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Empowering the Chief Household Officer

Paul Written by Paul on

As the technology industry builds tools to make it easy to schedule one-time babysitters, we continue to miss one important detail. The solution to the problem goes beyond helping Mom get someone to watch her kids for the first time. The full solution involves helping Mom better manage day-to-day support once that resource has been identified.

For small businesses, there are a number of resource and schedule management services that optimize and focus teams to get the most done with the least operational overhead, but they aren’t designed for the home.

In our view, a home is a lot like a small business. Mom is the Chief Household Officer (CHO) for the typical American family “organization” and she needs the same types of tools to run her household as efficiently as any business would. In fact, she needs to run more efficiently so she can win back some of the lost time in her life. According to Father Time (John Robinson), she does twice as much housework as her counterpart and feels more rushed than anyone in the house—probably because she maintains calendars, handles daily chores, keeps the peace, juggles countless tasks, and manages every detail of the household to keep the trains running on time, like an operations officer would do for a company. And just like any company, when Mom needs something she cannot provide on her own, she looks outside for a resource to complete that task.

Every household cobbles together some scheduling solution created in an effort to manage schedule chaos for internal and external resources. From giant whiteboards and dry erase markers to systems of color-coded sticky note memos to shared google calendars for every member of the household, none of these fixes help Mom more efficiently manage a household. To make any of these methods work, the CHO dedicates countless hours each week to scheduling—going into each calendar block, recording the scheduled event, making calls or arrangements for a babysitter or someone to help her (often by text messaging or calling each member of her trusted list one at a time to find someone to say ‘yes’). After all of that, she communicates the plans back to the family members involved.

Small businesses typically try to staff projects from within, but sometimes they need to bring in outside support. They need to know if a contractor has the right set of skills, availability, and a decent price. But before they get to that stage, they need to find a resource they trust. Most poll their network for a recommendation, and with that introduction they reach out, ask for references, agree on terms, and complete the hiring process. If they can’t find anyone that way, they then go to the job boards and resume sites for new recruits.

This is the same process Mom goes through when looking for a sitter, but so far, the solutions to get a sitter cause the already overbooked and overworked CHO to spend hours vetting unknown sitter candidates.

That has to stop.

Mom is The Chief Household Officer for the business of life. In most families, she is the linchpin that keeps it all together. To say she “runs the household” would be an understatement. She has the World’s Toughest Job.

She deserves good tools.

While there are plenty of apps and services to help find a resource for the first time, none give Mom an efficient, secure portal to manage her resources and get help for date nights, sudden emergencies, special events, ongoing in home child care, pet sitting, and whatever else comes up.

She already knows who she would prefer to call for those events, she just needs to make that process easier to facilitate.

She has a set of people she trusts, and she might even have a predetermined order of ‘go-tos’ within that list. She has little interest in searching out, vetting, selecting, scheduling, and coordinating a sitter or helper she’s never met. Mom wants to use the network of people she already trusts who respect her operational and parenting style to provide the assistance or help find someone who will.  

At Little Helper, we are singularly focused on giving Mom her time back by creating business-grade resource management tools for the household. By streamlining process and providing the right tools, we’re helping her to regain a little bit of time to spend on herself—however she sees fit. What we need is more feedback. If you are a CHO, help us build the best tools we can for you