If you’re in the home improvement industry, it’s time to prepare yourself for a big change over the next few years. It doesn't matter if you’re a general contractor of dozens of crews or the new roofer just learning to use a nail gun—get ready for the “Gig Economy.”
The first time I heard Gig Economy, I thought it was a computer storage term. Instead it means something very different. It means the disintermediation of many people. Disintermediation— what the hell does that mean? Webster says, “reduction in the use of intermediaries between producers and consumers.” In my simple speak it means fewer middlemen.
It doesn't necessarily mean that lots of people will lose their job—but plenty of jobs will change. You won’t need people to do what computers can now do. You don’t need as many managers in the back office organizing lots of crews. You also don’t need as many billing or routing and logistics people. The jobs will shift to a higher percentage of people in the field swinging a hammer or fixing that air conditioning unit.
Also, it means that communication will improve and that work will be more nimble and flexible. You will have happier customers, and you can choose when you want to work. Most likely, it will mean some more money for the guy at the bottom of the totem pole—the roofer with the nail gun. See, the roofer and HVAC contractor usually work as part of a crew, and usually one or more crews work for a big company who in turn gets much of their work from a general contractor or builder. But that is what changes with the gig economy. You don’t have to be tied down anymore. Your crew or crews can get a lot of work while not being crunched down and be a slave to just a few key sources.
The Taxi Industry
It already happened to the taxi business, and next is the home improvement industry. It is the final frontier: the last great big industry that is largely cash and hand shakes. Many of you know Uber and Lyft. These companies helped the world appreciate what the Gig Economy is.Uber disintermediated the dispatching companies, and the need to buy (or rent) a livery license/medallion, even the dispatcher. Anyone with a car could now quickly make money when they had some free time. People could work when they want to without a boss, becoming their own boss.
The Home Service Industry
The home service industry is a little different in that it’s a bit more regulated, and you still need builders licenses, permits, and insurance, but the concept is the same. It won’t just be the big companies who can get great work while the little guy scrapes by just because they don’t know how to do fancy “high-tech” things like marketing automation and search engine optimization (SEO). These are just complicated ways the large regional roofing or hvac companies get their leads.
The gig economy changes the game by creating a marketplace where you pick the specific home improvement jobs you want in your service area. If there are no good jobs in your neck of the woods today, well, then maybe you’re willing to drive an extra few miles for that lucrative new $15,000 architectural shingle roof a homeowner is looking for. And, maybe the steady flow of business will help you hire the next crew of roofers you’ve been struggling to hire for last few years.
Service.com has built the marketplace to make it easy for men and women in the skilled trades to get good, quality work.
However, we are not just a lead generation business like Angie’s List or Home Advisor. We built a simple app that pros and homeowners can use while they’re on the road.
Helping the Small to Medium Service Business
We have in-house project managers who help our pros' customers get the answers they are looking for, payment and financing tools, marketing automation, and SEO for your business.
So, embrace the Gig Economy, and let us help you make happy customers while we help you put a little extra dough in your pocket. It won’t happen overnight but after a year or two with us, you’ll wonder why you struggled for all those years.
We’ll help you with all the back-office stuff, so you can focus on your trade. And, we’ve got your back, so no need to worry—we come from the service industry— and will always work with you, for you. Become a pro on service.com for free.