We all do, and what’s more millions of people each year are prepared to pay for them. We pay to have our cars serviced or repaired, we pay to have our gardens done, our houses redecorated or extended, kitchens fitted, we pay others for child care, we pay for cleaning services etc. For every problem there is a skills solution. It maybe that we do not have the skills ourselves or we do not have the time or inclination to do the job ourselves. Case in point Myself, I am a skilled tradesman who has completely renovated 2 three bed roomed houses and 2 flats. I gutted these properties and replaced all fixtures and fittings, but there is one job I will not do. That is to paint doors, door frames and skirting boards. To me it’s like watching paint dry, actually come to think of it, it is watching paint dry.
For these tasks I employ my friend Mario who is a top professional decorator to solve this problem for me. I am more than happy to pay him for his services. Is there a skill that you have that you could market? No? Really? You may be amazed at the following true story. I worked a few years ago with a lady who moved house; she had to do extensive work on the property which included the use of lots of skilled trade’s people. After the work was completed she was continually asked for the phone number of her trade’s people by friends and relatives to do work on their own properties. That was the genesis of her idea, the eureka moment. She soon realised the most precious asset we have each day is our time, we simply do not have the time to do all these important things, and if we do have the time we may lack the skills.
If someone could do these important jobs for us would we be prepared to pay for it? So she setup a company to do just that. I am glad to say she was a success for she had tapped into a market that we can all make use of from time to time check it out at http://www.timesprecious.net. All this from one little spark of an idea. Look at the range of services on offer from dropping off or picking up laundry, office moves, corporate events etc. all great time wasters in our lives, get that time back by paying someone else to do it for you.
We don’t have to be master builders or financial experts (are there any left, have there ever been any?) to have marketable skills? We all have something we can offer that someone is prepared to pay for; it’s only a question of finding out what it is.
Give it a thought.
Scott Chambers says
This is an excellent post. Everybody has a special skill they enjoy doing, that somebody else would be more than happy to pay for.
Your story of being a tradesman is a perfect example. I would be more than willing to pay you for your services because I can’t stand that kind of thing.
How many people are looking for help to get an on-line presence established? The offline market is huge.
Thanks Rob and speak to you soon.
Barry Newton says
How very true, it just shows that a little ‘Thinking Outside The Box’ works.
I like the posts, there’s something for everyone here.
Barry Wells says
Hi Rob, you’ve raised some good valid points. I’ll come back and read some more very soon.
Good luck with the course, Barry Wells
Mandy Allen says
I wrote a post quite similar to this a couple of weeks ago. I totally agree we should outsource anything we cannot do and anyhting we do not want to do or have the time to do. (Housework springs to mind….)
Love your blog, keep up the good work.
Martyn Boaden says
Hi Robert. Your post is very pertinent because one thing that I keep hearing from internet “gurus” is that they out-source most things – they don’t design their websites, they don’t design their graphics, they don’t write their salescopy, they don’t fulfil their orders. They spend their time on the “bigger picture” and out-source evrything else. They often use people in India or the Philippines who have the IT skills but will accept lower wages. Getting Plant Divinity to design our Headers is a good example. How much trial and error would we have had to go through to get the results that cost a few pounds?
Robert Corrigan says
Hi Martyn, the point you make is very valid, I have in the past tried to do everything myself. Result, very limited progress I always seemed to be spending too much time learning how to do and then trying to do everything myself. How much is my time worth, certainly more than the few pounds I have spent employing someone else to do this for me. Lesson learned.
Susan Owen-Thursfield says
Very thought provoking post and I totally agree. However, i think outsourcing the ironing and decorating is a little different from building an online business. You have an intuitive feel for how much “value” and cost should be attached to these activities.
I thin when people venture online everything can be expensive. People will “put up” your website for “only £99!”. If you’ve NO idea how simple FTP is if only you would put the time in initially (about 6 solid “learn” hours in my case), you might think £99 is good value. Frankly it make my blood boil when I see how easy it is for newbies to be ripped off online.
All that said however, you MUST learn when you are doing “too much”. For example. Learn enough to understand and appreciate exactly how technical and difficult the work really is FOR SOMEONE WITH THE EXPERTISE. Then go and outsource in full knowledge of what questions you and they should be asking each other, and importantly, what the going rate is.
Graphics is a good example. I know enough about PSD to know that it is VERY easy to manipulate – even I can do that. And if you’ve got flair and know how to use the action scripts you’ve installed, (again, easy), it’s actually quite fast to do. BUT the end result the professionals can achieve in a tiny fraction of what I can do is light years from what I could do. Save your graphics for creating your Christmas cards. And know yuo should be OUTSOURCING your graphics to a professional for your online business – but do not pay the earth!
Thanks again fro raising this important point. We don’t HAVE to be Jacks of all trades, but we do need to KNOW what those trades encompass so we don’t get riped off when we outsource!