On my last webinar "Maintaining The Passion In Your Business" a couple of weeks ago, I touched on the topic of skills trading. This has sparked some major conversation with the listeners and some of my clients since the webinar.
What is skills trading and how can it help me? Do you have a particular task that makes you cringe when you have to do it? Is there a task that you don't have the skill set for? I am sure you have answered yes to at least one of these questions. I actually answered yes to both of the questions.
Whether you are a stay at home Mum, small to medium business owner or working in a large organisation there are tasks that just don't fit with our drivers or skill set. We are all very different beings and something I love to do is a loathe to another. As a small to medium business owner I don't have every single skill required to run a small to medium business. I have my limitations. The smart thing is I know I have limitations and have identified them.
Skills trading is not new, it has been around for centuries. You have what someone else needs and you barter for a win/win outcome. The difference is there is no physical product exchange but trading of your skills.
A few months ago I had a task that needed completing. I didn't have the time, the skills or the inclination to even attempt doing this particular task and I was on a dead line. I dug deep intp my little resources kit of 'people I know and trust' and phoned around to see if anyone in this little kit had the time and the skills I required. After a couple of phone calls I hit jackpot. Another small to medium business owner had exactly what I was looking for and enough time on their hands. After some discussion we came to an agreement my task would be completed by the other business owner and in return I shared my skills and did some of her tasks. It was a win/win for all involved. The best part was there was no financial exchange which kept our costs down and our jobs completed.
An ideal way to identify skills you can share and trade is to complete a skills and resources assessment. This assessment helps you to identify areas you can trade. It is amazing when you are working to a limited budget what can be achieived by thinking out side the square. Ask yourself what skill do I have that would be a benefit to another and I love doing? This is an ideal way to kickstart you in thinking beyond financial payment and into a skill trading mindset.
For me, I use skills trading on a regular basis. Just this week I used skills trading to have manuals and seminar bags made up for next weeks seminar. I have less stress, less mess and all my seminar manuals and bags ready to go for my seminar. My manual maker has 2 hours of sales calls to potential clients to take her business to the next level. How can you use skills trading in your life or business? I would love to hear some of your ideas or how you have already used skills trading.
Wow, what a bold statement. Sometimes you get great service, sometimes ok service and rarely super, fabulous, awesome service. Occasionally you can feel like it is a privelege to be served by the service provider in some establishments.
Well, last weekend, hubby and I headed into Melbourne for a weekend just the two of us. We stayed at a particularly grand hotel at the top of town in Spring Street. I am so in love with this hotel, just this morning I mentioned my wake should be there if anything should happen to me.
From the moment you pull up outside in your car to the moment your weekend draws to a close the service is absolutely awesome. You are made to feel like you are the only people in the hotel for the weekend, nothing is too much trouble.
Once we checked into the hotel we preceded down to the wonderful walkways and arcades that Melbourne is so famous for. We decided lunch was in order and plonked ourselves down in a little laneway cafe. The service there was just fabulous. The waitress came back to make sure everything was in order, we were happy with the food, did we need another cup of coffee. The waitress returned several times and was unobtrusive, not pushy or 'selling', just very helpful and polite. In fact the whole weekend we encountered the most super, fabulous, awesome service where ever we went.
The art of fabulous customer service is not a dying practise, it is alive and well. Everywhere we went from small family run restaurants in China Town, large national department stores and laneway cafes and bars we encountered amazing service. Even the horse drawn carriage ride around the city on Saturday night, the driver was keen to oblige and take our photos for us on the carriage, even if there was a small queue of eager customers behind us.
This got me thinking, do we get back what we project? If we are a happy friendly customer do we automatically receive a happy friendly service?
Just recently on my free webinar series the end comments went something like this... customers and clients only remember two types of service, really super, fabulous, awesome service or really stinky service. Nobody remembers the mediocre service from a provider.
Of all the establishments we visited over the weekend, I have already told friends and family, recommended places and gave a big thumbs up on the services and places we ventured. The power of word of mouth marketing!
Guess what? It hasn't cost any of these businesses one cent!