1 in 3 Businesses Don’t take Calls or Messages

April 12, 2010 by

I was looking at some recent customer support data and found that almost 1 in 3 (29.2%) of businesses not only don’t pick up their phone, but don’t have an answering machine or answering service either. If you’re in business and not answering your phone, you’re missing out on sales. A simple voice message service usually comes free with a mobile phone plan, so make sure that yours is set up.

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Get a Killer Profile for $40

April 12, 2010 by

Customers judge you on your business profile. Typos and boring business descriptions result in missed opportunities. The good news is that for just 40 bucks our experts will do a revamp of your profile so you are putting your best foot forward. Normally priced at $99, we are offering this special until the end of April ’10 for $40.

How to get your killer profile?

Simply call 1300 304 647 or email support and ask about getting your killer profile.

Wedding Dis-Dress, Photographer Needed!

March 8, 2010 by

A waif-like beauty in a flowing white dress steps delicately into the still waters of a lake lit only by the moonlight. The photographer carefully adjusts his camera focus and begins to snap away. What results are striking and evocative portraits that are a world away from the conventional wedding photographs that have been turned out for newly-weds for decades.

Such shoots are part of a growing trend in wedding photography known as “Trash the Dress” photography. These shoots adopt the lighting and other stylistic elements of fashion and art photography and often use unconventional locations such as rambling Victorian-era mansions, lakes, forests and amusement parks. The photo sessions traditionally take place a couple of days after the wedding although in many cases women who have been married for years are dusting off their wedding dresses and giving it a go. Whereas in previous eras, a photographer needed to provide pleasing, conventional photographs, now they are increasingly being asked to push their creative boundaries.

Unlike the wedding itself, where the photographer needed to work to a strict time-frame and organise a large number of people into pleasing compositions, in “trash the dress” shoots, photographers are less constrained. They have a lot more creative freedom and the results are more like what you see in glossy magazines than they are like the usual wedding snaps hidden away in dusty albums. It is this use of elements from the world of fashion and art photography that has generated such interest in the young newly-wed demographic.

The “trash the dress” shoot originated in America and it is quickly gaining interest in Australia. Many photographers advertise it already alongside traditional forms of wedding photography and those that don’t, usually jump at the opportunity to do something different. Overwhelmingly the feedback from photographers is really positive; often we hear that the wedding photographer needed to flex their creative muscles and this gave them a great opportunity to do this.

If you do decide to go for this edgy new form photography, there are several important things to focus on when talking to a photographer about what kind of shoot you want. Firstly, you must figure out just how trashed you want your dress to be. This can range from getting it a little wet or dusty through to sending it up in flames. Many women are very protective of their dresses and photographers are usually sensitive to this. Secondly, it is important to give your photographer a good idea of your personality as this will be central to determining the character of the shoot that suits you.

In some situations newly-weds choose to use the same photographer for their “trash the dress” shoot as they did for their traditional wedding photographs or wedding videos and at other times they decide to go with a separate photographer.

Go to our photography page for more information on photography quotes and prices.

Find out how much business services cost

March 5, 2010 by
Business Services Pricing Guide Cover

Business Services Pricing Guide Cover

After the success of our Pricing Guide for Household Trades & Services last year, we’ve followed up recently with a new “Business Services Pricing Guide” which shares data gathered from quotes in popular business services categories like web design, graphic design, printing and accounting.

We hope that the data here will help small business managers get a feel for how much certain business services should cost, or for managers of small businesses to benchmark their prices.

For example, page 2 of the guide tells you that the average quoted price for a simple business website is $1,302 and the average web designer prices their services at $57.18 per hour. If you want to get an average business website, expect to pay about $1,300. If you are an average web designer, you need to price yourself around the $57 per hour mark to be competitive, or provide a premium service to justify higher rates.

Download the Business Services Pricing Guide

Average Performance of Businesses

February 10, 2010 by

Businesses on ServiceSeeking.com.au convert 15-20% of their quotes on average*.

The table below indicates the average number of new customers you can expect to win based on how many quotes you submit.

Quotes/Month Credits Required Cost of Credits New Customers
10 50 $55.00 +1
30 150 $148.50 +4
120 600 $429.00 +18

View new customers currently asking for quotes (available to members only)

*We estimated this conversion rate by measuring the ratio of feedback ratings + engagements to projects in conjunction with feedback from business members which indicates approx 2/3 engagements go unreported.

User Research – More Businesses Wanted

February 9, 2010 by

We are still looking for Businesses – particularly tradesmen – to participate in ongoing user research interviews and user test sessions. Some people we want to interview over the phone or in person; others we want to watch using the ServiceSeeking.com.au website. For business participation, we are offering bonus credits.

Take 2 mins to apply. We give you 20 free credits just for applying!

Help Wanted – $50 for 45mins

January 28, 2010 by

We are currently looking for people to participate in a program of interviews to help us better understand our customers. To begin with, we are researching into how people buy and sell services.

We will be asking about your experiences when hiring tradies or service professionals, or how you advertise your business. We will be offering a cash incentive or supermarket voucher of around $50 for 45mins of your time.

To be eligible, you must be available for a phone interview during office hours, live in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, have hired a tradesman/business in the last few months or are currently running a service business.

If you are interested in helping us out, please email our product development team

New Project Page Layout

January 27, 2010 by

On Monday, we released a new layout for our project details pages. We’ve tried to break up the page into some logial sections, and to explain the contact options a little better to businesses – we understand people have been confused about when to use the different contact options.

We also had to fit in the new Question & Answer feature, too, which was more difficult than expected!

There will probably be a few minor teething issues as people get used to the slightly different layout, but ultimately we think it will be easier to navigate and understand. Let us know what you think.

New Project Details Page

The new project details page is a little easier to digest

New Question & Answer Feature

January 27, 2010 by

On Monday, we released a Question & Answer feature where businesses can ask customers a question about their requirements BEFORE spending credits to quote or send a private message.

Customers typically leave out details in their listings which businesses need to know before they quote. A prime example is for wedding photography quote requests where customers often leave out the date of the wedding; essential information for photographers to know before quoting.

Our support team will be checking that businesses are actually asking valid questions and we won’t allow people to exchange contact details through the new feature.

We hope that this will allow businesses to better assess which listings are right for them.

ServiceSeeking.com.au's Question & Answer Feature

Question & Answer helps businesses qualify leads

eBay Services Promotion Winner

August 14, 2009 by

Today we drew our eBay Services Promotion and are happy to announce Angela of Fawkner, Victoria as the winner of the $5000. Congratulations to her and thanks to all of you who entered.

