Tradies wanting to “hook-up” new work and business relationships now have a new web-based networking tool to help them fill work and labour shortages — and surpluses — all at the click of a mouse (or touch of a screen). And it’s free.
SkillShare is a web site where members connect and share resources. It is suitable for all types of trades businesses at all stages, from apprentices and sole contractors through to large employers nationwide.
The concept is simple — members post work (wanted or offered) on the site and other members apply for it.
SkillShare is designed to take away the traditional legwork of phone calls and lingering at trade shops, but doesn’t do away with the need for good old due diligence.
Creator of the site, Wellington-based master painter Louis Buchet, understands the pains that trades businesses go through on a daily basis, so came up with a technological solution for them.
Sourcing last-minute work and labour
After 15 years in the painting and decorating business, he was fed up with the time spent and stress caused by trying to source last-minute work and labour.
He felt that a simple web-based service was desperately needed to help tradespeople hook up work more easily. The SkillShare web site is the result.
Keeping the site simple to use was a top priority to Mr Buchet and the development team. He understands better than most that many in the trades are daunted by technology, having had his own struggles with reading and writing since childhood.
“If I can use SkillShare, anyone can,” he says.
“Most smartphones have voice recognition capability these days, so you don’t need to be able to type to use SkillShare on a phone. I use it all the time and it’s really changed how much I use the internet.”
SkillShare has been running in Wellington since January, and successful connections are being made. Momentum has grown as people get familiar and comfortable with the concept.
Members can use SkillShare on their smart phone or their desktop computer, so there’s no need to step away from tools or wait until you get back to your office to use it.
Mr Buchet says the most exciting thing about SkillShare is the potential to transform the way tradespeople build relationships and run their businesses, with work being more accessible between each other.
It is of particular benefit to solo contractors looking to freelance, and those just starting out in the industry or striking out in business for themselves.
“It doesn’t need to be about who you know any more,” he says.
“I have always had the philosophy that we should work together, not compete amongst ourselves. Tradies are all in the same boat, we can help each other out.
“It’s 2016, and people use the internet for everything now, so why shouldn’t we be doing the same?”