The marketplace for odd jobs is rapidly expanding. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics American Time Use Survey (ATUS), over 2.3 million people are engaged in alternative income generating activities every day1. It’s become an important part of the “gig-economy” and, in light of the events of 2020, it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.
Because we’ve always done it this way
The conventional model for odd jobs marketplaces has been a two-sided “labor driven” pricing model, with the supply side of the market comprised of the people who perform the jobs (Job Performers) and the demand side comprised of the people who provide the jobs (Job Providers). Under this model, the current online marketplaces for odd jobs, including companies such as HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, TaskRabbit, ThumbTack, Takl and a handful other others have determined that either the Job Performers, or the companies themselves, should set the prices for jobs.
At first glance, this makes sense because most people are familiar with the the traditional contractor model where contractors (the labor suppliers) provide bids for work and set prices for their services. However, under this model, Job Performers often end up paying for leads that don’t pan out, providing countless estimates and bids for jobs they never get or bidding down the price of their services just to compete. Likewise, Job Providers are forced into a time consuming situation of scouring classified forums, or meeting with multiple contractors and obtaining competitive bids in hopes of reaching something close to the true market value of the job.
As an analogy, imagine being an employer and having a prospective employee show up to a job interview and inform you how much they’re going to be paid once you hire them and what dates and time they’ll be able to work (of course, IF they can fit it into their schedule). It would undoubtedly be a very short interview. Yet, this is the marketplace of odd jobs that has been generally accepted until now.
Flipping the model
Given the uncertainty of the economy in the United States, with the unemployment rate currently at 13.3%2 (that’s 21 million people out of work) in no small part due to job losses related to the coronavirus pandemic, and with the demand for jobs rising, perhaps a more market relative approach would be to flip the model and think of the marketplace for odd jobs as having a “jobs driven” pricing model, with the Job Provider as the supplier of jobs and the demand coming from the Job Performers.
Using this new model, the Job Provider determines what the performance of the job is worth to them, when they would like it done, and offers to pay a price they can both afford and feel comfortable with paying. In this scenario, only those Job Performers who are motivated to do the work for the amount offered and at the date and time requested will apply for the job; saving everyone’s time. The “job driven” pricing model of the odd jobs marketplace incentivizes the Job Provider to offer the job at a fair market price, or else risk receiving no applications. In practice, if they offer a job and get no takers, the Job Provider can simply increase their price incrementally until they receive offers from Job Performers.
The new Azzida app for odd jobs
At Azzida, we believe that a home owner, or any individual, should be able to describe an odd job they want done, offer to pay a fair amount and find Job Performers with the work ethic and motivation to perform the job in a satisfactory manner. For that reason, we’re creating a new mobile app based on a “job driven” pricing model to give Job Providers and Job Performers a platform to find one another and start getting things done. With Azzida’s online odd jobs marketplace, anyone can post or search for jobs for free. Calendaring allows appointments to be set for the work to be done and payment handled securely through the mobile app, so there’s no need for cash to change hands (or refrain from appropriate social distancing). With Azzida, everyone wins.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2018, https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2018/article/measuring-labor-market-activity-today.htm
- U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, May 2020, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf