Homeowners call contractors all the time to find out the job they want done isn’t going to get done. Take a small specialized job out in the yard or gardens. Maybe it’s a job stuffed into the side area of a garage and fence. It’s a mess, there’s a property line, some water problems and no room to turn around. You could get two grown adults with shovels, drills, a few tools and some buckets but they’d be stuck trying to get by each other. Forget where a wheelbarrow is going. The contractor says the job is too small, or maybe writes a bid high hoping to not get the job. It’s hard. Homeowners feel a little ignored in these cases.
For some handy workers and one person business’s it’s perfect. Some individual service workers have just enough mule in them to dig, move, shovel, scrape, bucket and haul twenty or so gallons of materials out of a tight spot and to a truck. Then crawl back into the space with some materials, a couple too many tools they don’t need and run back and forth for the rest. Some of these workers have just enough tools and skills to handle these jobs. There probably won’t be a bid written and the worker is most likely time and materials. This is hard for some homeowners to grasp, it requires trust.
Pound for pound the job may seem a little expensive. But hauling in a load of tools, driving around for a tiny bit of carefully selected materials and staying focused on a small task take guts. It takes the ability to do enough of these a week to make a living. It takes courage to charge a price that keeps one in business. It requires humility and self confidence knowing these are the jobs a lot of others ignore. When these small jobs are taken seriously and performed with pride just like the big ones, homeowners feel good. Like someone cared enough to get that little thing done that’s been driving them nuts. They see the value. They hire the worker for another job, maybe a bigger one.
And so it goes. scratching out negotiations, sometimes with no more than a conversation and handshake. A relationship and fit between homeowner and worker that takes trial and risk to see if it’s going to work. And when it does, it gets to the point service workers feel as cared for as the ones they serve. It’s a lucky day on those days.