January 2nd 2021 and there’s a foot of snow in parts of County Durham in the North East of England. If you’re struggling to clear a path, ask for help on potless.co.uk, we’ve got dozens of willing helpers who’ll clear it for FREE (altruistic volunteers) or for cash (help for hire). It costs nothing to post a job or errand on our platform. Don’t forget too, we have people registered under the Car & Bike category so if your car won’t start because it’s cold and not been used over the festive period, find some-one with a set of jump leads to help. Spread salt & grit on the snow and spread the word about potless.co.uk while you’re at it. We’re 100% British and not just another big American corporation intent on running your life and lifting your data. Stay tuned for regular updates including useful blog posts on everyday home service problems we can help you solve 🙂 🙂 #snow #NorthEast
It’s been just over a month since my last blog on here; truth is there’s not been a whole lot that’s caught my eye & worthy of comment & I’m not one for writing mindless drivel. Today is New Years Day & my mind’s racing as I contemplate 2021, not least since spotting a couple of tweets on Twitter earlier, the first from Telford Tory MP Lucy Allan about lockdown, the second from home furniture giant IKEA promoting sustainability.
Now one doesn’t naturally associate the Tory Party with much compassion but it’s wrong to tar them all with the same brush. Recent weeks have seen several of them break ranks over lockdown, calling for a more balanced & reasoned approach to Covid19. ‘Working class Tory’ Esther McVey was another, reflecting the views of increasing numbers of the general public & talking Common Sense. I spend much of my time street campaigning, and have done for close on four decades. One thing I’ve noticed this past few months is rising levels of inequality. Telford Tory MP Lucy Allan’s lockdown tweet is right on the money. She’s right. Large numbers of public sector workers as well as those contracted to them including ‘key workers’ are relatively unaffected financially by Covid19 restrictions. At the same time, millions of others are facing bankruptcy, job loss & severe hardship…through no fault of their own. Yet there’s little empathy. Self employed people and small company directors in particular are being vilified, portrayed as tax dodgers…yet 3 million of them have seen no state help at all no thanks to Chancer of The Exchequer Rishi Sunak. I’ve been self employed all my working life, and am well used to ‘non business-people’ sneering at our status. My own parents rubbished business, as do most of my partner’s side of the family (all of whom work for the state), and you may remember PM Johnson a couple of years back saying ‘F*ck Business’. These people have little understanding of trading or making one’s own way in the world as an independent worker or budding entrepreneur. There have been numerous posts on social media accusing small limited company directors of choosing that status to avoid paying tax & NI. Some have applauded Sunak saying ‘he recognizes this & that’s why he’s excluded them’. But did you know to give but one example, that if you choose to trade online, bankers will often REQUIRE limited company status just in order for them to process payments? There are mountains of red tape surrounding self employment, agency work, freelancing, specialist & seasonal industries and large numbers are struggling right now.
So, if you’re reading this & still doing OK during Covid19 lockdown, spare a thought for the less fortunate. What can YOU do to #helpothers & sustain peoples livelihoods? I’ve chosen the word ‘sustain’ carefully. Why? Because furniture store giant IKEA is pushing the sustainability message this New Year’s Day with the ‘Fortune Favours the Frugal’ advertisement (a slogan that fits well with our ideology at potless) under the social media hashtag #WonderfulEveryday. Looking at IKEA’s Twitter feed I’m wondering if management now wished they hadn’t. Two tweets I love are…
‘HAPPY NEW YEAR, I spent the night building furniture with Eli, I’ve seen hell and it comes in the form of ikea flat boxes’ (from @EliseLaurenne)
TIP: click this link to find out more about flat pack furniture help! The other comment I like is from @CukeLowdell who tweets….
‘ Are you joking me? IKEA and ‘frugal’ should not be in the same sentence. Waste waste waste, consumerism, materialistic, built to last 5 min bullshit…..buy local quality goods, better yet Preloved second hand goods #WonderfulEveryday’.
By posting jobs and errands on our 100% British online marketplace, you can help make our site #WonderfulEveryday for anyone seeking assistance ‘with the little things in life’ as well as for those registered to do the work, either as paid service providers or altruistic volunteers. Look out for a potless.co.uk ‘WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU’ postcard (pictured above) coming your way soon. SAVE it, you never know when it might come in handy! Say NO to the big American corporations intent on running your life & harvesting your data for profit. Support our platform while #helping others. Thanks guys.
Happy New Year!
Small change. What do we mean by that? Dictionary.com offers two definitions…
- coins of small denomination
- someone or something insignificant or trifling
Both definitions are quite apt for our site. I was talking to a potless.co.uk service provider the other day and he told me some people call a £20 note an ‘adult pound’. In other words, it’s the grown up version of what a kid would think of as ‘useful’ cash when they’re in receipt of a humble pound. Older readers may cast their mind back 30 odd years and recall TV dramas like Minder & The Sweeney…do you remember the cockney slang? £20 back then was a Score, £25 a Pony, £100 a ton, £500 was a Monkey. Best stop there I think, before I upset half of Hartlepool 🙂 Anyway, you’ll know potless’s Raison D’etre is to help people SAVE MONEY and EARN MONEY. The site was set up to GET HELP 3 ways, either help for free, help for hire or to barter. If you were only posting a small task or errand we offered two options: Jobs for FREE or Jobs < £10. We’ve now made a small change, and raised the ‘little jobs’ limit to £30. Confused? We sincerely hope NOT. To clarify….