AM to PM: Everyone’s blogging

July 20, 2009 by

It seems even the Prime Minister is jumping on the blogging bandwagon – this article in SMH tells how the PM has expanded his technological links with the public from Twitter to the blogosphere.  But concerns have been raised about the restrictions put on the comments of readers and the infrequency with which Kevin Rudd will be using this new medium. Will it fizzle out? Will he be too busy to keep his blog up to date? Will Malcolm Turnbull’s neglected blog finally give Rudd’s a run for its money?

If you’re looking to start up a personal blog or one for your business, we’d recommend giving WordPress a go. We set up our blog in a flash, it’s got just about the easiest user interface and gives users a tonne of ways to personalise their site with photos, backgrounds and more.

Website Update: Project Alert Settings

July 6, 2009 by

You may have noticed that your Project Alert Settings have moved over the weekend. If you want to change the categories you service or the areas you cover, you can now find the settings in your regular New Leads folder.

The change means you can now view and tweak the projects you receive from the one place.

Paper Weight

June 29, 2009 by

Saving money, time & the environment by cutting printer usage isn’t a new concept – but what I liked about this article is that it offers some real and tangible methods for reducing small business’ reliance on paper. But if it’s still all jargon to you, considering posting a project for an office assistant, IT or marketing guru to assess your business’ printing needs and help you cut your costs.

Spotting Fake Mail

June 29, 2009 by

Here’s an interesting little article on spotting fake or fraudulent emails. In response to the OzCar email affair that erupted in parliament last week, digital forensics consultant Graham Thompson reveals the main 4 ways email scams work. The good news is, spotting a fake isn’t all that difficult. It’s all about being on the lookout for things that just don’t look right – weird headings & “from” addresses, and strange requests like wiring money to Nigeria!

Email fraud is a big issue, and we take your privacy seriously – so remember that ServiceSeeking.com.au emails will never ask for your password, credit card or bank details.

New Project Form to Increase Project Listings

June 8, 2009 by

We’re hoping to increase the number of project listings with improvements we released yesterday to our post a project form based on some detailed analysis of visitor behaviour using Clicktale. Here’s some more information about the specific changes.

1. Auto-Categorisation

Dan built this nifty feature that shows category suggestions based on keywords in the project description. This should be much easier to use than the old industry and category drop-down menus.

2. A 3 Step Structure

We’ve broken the form into 3 clear sub-headed areas, which make it more logical and hopefully less daunting to a new visitor. Almost half of all visitors were leaving this page without interacting with the form at all, so the clean structure should help increase engagement.

3. Set your own budget

More people were having trouble with selecting from one of our pre-defined budget ranges than with anything else when posting a project. Now a visitor can simply type in their budget or check the “Not Sure” radio button.

4. Default Advanced Settings

When looking at months of data, we found that about 9 in 10 people chose a 7 day quoting period over the 14 or 30 day options. The same was true of customer intent, public vs confidential quoting, and task frequency in that most people were picking only one of the options. To make decision making easier when filling out these types of questions, we’ve switched from drop down menus to radio buttons with the most popular selections set as the default.

We’re hopeful that these changes will significantly increase the number of projects listed on the site over the coming months.

Wireframe of our new project form design

Wireframe of our new project form design

New Search Functionality

June 8, 2009 by

We’ve finally released functionality which allows you to refine search results and find relevant project or business listings more easily. The old category based navigation was a clumsy way of navigating through the site and we are proud to release a better version.

Try out the new site search and let us know what you think!

Advanced Search Widget

Listen to our Podcast for Startups

May 27, 2009 by

Over the past 2 years, we’ve learned a huge amount about how to launch a new online business. Over the past few weeks, we’ve started recording a series of short video segments, articles and podcasts in which we share advice about what we’ve learned.

If you are thinking of starting up a new online business, or want to expand your business to include a greater online presence, then we think there may be a few interesting insights we can share with you that could save a lot of wasted time and effort!

There’s several ways you can access our podcast:

We hope that our advice and experiences are useful for you when running your business online.

Unique Selling Point

May 18, 2009 by

I read a great post  the other day about how freelancers can differentiate themselves from their competitors and win more work.

In summary, the article suggests that being honest, genuine, passionate and personable are the most important characteristics when approaching new clients. If you want some tips on how to submit better quotes, then it makes for good reading.

New “How It Works” Presentation

May 14, 2009 by

We have discovered a great new presentation tool called “Prezi.com”.

In Prezi.com’s words,”it is a presentation tool that allows you to perform stunning non-linear presentations”. We reckon its mindblowing!

Here is the ServiceSeeking.com.au Presentation on “How It Works”. Pretty cool, huh?

http://prezi.com/43328/

Spend it on services: using your $900 bonus

April 9, 2009 by

So much fuss has never been made over a tiny white envelope. All around Australia, people are torn about what to do with their $900 bonus from the Government. The jury’s still out on whether spending or saving your money is best for the economy – many industry experts say you should reduce your personal debt, by paying off credit cards or putting the money towards your next mortgage repayments.

The one thing they all agree on is that spending your money on services is the fastest way to get that cash circulating in the economy. By hiring a tradie for those odd jobs at home, getting an Aussie web designer to build your site or updating your logo with the help of a star graphic designer, you’ll be helping to boost the economy and keep more Aussies in their jobs. 

So to get more for your money, take advantage of ServiceSeeking.com.au’s competitive services market and post your project today. And to find out more about the Government’s bonus initiative and get some tips from finance gurus, check out this article in Ninemsn’s Money section.

Case Study: ViViDpink and ServiceSeeking.com.au

April 9, 2009 by

small1

ViViDpink  is a graphic design business based in Queensland that’s won 13 projects with ServiceSeeking.com.au and has an impressive 100% Service Score. Before finding us via a Google search, ViViDpink relied almost solely on word of mouth to bring in new customers. Since joining in August last year they’ve gained a great reputation on the site, and are now doing a lot of recurring jobs for delighted clients.

So how did they do it? Danni from ViViDpink puts it down to attention to detail in her quotes, responding to the customer’s budget constraints & offering customers complete peace of mind, by giving them unlimited revisions of the design work. ViViDpink is also committed to getting rid of the middle man – the designer who quotes on the project does the work, giving the customer personalised and one-on-one service.

