Gig Wage Customer Spotlight: Hidrent
Did you know that firefighters can have up to 20 days off each month on average?
Despite their irregular work schedules as a first responder, firefighters are still working other jobs to supplement their incomes during their 20 off-duty days each month. So, Founder & CEO of Hidrent, Dave Heimbuch created an app to help firefighters connect with people and businesses in need of safe, trustworthy, and reliable handyman-type services. We spoke to Dave on how he’s built a whole new gig marketplace and what his experience has been like navigating a company through a pandemic.
A little about you:
GW: Introduce yourself and your business.
DH: Hello! My name is Dave Heimbuch and I am the Founder & CEO of Hidrent. We are a gig marketplace for off-duty firefighters. Our mission is to become the most trusted source available for gig labor that simultaneously improves the financial well-being of neighborhood firefighters.
GW: How did you decide to start your business?
DH: I married into a family of firefighters, and soon after found myself moving from Chicago to Dallas. Before we could sell our house in Chicago we needed to make some improvements, so I enlisted the help from a handyman through Thumbtack. I was telling my brother-in-law, who was a Fire Chief in the area, about the Thumbtack app and the service I requested. He looked at me and said, “Dave, I could have done that for you. In fact, every firefighter at our station works a second job and it’s usually handyman related.” I then asked my brother-in-law if firefighters have their own app that people can use to find them specifically because who wouldn’t trust a firefighter over some random person found through Thumbtack? He said he was not aware of such technology. I asked how he and other firefighters market their services then, and he simply said “we’re firefighters, not marketers.’ Armed with this knowledge, and a 15-year background in Marketing, the light bulb went off and we immediately started working on the business plan.
GW: What key factors have led to your success?
DH: Surrounding myself with the right people has been one of the biggest factors that have led to our success. Hidrent was accepted into the accelerator program at the Capital Factory in Dallas which gave us access to hundreds of mentors throughout the state. I leveraged those relationships heavily early on in order to help get us to where we are now.
GW: What advice do you have for businesses that employ contractors?
DH: Use technology to automate the process as much as you can, and make sure you are compliant with the laws and regulations in each state.
GW: How has COVID-19 impacted or shifted your business?
DH: We are one of the few fortunate companies that have actually benefited from the pandemic. Firefighters are required to check their temperatures daily before going into the station, they understand the importance of social distancing and are up to date on the latest sanitation practices as outlined by the CDC. People trust letting firefighters into their homes (versus the alternative) now more than ever.
“Support your local firefighters and get work done while keeping you in a safe environment.”
GW: What is it like running a business during a time of social unrest, injustice, and inequality?
DH: It can be unsettling at times, but we’ve built a company with trust as our foundation. We trust that firefighters are going to treat people equally regardless of race, religion, and gender. We also trust that members of our communities will reciprocate regardless of the race, religion, or even gender of the firefighters that use our platform. It helps that firefighters do not deal with law enforcement, and from a perception standpoint, we’re known more for getting people out of trouble than into trouble.
Your thoughts on Us:
GW: What problem(s) were you trying to solve with our product?
DH: Paying too much (2.9% + $0.30) on every transaction was hurting our margins. A flat rate for every transaction made a lot more sense.
GW: How does our product or service stand out from other options?
DH: It’s easy to use, turnkey, cost-effective and keeps us compliant all in one solution.
GW: What made you happiest about working with our company? What is your biggest success story?
DH: Instant Pay! When we started offering Instant Pay our firefighters loved it, and they were willing to pay for it themselves to receive their money on the same day. The customer service is also top-notch.
We are so excited to know that the gig economy is providing so much value to our first responders and are proud to be working with companies like Hidrent to help firefighters find jobs easier and faster.
You can find Hidrent on their website here or follow them on their social channels— Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Written byErin Lee