Staffing Management

Angel Assistance spreads its wings for families in Atlanta

By Staffing Analysts

Aug. 16, 2020

Attending Georgia State University on scholarship after living in a small town, Savannah Samples didn’t originally envision her part time jobs would eventually bloom into the business opportunity she’s pursuing today.

The young founder of Atlanta-based total family assistance company Angel Assistance started out doing nanny work to support herself alongside full-time studies.

“I always did nannying as well as doing other things — doing laundry, doing dishes, cooking dinner, taking the kids places, all the different kinds of stuff the moms usually do. When they got home they would be all, ‘oh thank you so much, you helped so much, not just nannying but doing everything,’ ” Samples said.

Also read: Shift swap software empowers managers and employees to take charge of scheduling

She worked hard — a necessity when coming from humble beginnings. She found one regular in her sophomore year of university, and another the year after — and as word-of-mouth referrals from those two poured in, the list began to grow. Two became twelve, and she now had a loyal client base. But juggling the number of clients on top of schoolwork took a toll on her.

“Everybody kept referring me, a good problem to have, but I only have so many hands. And this mom I was working with at the time who owned two businesses, said why don’t you just start up your own company?”

From side gig to full-fledged business

She decided to go for it despite no entrepreneurship background and little knowledge about government requirements. It took two years of her learning the ropes of business ownership alone for Samples to hire her first full-time employee.

From there, it snowballed. Angel Assistance, once a one-person company, now employs six full-time “angels” and 30 clients, around 23 of whom have set recurring weekly schedules. The company’s services? A common misconception about it is that they do elderly care, or purely nannying. That isn’t the case.

Case study: Building a safety policy was vital to Shawmut Design and Construction’s health

“We wash, we walk the dog, we cook you dinner, we grocery shop, organize your closet, do summer, winter switch up on closets, make your beds, everything you can’t get from a deep cleaner, you can’t get from a babysitter, you can’t get from a chef, from a dry cleaning service. We do all in one. So family assistance totally, with individuals as a family as well,” Samples said.

This scale-up meant Samples needed to find a reliable employee scheduling app to ease her managerial load. Employees would contact her to manually schedule shifts, and repeatedly fielding calls would make her “go insane.” She tried one brand of workforce software, but despite the good customer service as time went on the app would glitch to the point where it caused operational issues.

Employees wouldn’t be able to see their schedules, and clients would be waiting for an angel to show up at their door to no avail. It also didn’t have as much features as she would like.

“I like the app and the people that I did talk to when I first started were great […], but the app glitched enough to where it was causing issues with our clients where angels weren’t showing up to the location because they couldn’t see their schedule published. So I knew something was going to have to happen.”

Finding the right scheduling app’s name came up when Samples asked around for possible alternatives. She became interested in it once she did some research: It had more features than the previous app, and the possibility of developing more in the future.

Angel Assistance now uses primarily for its employee scheduling app. They’ve adapted to use it for their specific needs as well, instead of just Samples holding the manager title, Angel Assistance’s families have manager accounts of their own, enabling these recurring clients to see and respond to the shifts of their assigned employee. This was in contrast to their previous app, where families ended up with a “put it out in the universe and hope the angel shows up” situation.

Being someone who does organizing work herself, Samples especially appreciates how has room for consolidating information about her angels. Other than the time clock and location features, which they also use, she mentions the qualifications tab: a place where she can keep a file on each angel that contains their background check, driving record, profile, and more. “I love that has the qualifications tab where i can put all of those on the app; if we need them we can pull them up and look at them.”

Also read: Scheduling headaches: How to better manage your hourly workers’ schedules

Forward-looking enthusiasm has also helped Samples cut down on her role as middleman between clients and angels. She handles two to three different families per day herself for about four hours each, and keeps in touch with others in-between, with a short break for lunch. But the work doesn’t stop there.

She gets home at around 9 or 10 p.m., but sometimes the phone keeps ringing. “I’m to the point now where I have to put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ past like, 11 o’ clock because otherwise I probably wouldn’t sleep.”

Despite her busy schedule, does help. With the employee scheduling app having features for leave requests and shift time changes, employees don’t need to contact her as much as before. 

Her eventual goal? To fully transition to overhead management.

“It’s a lot, and I don’t mind it because it’s what I do and obviously I love what I do,” she said. “But I know I can’t give my 100 percent to families because I’m doing management. I’ve had some kids 4 or 5 years old, so I feel bad that I’m not giving them full attention because I have to answer the phone for a management call for 20, 30 minutes.”

She may be a business owner now, but Samples — and Angel Assistance — retains the core that made clients trust her years ago: the sincere compassion and heart for the families they serve.

Schedule, engage, and pay your staff in one system with