Danni’s Profile shows her broad range of design skills – she designs everything from promotional material like brochures and catalogues, cartoons & comics, to corporate logos and web pages. Here’s a couple of examples of her work:vp_fascinocollection_logo_db1

vp_cupcakesbyluceymason_logo_dbWeb pagesBusiness Cards

And her advice for businesses new to ServiceSeeking.com.au? “Put it all out there – give the customer as much information about who you are & what you can do for them. Don’t hide anything!” Danni’s also reaped the rewards of an extensive Business Profile – customers can not only see her full contact details and a link to her website, but they can view examples of previous work in her Portfolio and click through to view her previous quotes & projects she’s won. Best of all, potential clients can check out what other ServiceSeeking.com.au customers have said about Danni’s work on her Feedback page.

If you want star businesses like ViViDpink battling it out for your next graphic design project, post a project here.

That’s Quotable!

April 8, 2009 by

Here at ServiceSeeking.com.au, we just can’t stress it enough: you only get out what you put in. When it comes to making the most of the site, the quality and content of your quotes can mean the difference between winning a new customer and missing out on the project.

Here are the absolute essentials to ensure your quotes are taken seriously by potential clients:

  1. Be polite: it’s amazing how quickly poor spelling or a quote ALL IN CAPITALS can turn a customer off
  2. Show your uniqueness: why are you better than the other businesses? Do you have lower overheads? Better training? Are you passionate about what you do?
  3. Address their concerns: if the customer is unsure of what they need, answer their questions or give them some hints to help them along
  4. Be specific: quote on the estimated total for the project, but also give an hourly rate in case extra work is needed
  5. Keep up: if your price or services change, make sure you return to the site and click Edit next to your quote
  6. Fill it in: don’t leave your Profile incomplete – add as much detail as you can

Still stumped on how to improve your quotes? Check out the Help Centre here.

Ten Simple Steps for Going Green

April 6, 2009 by

Our partners at Todae have spurred us on to inspire users with simple tips about how to reduce their carbon footprint. They’re not just easy and enviro-friendly, but they can also help you slash the costs of running an office and gain a repuation as a good corporate citizen.

  1. Technology: don’t leave your laptops, computers, scanners and photocopiers running all night – even on Standby they consume a huge amount of energy. Shut down your equipment at the end of the day, and switch off multiple computers at once with a handy one-touch powerboard
  2. Climate control: use ceiling and pedestal fans where you can (a ceiling fan costs just $15 a year to run!) or turn the airconditioning up one degree in Summer and down one in Winter to save 15% on your energy costs
  3. Lights: get an electrician to switch your lights to more efficient globes, open blinds and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible, and only light areas of the workplace that are in use
  4. Water: encourage your staff to turn off taps in the bathroom or lunch room, and to report any leaky facilities so you can get them fixed asap
  5. Get emailing: cut down on your paper usage by switching a whole range of functions to email. Internal office communications, invoices, responding to customer enquiries, drafting new business policies, filing reports and more can be done via the net rather than in hard copy form.
  6. Recycle: encourage your staff to print on both sides of the paper, and to not throw old papers and files in the bin.  Even sensitive materials can be shredded and then recycled to ensure the paper isn’t wasted
  7. Buy recycled: times have changed, and 100% recycled paper is entirely OK for printers, looks and feels just like the fresh stuff and is often a far cheaper alternative
  8. Transport: organising employee carpools means your workers can share the fuel costs and cut down on traffic congestion. Or, if your workplace is close to public transport, consider subsidising their train and bus fares as an incentive to ditch the car
  9. Read up: subscribe to Todae’s newsletter or read up on climate change to keep up to date with the latest tools and ideas to make your business more sustainable. Also keep ahead of any government-regulated carbon reduction scheme by making changes now to the way you run your business and it’s impact on the environment
  10. Get audited: to get a comprehensive carbon audit and see how you could save energy, money and your little piece of the planet, click here. We’ll even display the Todae logo next to your name so our thousands of customers can choose a carbon-conscious business for their next project

Todae logo

The importance of the Service Score

March 30, 2009 by

A good Service Score is your ticket to more customers. You’re rated after every project you complete, and the percentage of feedback that’s positive is displayed next to your name on the site.

This means other customers can get an idea of the quality of your work, how well you stick to budget and time constraints and how you deal with your clients. They can even click through to your profile and read what previous ServiceSeeking.com.au users have said about you.

Our experience with the site has shown that, more than anything, customers are looking for reliability in a business. They want to know that you’re trustworthy and they can count on you to get the work done right the first time. And the vast majority of customers are willing to pay a premium to ensure their project is in safe hands.

If you don’t have a Service Score yet, it’s time you did something about it. Consider reducing your price for the first project, offering customers a special deal, or letting them know you’ll pull out all the stops for this project so that you can start to gain a good reputation on the site.

Want more info? Check out our FAQs or Forums.

Leaving Feedback

March 30, 2009 by

Some quick tips about leaving feedback:

  • Your feedback contributes to a business’ Service Score – a rating out of 100 that gives other customers and idea of what they can expect from this business
  • The Service Score shows up next to all that business’ quotes and in their public profile
  • If you’ve accepted a business’ quote, you will be asked to return to the site when the work’s done and leave either positive or negative feedback
  • You can also leave a comment describing your experience with the business, the quality of their work, professionalism, ability to stick to budget and more
  • Be courteous and polite, even if you’re not happy with the work. It’s important to remember that not only can the business see what you’ve said about them, but so can every customer who clicks through to the feedback page in their profile

Got questions? Check out the FAQ page to find out more. If you’re having trouble awarding feedback, send us an email (support@serviceseeking.com.au) and we’ll guide you through the process.

Site Update: Sorting New Leads

March 26, 2009 by

Here’s a great new update for businesses in relation to the New Leads folder:

  • Sort projects by the date they were posted
  • Sort projects by their closing date
  • See how far the project is from your location
  • Roll your mouse clicker over a project’s name to see all the essential details

As always, you can select leads you don’t want to follow through with and click Delete Selected at the bottom of the page.

These updates will make it easier for you to browse your new leads and keep the folder neat & tidy.

New Leads folder

Site Update: Type in Rich Text

March 26, 2009 by

You can now type your projects and your Business Profiles using bold letters and italics, and underline ’til your heart’s content.

When you go to the Post a Project or Business Profile page, you’ll now see the rich text editor at the top of the description box. You can also include hyperlinks to websites, allowing other users to quickly and easily access information about your business or your project.

Here’s an example of what you can do:

Rich Text Editor

Site Update: Gauge Your Profile

March 26, 2009 by

As part of a number of updates to the site, we’ve included a Profile Completeness Gauge (like the one below) that prompts you to include more information in your Business Profile.

