23-25 August 2024
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Do you know what your time is worth?

How often have you made an appointment with a tradesperson for a particular time and place, organising your work day around that appointment, only to have them show up hours later or not at all? Sound familiar? While we all understand that the unexpected can happen, we also know how frustrating and annoying this can be. Leaving work early or sitting around waiting, creates stress and raises expectations. So what do you say to the tradie when they finally show? Have you ever pulled them up and explained what the opportunity cost is to you in having them run late?

Now we are not talking a 30 minute delay. We mean the promise to show up “first thing” at 8am, when at 12pm there is still no sign of them! Last week we had a woman in the Build in Common community reached out to share her story on how she recently approached this dilemma. Her approach was really impressive!

  • Firstly she made sure to give them call when they were obviously not going to show up on time.Told that the tradesperson had in fact attended another job prior to hers, that then ran over time, she politely (but firmly) pointed out how inconvenient this was and how the delay was costing her money. For the job to be done, she had needed to pack up her home office and in effect put her business on hold whilst the trades did their job.
  • When the trades showed up it turned out that they had in fact misquoted for the job by not realising that another room had to be included in the project (restoration of wooden floors damaged due to recent flash flooding). So it was going to cost her more if that room was to be included in the job.
  • Quick as a flash, our fabulously determined female customer calculated what the delay in the tradie not showing up on time had cost her that morning, citing her hourly charge out rate. She then ran the numbers and realised that the cost of restoring the additional room would more or less equate to the value of her time lost that morning. Having the confidence to negotiate a deal with the tradie she had them agree (albeit a little begrudgingly), to include the extra room in the original quote to compensate for what was mismanagement on their part.

What a great outcome for her, but certainly not the usual response to this scenario, is it? This got us thinking; why don’t we value our time better when dealing and negotiating with trades? Is it so unreasonable to expect someone to meet their promise? Do we really feel that disempowered when it comes to calling them out on this behaviour?