts at $18 an hour for workers, but they can earn more with bonuses for travel or equipment or through tips, Gelblum said. For doing great work, they are even able to earn raises. Keeping workers motivated and customers loyal is key for Sweeps, Gelblum said.
This customer loyalty has allowed the bootstrapped Sweeps to have over 40,000 jobs completed with over 5,000 customers. One customer has used Sweeps more than 1,100 times.
“We want it to be meaningful work for people who can be proud of the work they’re doing, can get great reviews, and can leverage our platform to make an impact in their life,” Gelblum said. “So we’re doing that every day on a small scale with our business.”
Poised for growth
Sweeps’ ambition is to continue growing, creating a larger impact in new locations with an emphasis on quality.
Naturally, when the pandemic hit, Sweeps faced some adversity like many businesses. Gelblum said they saw a downturn in March that continued for a few months. But things picked quickly up in the summer, and soon enough, Sweeps was helping thousands of college students move into their dorms. Still, some challenges remain.
“It’s harder to recruit workers,” Gelblum said of Covid-19’s impact. “It’s harder to make sure that people are staying safe.”
But the home-services business has remained relatively unscathed by the coronavirus, and Sweeps was prepared, having worked remotely for years.
Gelblum said he is excited to connect with others at the annual—and now virtual—Venture Connect in March.
“CED has been a great partner for us for many years and we’re glad to remain a part,” Gelblum said. “I also think as a company, we’re at a good position to consider rapid expansion.”