How complete is your Profile?

When you log in to the site and go to My Account, a box on the right hand side of the screen will tell you how complete your Profile is. It even lets you know how to improve the score – by adding an ABN, a website address or a portfolio entry.

Having a complete Business Profile is essential to landing new customers – it gives them a one page summary of who you are, what you do and why they should select you for their next project. So next time you’re on the site, see if you can push that little blue bar up to 100%!

Better Browsers

March 20, 2009 by

Microsoft’s just announced that it’s launching a re-vamped version of its web browser Internet Explorer. Web users around the world are crossing their fingers that the hype is right and the new IE8 will tackle some of Microsoft’s long running browser issues – speed, security and ease of use.

But while Internet Explorer is still the browser of choice for net goers worldwide, its popularity has been on the decline since its previous version was released in August 2006. Many people, including ServiceSeeking.com.au customers and businesses, have switched to other free browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s latest effort, Google Chrome. So what’s the difference?

Your choice of browser may not be the most essential part of your internet experience, but there are four key things you should look for:

  1. Simplicity: a streamlined browser design with limited clutter is a must. Browsers like Firefox and the new IE8 have clever toolbars that show or hide certain features (like printing tools, search bars) according to how much you use them. Google Chrome follows the tradition of Gmail and Google Search by simplifying the window format and providing a very easy to use design
  2. Security: Microsoft has finally caught up with the other big players and upped its security. Spyware, phising scams, viruses and identity theft are always on the rise, and it’s important that browsers have a comprehensive security system to keep you in the clear. This includes easy access to menus allowing you to modify your level of security, turn on pop-up blockers, allow pop-ups only from selected sites and browse privately without storing visited sites or cookies on your computer
  3. Compatibility: believe it or not, many of our enquiries to support@serviceseeking.com.au involve issues with browser compatibility, as users try to use the web with outdated and inferior versions of IE and other browsers. Keep in mind when choosing a browser that not all of them process HTML and JavaScript with the same speed and accuracy, and this can cause difficulties loading new sites and following web links
  4. Support: even though all of the main browsers are free to download on the web (just do a search for IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera or others), their makers put a lot of effort into compiling comprehensive FAQs and Help Centres to ensure your experience is a smooth one. Mozilla and Google have always been the leaders in creating easy to use, searchable and relevant technical support sections. When you’re having a shouting match with the computer, or you’re struggling to download an important document from the web, it really does help to have assistance at the touch of a button and in easy to understand terms

Let us know what browser you’re using, and whether you think IE8 will help Microsoft win back some of the customers it’s lost to Mozilla, Google and others in recent times.

A new lick of paint

March 16, 2009 by

Here are some more Autumn project ideas:

  • get those odd jobs done – fix a leaky laundry tap, re-seal your fridge or get someone to look at your faulty appliances
  • redecorate in style – rip up and replace the old carpets, polish the floorboards or give your home a new lick of paint
  • pamper yourself – hire a fitness coach and get in shape, join a gym or get family portraits that’ll last a lifetime

Whether you want an electrician, a plumber, painter, personal trainer or photography guru, post your new job here and get businesses competing head to head for the work.

High Profile

March 16, 2009 by

Your business profile is the customer’s first port of call when they want to learn more about you. Here are some tips to improve your profile and make a good first impression:

  1. Check and double check your contact and business details to make sure they’re correct
  2. Describe what you do in as much detail as possible. Don’t just say what categories you service, but also what areas you specialise in and what makes you stand out from the competition
  3. If you’ve got a logo, upload it! If not, maybe it’s about time you got a logo
  4. Take the time to include any qualifications you have, work experience or education details
  5. Upload images of your previous work to your Portfolio

To check out and update your profile, go to ServiceSeeking.com.au and click on View Public Profile in your Business account.

Communication Tips: Messages

March 4, 2009 by

We’ve received some feedback from customers and businesses who aren’t sure how to use the private messaging facility at ServiceSeeking.com.au. So here’s a run down of how it works, and when you ought to use it.

When should I message rather than quote?

Unless the customer has selected Confidential Quoting, businesses will be able to see the price and content of each other’s quotes. If you want to keep the details of your quote between you and the customer, or if you want to give the customer your private contact number, it’s best to send a message rather than quote. Private messages can only be viewed by you and the relevant customer. NB any files attached to a quote are visible only by you and the customer.

Can a customer select me if I have only sent a message?

Customers can engage you to do their project whether you have submitted a quote or sent a private message.

What do I do when I receive notification of a messgage via email?

Depending on your Settings, ServiceSeeking.com.au may send you an email when someone has sent you a private message. To reply to the person, you must log in to ServiceSeeking.com.au and go the the project page. Do not hit the ‘reply’ button in your email as this email is automatically generated by our notifications service.

How much does it cost to send a message?

Sending a message costs the same amount of credits as quoting on a project. The amount is displayed in the top left hand corner of the project page and ranges from 4 to 16 credits, depending on the project’s budget. Once you’ve sent your first message to the customer, all subsequent messages and replies are entirely free.

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If you’re still unsure of how to contact the customer, feel free to send us an email at support@serviceseeking.com.au. We aim to respond to emails within 1 business day.

The Summer Leaves

March 2, 2009 by

The long hot Summer is over and a new season has arrived. For most people, Autumn is a welcome change, but when it comes to maintaining the front and back yard it can also signal a whole lot of work to be done.

The leaves are clogging up the gutters, the turf’s gone wild and that pesky neighbour is threatening to ring the council about the liquidamber tree down the back that’s slowly over-powering the fence. You want to pull on those dusty old gardening gloves, grab the weed killer and try out your green thumb – but you don’t really have the time or the expertise to get your garden back in shape.

If you want an expert to take care of your Autumn chores, post a project today and get competitive quotes from local businesses. Whether you need an arborist with a chainsaw or just someone with a lawnmower and whipper snipper, you’ll find the right person for the job.

And let us know what Autumn projects need doing at your place!

New Help Centre Released

February 25, 2009 by

Today we released our new Help Centre powered by AJAX live search. We found that people were spending too long browsing though our old static FAQ page to find the answer to their question. With the live search, you can type in keywords related to your question, and the relevant topics load instantly. If you don’t see the right topics immediately, you can add or remove keywords from the search and the topic list will reload.

