Why do we buy services?

If you’re an American service worker in 2011, then you need not only more time, skills, knowledge, tools, manpower, and desire than your competition, but also more of all these things than your prospective customer.



We buy services when we don’t have the…

Time.

It’s quicker to just pay someone else to do it. We could do it if we wanted to, but our time is more valuable. Or maybe we need to do something far away from our current location, and we don’t have time to travel there right now. Maybe we’d tackle it if we had a teleporter and time machine.

Skills.

We could do a half-ass job, but we just don’t have the skills to do it well. We could practice and get really awesome at it. Failure is the mother of success after all. But if we want it right now, then we have to pay someone to do it.

Knowledge.

We could learn all about something on our own, but it’s just easier and quicker to pay someone who already knows how. Maybe we’d tackle it if we could learn really quickly like Leeloo in The Fifth Element.

Tools.

We could do it, but we don’t have the tools. We could buy the tools, but we’ll never use them again. Even if we found a good deal on craigslist, it might be easier in the long run to just pay someone else to do it.

Manpower.

The job is too big for us, and we’re not physically able to handle it on our own. We need help. Maybe we’d tackle it if we could duplicate ourselves like Michael Keaton in Multiplicity.

Desire.

We have the time, skills, tools, and manpower, but we just don’t like to do it. It’s worth the money to have someone else deal with it.

But what happens when consumers are (still) broke?

When the economy is in the pooper, consumers are hurting. They have more time than money, and they quickly learn about DIY.

When they were sitting pretty with a steady paycheck, they didn’t think twice about paying the lawn care service $100/ week to cut their lawns.

Now folks have been unemployed or underemployed for a year or two, and walking around the yard behind a mower for an hour isn’t quite worth $100. That’s grocery money, and folks gotta eat.

The Solution

Doctors, attorneys, accountants, bankers, educators, actors, airline pilots, and designers are all part of the service economy. And I won’t even mention exotic dancers.

Are you a service worker? If so, how are you staying competitive?

According to Thomas Friedman, we need to be special, specialized, anchored, or adaptable in order to keep our jobs. Otherwise, we’ll be outsourced, open sourced, offshored, or all three.

If you’re an American service worker in 2011, then you need not only more time, skills, knowledge, tools, manpower, and desire than your competition, but also more of all these things than your prospective customer.

In short, you have to be really freakin’ awesome.

About the Author:
http://thomasgapinski.com

Thomas is the ringleader at Motionbuzz.

Posted in ConsultingTagged ,