An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Cam Doody (co-founder and Chairman of the Board) of Bellhop, which was honored in our:
- 2022 Best Tech Startups in Tennessee
- 2022 Best Tech Startups in Chattanooga
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Tennessee
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Chattanooga
- 2020 Best Tech Startups in Tennessee
- 2020 Best Tech Startups in Chattanooga
- 2019 Best Tech Startups in Tennessee
- 2019 Best Tech Startups in Chattanooga
- 2018 Best Tech Startups in Tennessee
- 2018 Best Tech Startups in Chattanooga
Tell us the origin story of Bellhop – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
We initially founded Bellhop as a collegiate moving service, but quickly recognized the big opportunity was in the $18B mainstream moving market that was crippled by poor labor quality and seasonal truck capacity. These were a plague for operators in the industry, and we knew if we could build a new workforce platform that would attract higher quality labor and a new logistics model that gave us more flexible access to trucks, we could bring joy and happiness to the space. That’s what we’ve done!
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
Building tech that would account for the nuanced details and complexity of moving was a big lift over the last decade. In order for us to accurately execute against customer demand, we had to understand our labor and truck supply levels in real time, as well as in the future. Building a digital product that would encourage and incentivize the right behaviors with our workforce was just as much an exercise in psychology as it was in product design. It all comes down to having the right truck, with the right equipment, at the right time, with a trained crew…that customers love! If we do that, we will win every time. But our most important focus BY FAR is making sure our Bellhops are valued, supported, heard, and celebrated. Our people are everything to us, because they have the final say on every customer experience we deliver.
What does the future hold for Bellhop?
Our focus is quality over growth, because we know that #2 will come when #1 happens. We will continue to improve on every aspect of our customer experience, starting with our Bellhop experience, because we know if we take care of them, they will take care of our customers. US News and World Report just gave us the title of the #2 moving company in the country. We will be #1 in the near future!
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Chattanooga?
It’s blowing up. Remote work has turned us into one of the hottest destinations in the country for talent looking to relocate for quality of life and access to the outdoors. Founders can attract talent and build their companies for less, and they can BREATHE here, while also having an immediate seat at the table on important city issues. Chattanooga doesn’t want takers looking to consume what has been built here… we want builders who want to contribute to making this the most livable and wonderful city on the planet.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Burn the ships (no plan B) & give it hell.