It doesn’t really look that special on the face of it, but with the magic of AJAX under the hood it’s much more usable than our old FAQ page. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Q & A: Confidential Quoting

February 23, 2009 by

You may have noticed that “Confidential Quoting” has replaced the old “Silent Bidding” functionality. Here’s a run-down of what CQ is and how to make the most of it:

  • A customer can select Confidential Quoting for their project
  • Businesses have no control over whether Confidential Quoting as it is selected by the customer when they post their project
  • Only the customer will be able to see the details of all quotes
  • Each business can only see their own quote
  • Businesses cannot see each other’s quotes

How do I know if the project has Confidential Quoting?

The table on the project page will show whether CQ applies for that project.

What if the project does not have Confidential Quoting but I don’t want other businesses to see my quote?

If you are a business and want to send confidential information to a customer, we recommend you send a private message to the customer alongside your quote.

Got more questions? Send us an email at support@serviceseeking.com.au or check out the FAQ page.

New Functionality Released

January 29, 2009 by

Over the last 6 months our development team has been working hard on building new functionality for our online services market. The site is now a little bit cleaner and a little easier to navigate through. Below is a basic run-down of changes that we have made. We’ve also got many more enhancements under development, which we are currently testing behind the scenes.

More Detailed Project Listings

We now collect more information in every project listing. Customers must now tell us about their intention to hire, whether the project is recurring (eg weekly cleaning), and when the project is to start. Customers can also indicate a preference for insured businesses, eco-friendly businesses and businesses that accept certain payment types. This means we can better match the right projects with the right businesses!

More Detailed Quotes

We now require businesses to submit more structured and detailed quotes. This will help businesses pitch more effectively, and will make it easier for customers to compare businesses and choose the best quote!

More Relevant Leads

Businesses can now elect to receive new leads based on the project budget value, customer intention to hire and start timing. This will help match businesses with relevant new job leads.

Business Profile

Businesses can choose to have a public profile which casual visitors can search and view. If you are a business member and wish to hide your profile you must login and then click the View Public Profile link.

Better Business Profiles

You can now display your business logo as well as an image gallery in a Portfolio page.  This helps businesses make a better impression on potential customers.

A New Feedback System

Instead of our 5 part rating system, we have now reverted to a simple positive or negative rating system. At the end of each job, we ask the customer whether they would use that business again. If they would, then the business receives positive feedback, if not, then they get negative feedback. (In carrying over past ratings, we assumed that feedback of less than 50% was negative and over 50% was positive)

A New Design

As part of the new site, we have refreshed the design. All the current functionality is still there, but we think it’s better laid out and much easier to navigate! Please tell us what you think about the new site, or let us know about any enhancements you might want.

White Paper Worries

December 16, 2008 by

The Rudd government just released its “white paper” on climate change – the crux of which is a 5-15% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. While parts of the business sector think the target goes too far, and many in the community want to see a minumum reduction of 20%, it’s hard to know what the future holds for SMEs.

This article in SmartCompany contains some brief information about the target, the emissions trading scheme set to commence in a couple of years, and what the Rudd strategy is likely to mean for small business.

Stress Less

December 15, 2008 by

Unfortunately, the Christmas period doesn’t always herald a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern living. Work related stress is now threatening to ruin that all-important end of year holiday, with obsessive email checking and our inability to switch off our laptops, business phones or PDAs.

This article in FlyingSolo contains seven tips for reducing holiday stress. And even if you’ve heard it all before, it’s worth taking some time to try and put it into practice. My favourite tip is to keep your circadian rhythms on track by ditching the sleep in – there’s nothing worse than trying to get used to a 6am alarm call after a week of waking up at midday!

Move over, Brits

December 8, 2008 by

Forget whinging Poms – it seems Australians are taking the top prize when it comes to pessimism and sulking.

This article in the Sydney Morning Herald’s MySmallBusiness section contains the preliminary findings of an ongoing survey by performance coaching and strategy group Phuel.  But while Aussie business people are more likely to “hang on to negativity” and see setbacks everywhere they turn, those same people are better equipped to get themselves out of sticky situations.

So I guess pessimism isn’t an entirely bad thing – after all, it means you’re never disappointed or shocked when life throws you a curve ball, and you can get back into the swing of things more quickly and efficiently than your optimistic counterparts.

Growing Your Business: are you heading in the right direction?

December 7, 2008 by

Tom McKaskill has just written an interesting article for SmartCompany.com.au about the trickey business of targeting profitable customers.

When you’re in the thick of it though, making sure your key business objectives lign up with marketing strategies isn’t always so clear cut, and all too often small businesses can find themselves knee-deep in unproductive and unprofitable leads. Tom’s best suggestion is to constantly re-evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, goals and strategies of your business. That way, if it all goes pear shaped, at least you’ll be able to see where you went wrong.

We have a winner!

December 3, 2008 by

ServiceSeeking.com.au would like to congratulate Candice for the best domestic disaster story. Candice completed our recent survey and has won $500 for her hilarious tale of calamity involving an embarrassing (and smelly!) plumbing mishap at a 2 year old’s birthday party. It was the kids’ phrase “chocolate river” that really sealed the deal for us!

Thanks to all the great entries from ServiceSeeking.com.au members. Our staff sure had some fun reading through them all. To give you a snapshot of some of the best, they involved:

* A runaway car which rolled across the street and into a neighbour’s yard after a stray brick hit its handbrake

* A boating mishap which ended in a couple of missing toes and foot fractures

* A cleaner who caught one of her clients cheating

* A BBQ explosion that threatened to torch nearby cars

* A mini indoor tsunami due to a leaky tap

* A botched DIY tree felling which saw a tree squash a VW Beetle

* A drunken housemate who mistook the washing machine for the toilet…

* And a cooking mishap where gravy powder ended up in the self-saucing chocolate pudding!

Check it out…

December 2, 2008 by

We’ve added a new section to our blog – a place where you can check out some similar (and often kooky!) blogs on wordpress.com. You’ll find the links in the right hand column, under Blogs You Should Visit. Our first recommended blog is from a business & marketing firm called Dornfeld, and it has some good info on web 2.0 technology, start-ups and trends in the business world. Their most recent post is about the increasing popularity of online stores or eCommerce, and its effect on the retail sector.

Stay tuned for more links to interesting blogs.

Flooded with Stories

December 1, 2008 by

We’re soon to announce the winner of a recent request for tales of great domestic disasters. Hundreds of our members filled out our online survey and told us their stories of backyard BBQ explosions, runaway cars and cleaning calamities.

By far and away the most common type of domestic disaster, however, involves that harmless little stuff that comes out the kitchen tap – water. Tens of service seekers and providers have experienced flooding first hand, and surprisingly it has nothing to do with rainfall, hurricanes or rising river banks. It seems that a leaky tap, a burst pipe or answering the phone while running a bath can have some pretty serious consequences!

