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Tony was very polite and helpful. I would call again should I need their services.
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There are definitely times when you need a once-off or smallish job to be done properly but without the hefty price tag that hiring a specialist would entail. It’s a fact of life that ‘generalists’ are as much in demand as specialists and for good reason. I have used both specialist and general labour over the years and, in their own spheres, both have proved to be equally competent in producing a professionally finished job.
So you may be asking why there is a need for both professionals (specialists) and general labourers (mostly regarded by Joe Public as generalists). Fair question. It is not only about costs, but more about being able to bring someone in quickly to carry out relatively small, mostly uncomplicated jobs, being able to oversee them personally if you wish, and working as a self-appointed project manager on your own needs. This provides a great opportunity for you to increase or decrease the scope of the original job as you go along. For instance, if you had hired a general painter to paint the exterior of your house and were very happy with the job he (and perhaps his own small team) had done, you could then have decided to extend his services to include the interior walls, windows and doors. And, doubtless, you would keep his contact details and refer him on to others who might need his services. It comes down to word-of-mouth referrals, which are essential to so many businesses, whether they are large corporations, medium-sized companies or micro-enterprises.
All types of businesses, from national to small one- and two-man enterprises, have their functions in society. Whilst we call in architects and construction companies for projects such as bridges, office blocks, hospitals, housing estates, shopping centres and the like, you simply don’t need this kind of labour if you just want to pretty up your garden by building raised planting beds, building small curved brick walls, erecting a face-brick wall off your patio or around the perimeter of your small townhouse garden. Perhaps you just need someone to help you to clean up a garden which is overgrown or you are planning a complete re-design of your existing garden.
Perhaps, as I found out recently, you need more than two people to dig out a root-bound shrub from a wooden barrel. Eight hands working together would have been so much quicker and easier than four, especially if four of those hands were strong and used to working with plants which fight back! There was no need for a full-day’s work, but an hour or two would have been a great help. Ever tried digging deep holes to relocate your semi-mature shrubs and then filling them with compost and soil? It’s back-breaking, arduous and time-consuming work for most of us, but an easy task for those who do this sort of thing nearly every day. And then there is always a need for strong additional labour when it comes to moving heavy garden pots and possessions from one place to another, including the loading and offloading of trucks or mini-vans.
You will often find the micro-entrepreneur you need advertising his services in a number of areas. These enterprising individuals can often be found at roadsides, particularly painters, with their hand-painted signage. Slightly larger enterprises with more than one or two workers may print out small, simple ads which they distribute at robots and near hardware stores or garden nurseries. The larger general labour specialists who work with a small team often have the means to be able to advertise more widely in general house and home and general interest magazines, newspapers and the Yellow Pages. They may even be found through internet searches, especially on sites such as Uptasker, where advertising your services is free – what a bonus! Uptasker is a favourite site since it lists in geographical areas, allowing searches to be confined to your general location. An especially useful aspect of this site is the fact that it provides online ratings and customer reviews, which is extremely valuable as it allows you to check out the experiences that other users have posted regarding any service provider. A small but skilled and knowledgeable general labour provider will find positive feedback an extremely useful aid when attracting more clients. You will also be able to ask for comparative quotes online (easy for small jobs if you have all the specs and measurements available) which will give you a good ideas of price versus service. Alternatively, you can ask for word-of-mouth recommendations, which are usually a very good indicator.
Whilst I still tend to see general labour as a ‘generalist’ profession, the experience and skill of many of these smaller enterprises can easily put them into the ‘specialist’ category. Don’t be misled into believing that small entrepreneurs who do not necessarily work from offices are not able to produce quality work. Many of them are absolutely amazing in the work they do, with no cause for complaint. I would certainly recommend giving them a try for your next small job, and – who knows – you may well find that you will continue using them on a repeat basis for similar work or recommending them to your friends, neighbours and colleagues because of their outstanding work. If you don’t have the need or the means to go all-out professional, call in the general labour worker. As you will be acting as your own project manager on the job, you have very little to lose by giving them a try. For more tips and information, see Uptasker’s general labour specialist articles.
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