GoGet helps thousands of people a day with errands they may not have the time for. Francesca Chia shares just what goes into coordinating something on such a scale.
Bright Young Things: Francesca Chia of GoGet
You’re running late, caught in a jam as the minutes tick dangerously close to the hour 50 guests are due at your home for a dinner party and you’ve forgotten the cake. What do you do?
Do not panic as this is exactly the kind of sticky situation Francesca Chia intends to get you out of with GoGet.
“GoGet is a way to help get things done,” tells the CEO and co-founder of this revolutionary open-market personal assistant. “You can ask for help from someone in the app to do anything at all. We are a marketplace for errands and deliveries.”
Since breaking out into the scene in 2014, GoGet now helps people by the hundreds of thousands see to equally as many different things, from sending flowers to an upset girlfriend to picking up the laundry because you forgot – again – by the simple mean of keying in said job and blasting it out on GoGet’s network of GoGetters.
If someone is interested, they pick it up and for a small fee (look at it as a tip) they’ll get it done for you, freeing up your time so you can focus on doing what matters more.
This system sounds simple enough but like the biggest tools that have helped better our lives, there are hundreds of little things at work beneath the shiny surface.
Coming up with the idea, testing it out and prototyping the plan were the easier parts of the process. Getting GoGetters on board was not a problem either because people were eager to sign up everyday – it’s an opportunity to meet people, help them out with errands and get paid while at it.
“The biggest challenge was coming into our own sustainable business model,” Chia reveals, since GoGetters and Posters don’t have to pay to use the app. “We monetise by getting businesses on. A lot of businesses like florists, bakeries and such use us.” (swipe left for next page)
Doing the world in 24 hours
GoGet may now be a team of 25 people strong but now that they are covering the Klang Valley and Penang – the two biggest cities in the country – with plans of expansion outside of the country, everyone is spread incredibly thin.
“The platform is becoming so much bigger and the complexity of problems are becoming crazier. There are days when everything needs your attention and things just aren’t working fast enough to keep up with demands,” admits Chia, who oversees both the technical and business side of things. “You can’t do the world in 24 hours but you can focus on what’s a priority and get done what you can.” (swipe left for next page)
Fighting the good fight
Having 1001 things seeking her attention is nothing new to Chia, who used to be a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group but switching to her own startup is still a decision she describes as “massive”. “Everyday is a battle,” she tells. “If you have a corporate job, you get holidays, you get paid, it’s great. On the other hand, you can’t turn off.”
Yet, it is a massive decision she never once regretted. “I sat down recently and realised that I probably slept the same amount here as I did in BCG but back then, I was significantly more tired. In both, you work like a dog, but I’m happy here. You are assured that you are doing what you love and you are enjoying fighting the fight here." (swipe left for next page)
A chain of impact
Her biggest source of motivation are the people – the GoGetters – she and her team are empowering.
“When times get tough, I always go back to thinking about who are we impacting with GoGet,” she reveals. “We have GoGetters who used to be stay-at-home mums who never had a job. We have people who have been unemployed for 6 months and now they are earning enough for a new car. If we can put money into these people’s pockets and they can then use that to achieve their goals, that is amazing to me.” (swipe left for next page)
In the business of caring
She has also learnt that having a cause as such is the key to having a startup take off. It is the one thing she stresses to those who are considering starting their own.
“Make sure you truly care for this problem you are solving. Otherwise, when it comes to push and shove, you’ll give up. If it is very superficial like for the money or the image, that won’t be enough for you to care.”
“The reason that keeps me going is that we are empowering so many people. We try again and again because we care.”
And that is how you create a network of people who care enough in return to help strangers like you to get that cake for your dinner party of 50.
Log on to the GoGet website here to get some help with your next errand or to sign up as a GoGetter yourself.
Another Bright Young Thing bettering the world one step at a time: Tamara Lim of PrepWorks.