Stay tuned to this blog or our site as we announce which of our members will be rewarded for their tale with a cool $500!

Getting Even

December 1, 2008 by

Just over a year after we let ServiceSeeking.com.au loose on the Australian service sector, we’re seeing a great spread of providers across a huge range of our industry categories.

 

Recent survey results show that, while lots of tradies, IT gurus, cleaners and marketers are bidding for work, an increasing number of members are bidding for jobs in the categories of Manufacturing, Law, Lawyers & Solicitors, Printing, Office Admin & Support, Finance & Business and many more.

 

Not surprisingly, it’s the categories with a steady stream of job listings that attract new providers. As always, it’s a matter of supply increasing demand increasing supply etc.

Baby Boomers Catch On And Cash In

December 1, 2008 by

Younger generations tend to give their older counterparts a bit of flack when it comes to computer literacy. But it seems that the Baby Boomers are getting their fair share of the online pie, with recent results showing that nearly half of all ServiceSeeking.com.au members are over 35 years old.

Forget typing with one finger, puzzling over wireless “mice” or ringing the kids to find out how to surf the net – mature-aged service seekers and providers are tech savvy and proficient users of the world wide web who are comfortable with submitting jobs online, placing virtual quotes and communicating with each other in Australia’s biggest SME marketplace.

If you’d like to get in on all the action, whether you’re a baby boomer or not, click here and you can start posting jobs or bidding for work today.

The Lone Rangers

December 1, 2008 by

Are you self-employed or a sole trader? Do you manage a micro business with less than 10 employees?

Going it alone in the big world of business isn’t always easy, but more and more solo business owners are experiencing the benefits of the online marketplace. At ServiceSeeking.com.au, over a quarter of all our service providers are self-employed, and it’s not hard to see why.

Finding new customers and building a reputation in your field of expertise is often a task that’s too time consuming and costly for businesses with just a couple of employees, so getting new job leads delivered straight to your inbox is more than a little handy. Another benefit of our unique online community is that you can choose which leads to receive and which jobs to bid on, depending on your workload, availability and the size and type of the work.

And if you’re just starting out, there’s plenty of advice out there for sole traders and entrepreneurs – a great place to look is FlyingSolo.com.au, a site designed specifically with you in mind. It’s got some great info on networking, marketing, new technology and how to stay sane as a lone ranger in the business world.

 

 

 

The Open Market Effect

October 8, 2007 by

I received an email today from a service provider who thought ServiceSeeking.com.au would create price wars in his industry and ultimately kill his business. It’s true that our open market could lead to some heavy competition, but not all customers will choose a bidder on price alone. We actually anticipate that bidders who constantly try to undercut their competition will struggle on ServiceSeeking.com.au. People recognise value in different ways – some buy according to price, but many also choose the best based on other criteria. Many customers are less concerned with price and more concerned with personalised service, guarantees, punctuality, or references and certifications.

I think Service Providers who are concerned the open market will kill their business are misguided. Such businesses should demonstrate in their bids to a customer why they are more expensive and how the extra cost will ensure a better quality of service.

Welcome ServiceSeeking.com.au

October 1, 2007 by

ServiceSeeking.com.au launched on 2 October 2007 with an ad campaign across the Fairfax network. Over 50 000 people will visit Service Seeking in the next three months, posting jobs and engaging professionals, contractors and freelancers. If you need something done or want to sell your services, we invite you to GET ON BOARD!

Our open marketplace will change the way services are bought and sold in Australia. At ServiceSeeking.com.au bidders chase consumers for work, and consumers rank bidders with feedback when work is complete. This is so future ServiceSeeking.com.au members can judge the quality of a service provider’s work.

We hope you like ServiceSeeking.com. Please let us know your thoughts.

Skills Shortage: Builders Needed

July 9, 2010 by

(c)iStockphoto.com/Stephanie Howard

If you’re looking for a builder to construct your dream home you’ll have to get in line. Thanks to the national skills shortage, builders are few and far between.

And it’s not just builders that are in short supply – we’re also lacking in engineers and a range of other tradespeople.

“The problem for Australian renovators is the shortage of skilled labour, particularly in high-demand trades that require apprenticeships and licences to operate,” says Alex May, founder of Rennovationplanning.com.au

This labour shortage is directly related to the lack of training available. Over the last few years (and particularly when the GFC hit) many large companies and government agencies dumped their apprenticeship programs as a cost cutting measure.

With wages, insurance bills and top fees it’s almost impossible for small businesses to pick up this slack.

Just a year ago, when the country was in the grips of the global financial crisis (GFC), this was a completely different story. Due to the decreased amount of work available, especially in the construction arena, there was actually a surplus of skilled workers.

This number has since receded at an alarming rate. The Housing Industry Association (HIA) confirmed these grim statistics, with its research team estimated the shortfall of skilled workers in residential construction was currently just under 60,000 and would blow out to almost 65,000 nationally by 2012.

“The residential construction industry is almost certainly going to face a skills crunch,” says HIA’s chief Shane Goodwin.

While the Federal Government launched the Workforce Innovation Program (previously the National Skills Shortage Strategy) to address workforce needs, given the current  skills – and housing – shortage, it’s evident that even more has to be done.

A Stitch In Modern Time

July 7, 2010 by

(c)iStockphoto.com/Jancsikb

There was an age when sewing was not just a necessity, but an enjoyable pastime. Thanks to TV shows like Project Runway and the growing number of hot new Australian designers, these days have returned.

For awhile there sewing was strictly for grandmas and library nerds only. In the last few years, however, sewing has come back in vogue.

No longer sitting dormant, the trusty old Singer is being dusted off and given a good workout.

Surprisingly, it’s the younger generation who’s embracing this trend. With home economics and design such popular school subjects, the seamstress of today is young and funky.

School students are aspiring to more than just the ability to sew a button on, but appreciating sewing for the creative outlet it is.

They start off making canvas bags and simple garments and then progress to something more challenging – until suddenly they find themselves stitching their own wedding dress!

Given the technology-saturated world in which we live, it’s refreshing to see the return of a such a traditional artform.

The beauty of sewing lies in its simplicity – rather than a host of different gaming controllers and machinery, sewing just calls for a skilled hand, needle and thread (and perhaps a sewing machine and overlocker).

Sewing is also extremely versatile. From ornate decorative work to purely functional stitching, a seamstress is really only limited by their imagination.

There’s a social side to this craft too. A circle of ladies sitting around having a yarn is a pretty common sight. In fact this behaviour has been amusingly labelled “Stitch n’ Bitch.”

This phrase has been used to refer to social sewing and knitting groups since World War II. While previously the main discussion might have centred around what was being cooked for dinner, these days Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are more likely to be the main topic of conversation.

While there’s still somewhat of a stigma attached, men are also increasingly getting in on the sewing action – think Alex Perry and Josh Goot.

Whatever your motivation or gender, there’s no doubt that sewing is a much celebrated pastime and is as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago.

Business Blogging: Why Everyone Is Doing It

July 6, 2010 by

(c) iStockphoto.com/broeb

Online mediums like blogs have become effective marketing tools, however they can be quite daunting for many small business owners. We break down what’s involved.

Weblogs – or blogs, as they’re more commonly known – have been around for a few years now. So it’s only natural that they’ve become an essential part of a business’ marketing strategy – and become major game changers.

Blog basics
A blog is a website where users journal their thoughts, comments and philosophies. It’s updated frequently and normally reflects the views of its creator. There are few credible estimations about the number of blogs out there – so our guess is as good as any! Technorati, a blog search engine, is tracking over 112.8 million blogs. It also estimates there are more than 2 blogs created every second of every day. There’s also 1.6 million postings per day, that’s 18.6 posts per second. A large percentage of these blogs are business blogs. But why should your business have one?

Get in on the action
There are so many ways blogs can help you grow your business. Building website traffic is one massive  benefit. Google and other search engines reward sites with lots of content that’s updated regularly. Blogs are also great for social networking. They are an effective, low-cost way of communicating with your customers. You can get a message out there without spending a cent!

Blog on
The biggest blunder made by businesses is to abandon their site not long after they’ve set it up – this is known as “blogicide”. To ensure the longevity of your blog you have to be committed and prepared to update it frequently. Doing your research is also key – generally the more links to interesting, related sites, the better.

Tips for starting a business blog

  • Be Yourself: It’s important to create an “online presence.”
  • Be Active: Update regularly and writing back to comments is an effective way of forming a relationship with your customers.
  • Do Your Research: Before posting on a topic, look online for what other people have said about the issue so you can link to it. This gives your post more “grunt”.
  • Consider Your Goals: What was your main motivation for starting the blog? Was it to help increase traffic to your website? Or, was it a way of forming bonds with customers? Make sure you you have your goals throughout your blogging “journey”.

Weird & Wonderful Costumes

July 5, 2010 by

You’re never too old for fancy dress. A finely-crafted costume can bring out the big kid in all of us.

While some people are happy just to don a homemade mask, sprinkle a bit of glitter in their hair and call it a day – there are others (myself included) who go all out to make sure they’re always a contender for the “best costume” award.

Despite what they might tell you, these looks aren’t just thrown together at the last minute but are normally months in the making.

Common costume requests on ServiceSeeking.com.au range from your standard fairy, pirate and sailor costumes to more risqué hens and bucks night costumes. You name it, we’ve probably seen it.

With the release of the new Alice in Wonderland 3D movie we’ve noticed stacks of listings for Alice in Wonderland themed costumes like the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat. Medieval costumes are pretty popular too.

There’s also loads of requests to look like the first lady of fashion herself, Lady Gaga. This ensemble normally involves teeny tiny leotards, false eyelashes, a pair of hot pants – and maybe a bubble or two.

And then there’s those costumes that seem completely left field. A recent request for a deep sea diving helmet fits into this category.

We often sit in the office wondering what sort of party the customer might be going to. An underwater theme is the obvious choice for this one – but then who knows!?

If you’ve had a costume made by a ServiceSeeking.com.au costume designer don’t forget to send us your happy snaps!

How do I become part of ServiceSeeking.com.au’s Expert Writing Team?

July 2, 2010 by

We’re on the hunt for creative professionals across a range of industries who are willing to contribute regular articles to our new resource centre.

No formal writing qualifications required
Provided you can string a sentence together, have a passion for what you do and know a lot about it, we will publish your work.

What do I get for my time?
We will give you 20 free credits for each article published and a link to your business profile.

Email karina@serviceseeking.com.au with your ideas, or to find out more.

Timber Floors Add Value

July 2, 2010 by

New international research shows timber floors can increase the value of your home.

The results of the US research illustrate a significant increase in the popularity of installing hardwood timber floors in residential properties for this reason.

According to the survey, 75% of US real estate agents and brokers said hardwood floors influenced a home’s saleability to a great extent – compared to 44% in a previous survey, and 90% said homes with hardwood floors would sell for more money – as opposed to 58% in the earlier survey.

Pure aesthetics, environmental sustainability, durability, easy cleaning and maintenance and health concerns were cited as the most prominent reasons US real estate agents and brokers gave for the increased value attached to timber floors.

A similar pattern has evolved in the Australian timber flooring industry. As a nation we are typically quick to latch on to global design trends – the growing popularity of timber floors is the perfect example of this.

Timber floors are fast becoming the favoured flooring option for Australian homeowners considering the long-term value of their property. Many local flooring companies have seen an increase in the number of customers wanting to install timber floors, with most driven by their desire to improve the value of their home.

Adding a warm, modern touch to any interior,  there’s no doubting that timber floors are a definite asset – in every sense of the word.

Congratulations Abraham Youssef!

July 1, 2010 by

Congratulations to Abraham Youssef of West Pennant Hills, NSW – the winner of our June Giveaway! Abraham won $1000 for listing his air conditioning repair job on ServiceSeeking.com.au during June.

“My air conditioner was distributing heat unevenly throughout our place,” he says of the job. Given the freezing weather we’re having at the moment it’s no surprise he wanted it fixed quick smart.

And how quickly things can turn around – now Abraham has a newly repaired air conditioner keeping his home nice and toasty and $1000 of prize money warming his pockets!

Abraham was no stranger to the site, having listed two jobs previously. “About a year ago I posted a job to have floorboards polished and my whole house painted,” he tells.

He first stumbled on ServiceSeeking.com.au while doing an online search for tradesmen. “I was looking for someone who was local that could do my job straightaway,” he explains. “ServiceSeeking.com.au seemed like a great way to track someone down.”

As it turns out we “tracked down” a total of 10 tradesmen, including 6 painters. “I was really happy with the response I received for my painting job – which is why I came back and posted another one.”

When it came to narrowing down the field, Abraham based his final decision on experience. “I didn’t care about how cheap the quote was, I wanted to hear that they knew a lot about the job,” he says.

Abraham was so impressed with ServiceSeeking.com.au he plans to be a frequent visitor to the site. “I actually have a plumbing job I was going to post tomorrow,” he says. So, plumbers get ready!

Bamboo Scaffolding

July 1, 2010 by

In Australia, metal (like aluminium) is the material of choice for scaffolding – in Asia it’s a completely different story.

I recently came back from a trip to India and was absolutely amazed by everything I saw. Yes, I’m talking about the Taj Mahal and The Mother Ganges – but I was equally gobsmacked by the country’s construction methods. Everywhere I went I saw buildings – from huge skyscrapers to sacred temples – flanked in crazy bamboo scaffolding.

Admittedly, my first thought was “how stone age?” – quite frankly it was unsettling to see these large structures supported by such flimsy-looking materials. I half expected a panda (or in India’s case an elephant) to come bounding around the corner and send the scaffolding (and the building with it) crashing to the ground with one large chomp.

Now I’m familiar with the idea of bamboo flooring and even furniture – especially as it’s gaining popularity in Australia with everyone trying to give their home a “touch of the tropics,” but I’m unsure about more vigorous applications. While I’m  comfortable with a carefully constructed bamboo coffee table or chair,  there’s a massive difference between being able to support 60kg (okay after all those butter chickens I might be slightly more than that) and hundreds or workers, their tools and materials!

However, after delving a little deeper into the practice, I discovered that there was no real cause for concern. Although light weight, bamboo scaffolding is also surprisingly durable. The method is so effective that it’s been used throughout Asia for centuries. And it’s easy to see why.

As it’s so light it’s easy to handle, so there’s no need for machinery to put it in place. Workers can build the scaffold around them as they go – no matter how large the construction is. They can disassemble the scaffolding in the same way and then recycle it for another project, making bamboo scaffolding cost-effective and sustainable.

So do all these benefits mean bamboo scaffolding is better than metal scaffolding? Well that I’m still not sure about – but is does make a hell of a holiday snap!

Preparing For Demolition

June 30, 2010 by

While you may have to prepare yourself mentally for the big demolition day (like saying goodbye to your childhood home) there are some other more physical steps that must also be taken.

Ensure your demolition project runs smoothly with this essential checklist:

  1. Obtain a demolition permit (also known as a building permit) from your local government authority. A demolition expert can organise this for you. Allow 21 days for this.
  2. Submit paperwork to your demolition expert. They normally require a copy of the title, most recent council rates, site plans and consent to demolish.
  3. Remove gas and electricity. It’s important these services are not just disconnected but demolished. This can be requested through your gas and electricity providers.
  4. Apply for tree removal permits. Your demolition permit does not include the removal of trees and other vegetation.
  5. Organise temporary fencing. To ensure public safety it is council law to erect some sort of fencing to prevent access to the site.
  6. Identify what you might want to salvage from the site. Some items such as building materials may come in handy later on, or you may wish to sell them – after all someone’s trash is often another person’s treasure.

List your demolition job now.

Case Study: Pouring A Concrete Driveway

June 29, 2010 by

Stenciling technique

With a new baby just 4 weeks away, a new driveway was a must for Al and his wife, Jackie.

While a new driveway is not typically at the top of the wish list for parents-to-be (think cots, car seats and rockers instead) this seemingly odd request actually made a lot of sense. “It’s impossible to push a stroller up a gravel driveway,” explains Al – a huge issue considering the couple’s existing gravel driveway was the main access route to the house.

Al decided a concrete driveway was the solution to this problem and listed the job on ServiceSeeking.com.au “I’d heard about the site so decided to give it a go,” he tells. Al was impressed with the great response he received, with a total of 5 businesses expressing interest in the job. A handful of these businesses then came to inspect the site to give a more accurate quotation.

After recently completing renovations and a sizeable home extension, Al is definitely no stranger to dealing with tradesmen so knew exactly what he was looking for and how much he expected to pay. “I ended up selecting Platinum Concreting Services,” he tells, expanding “they offered a mid-range quote that I thought was fair,” he tells.

However, Al didn’t hire on face value alone and did some research of his own before committing to the business. “I checked they were licensed and visited a job they were doing in Balmain to observe how they worked and check the cleanliness of the site,” he reveals. Al was impressed with what he saw so decided the proceed with the job.

Platinum Concreting Services had been registered on ServiceSeeking.com.au for just 2 weeks so owner Grant was excited to win the work. Unbelievably, the job wasn’t the first but the second one they’d been awarded through the site – amazing results for such a short amount of time. “We’ve quoted on about 15 and won 2 so far,” Grant says. You can’t complain about those odds!

While Al knew he wanted a stencilled concrete driveway he was unsure as to which pattern would best suit his home’s beautiful sandstone touches, so Grant and his team were able to make some recommendations. After they’d nutted out the finer details, Platinum Concreting Services got to work excavating the site with a bob cat, removing 10 tonnes of gravel.

We arrived on the site the following day to observe the pouring of the concrete. I was amazed to see the massive amount of work involved. A team of 4 men worked tirelessly throughout the morning, pouring and smoothing out 10 cubic metres of concrete.

Getting ready to pour second section

Despite the physically-demanding work (although it was made to look effortless, I’m told that each pull of the roller weighed 80 kilograms) the team bought a sense of humour to the site, teasing me when I called the big mixer delivering the concrete a “vegitator.” “A vegitator? Isn’t that someone who doesn’t move off the couch,” they laughed (for the record the correct term is agitator!)

After the paper stencilling is laid, the driveway is sprinkled with sandstone colourant to help it blend with the home’s sandstone features. The next step involves literally “watching the concrete dry” – there’s nothing else to be done until the concrete reaches 12 MPa (a unit of pressure) which takes around 24 hours. The third and final day is spent saw cutting and sealing the driveway.

Al couldn’t be happier with the with his new concrete driveway – and of course ServiceSeeking.com.au for putting him in touch with Platinum Concreting Services in the first place. Not only will the driveway provide a “smooth ride” for the new baby, it looks right at home alongside his leafy North Shore residence. The new 100sqm driveway can accommodate 6-8 cars, however, Al has plans to use the extra space for his yacht which has spent years locked away in an inaccessible garage.

When asked if he has any further home improvement plans, Al says the “man can’ is next on the hit list. “Now that we’re basically finished with tradesmen traipsing around we’d like to renovate the outside toilet,” he says. And after such a positive experience, he might just post the project on ServiceSeeking.com.au!

Almost there!