Customers can now GET HELP with their ‘To Do’ list by posting the errand or home services job under the following categories:
- FREE (if they’re low on funds and looking for a volunteer or altruistic person to help them with their task)
- UP TO £30 (if its a relatively small task you’re posting & you’re happy to pay up to £30 to a local tasker, handyman or tradesperson)
- £30+ (if it’s a Bigger Job. There’s no upper limit. The drop down menu gives you an opportunity to insert the approx value you put on the job)
Got that guys? Good. Remember too, that if you don’t have a smart phone or computer, or you’re not very good at tech, then you can always phone or email us with your ‘to do’ list and we’ll post the job for you manually. 07902-897609 is the number you need or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second definition of ‘small change’ namely ‘someone or something insignificant or trifling’ is the other reason we started the site, and its what sets it apart from others. One of our major competitors started with similar ‘good intentions’ in 2008, yet now, after a decade or more struggling to monetize the concept of ‘errands’ and ‘little jobs’ they, like so many others (YAWN) have gone down the ‘trusted trades’ route, a road ‘paved with gold’ (for them, not the users). It’s the same old story….GREED. I got my hand wrapped by a potential advertiser a few weeks ago; he criticized my original site meta which posed the question ‘will 2020 be the year of reckoning for those consumed by greed?’ The way things are looking right now the answer is most definitely Yes for some; while others have been nimble on their feet and carved out lucrative opportunities on the back of Covid. Some call it a Scamdemic. Check out THIS LINK to see what I mean about greed, opportunity and scams.
Until next time, take care, and remember…you DON’T HAVE TO STRUGGLE to get things done. A customer in Stockton-On-Tees this week posted she wanted help getting Christmas decorations down from her loft. A job many people would think laughably easy…..but not the case when you suffer from reduced mobility, with a son whos sick and a husband who’d been hurt in an accident. The potless.co.uk service provider who offered HELP with the Christmas decorations landed on his feet. Do you remember my previous blogpost about the streets being awash with money, with tradespeople ‘never had it so good’ on the back of Jolly Mr Sunak’s handouts? Apparently ‘local tradesmen’ weren’t interested in helping our customer & couldn’t be bothered quoting to fix a leaking tap or fit an additional power socket. She’d given up on asking them.
So what’s the moral of my story? ‘Showing willing’ and helping an older person with Christmas decorations opened the door for a potless.co.uk service provider. He made light work of the other two jobs while he was there…leaving her with a smile on her face, and him better off to the tune of a £100 (fee + materials). We call in win-win. Who’s next?
Answer: With Difficulty apparently. Friday 13th November saw Tesco delivery customers react with FURY as the firm’s online delivery website suffered a ‘technical issue’. (Tesco spin for being unable to cope with the huge surge in demand for online delivery)
Some Tesco Delivery customers complained about waiting two hours or more to try and book Christmas grocery delivery slots, only to have the site shut them out. Guys, its just the second week in November!! It looks like millions of people are going to struggle BIG TIME to get their grocery shopping via online delivery this Christmas, or even now in the run up to the festive period. Lockdown and Covid Fear is keeping shoppers away from stores, and putting huge pressures on the big 4’s online shopping systems. Of course there are many grocery shopping customers who don’t use online delivery, including people who aren’t online (yes they do exist), those who can’t afford it, and those who organise their time better who want to see what they’re buying. I’m not being cruel with that last statement…I simply don’t see the point in spending 30 minutes to an hour fiddling with an online order, when I could whip round a store early of a morning and have it DONE & DUSTED without the hassle, but that’s just me. Currently, there are many people whose main reason for choosing tesco delivery is they don’t want to be close to another human being. AT ALL. We’re hearing about people frightened to even open their windows. My local #redwall Tory MP Dehenna Davidson told me she surveyed people across the Bishop Auckland constituency & found 55% approved of Lockdown2. I’ve also seen reports that 70% or thereabouts of people nationally, support the control measures….in my view, the 55% which led her to vote FOR the measures were misinformed…since new information about the accuracy of figures has come to light, but HEY!…that’s a whole different story. We’re here to talk about online grocery deliveries!
Tesco Delivery costs. If you want two or more deliveries a month, you can sign up for their Delivery Saver option. They charge around £7.99/month c£48/6 months and that entitles you to free Deliveries and free Click & Collect as often as you want, BUT…your order needs to be £40PLUS. So, if you’re like my other half and you SHOP AROUND and use Lidl & Home Bargains as well, then your Tesco shop is unlikely to be £40+. (at least for us…a 2 person over 60’s household). We also have to remember there’s a good many people who shop day to day since 16 million jobs are reckoned to be ‘precarious’ due to Covid, 3 million self employed & Ltd company people have been #excluded from help altogether since March & 14 million were already living in poverty [Social Metric Commission figures] before Covid 🙁
One off Tesco deliveries cost more. All the big 4 have dramatically increased capacity to offer home delivery for grocery shopping; Tesco delivery slots number around 1.2 million a week, as online grocery shopping sales have jumped from 7% of overall sales to 13%. No surprise there then, but little comfort for some-one ragged and demoralized by the state of affairs we all find ourselves in…some-one who’s maybe HAD IT with online delivery website hassle. Every cloud has a silver lining. potless.co.uk was dreamed up with this very scenario in mind! Our online marketplace is gaining ground, at a snail’s pace…but that’s only to be expected; we’re operating on a shoestring without the benefit of tens of millions of £££s in venture capital. Progress in late Summer was up and down; now things have settled, with a steady increase in help providers. We’re building a small army of willing helpers. There was an article in the Guardian this week titled ‘Lockdown is breeding resentment. The right can see that – does the left?’ It chimes well with the ‘About Us’ page on potless.co.uk…written 12 months ago. Julian Coman writes:
The biggest victims of lockdowns and curfews have been blue collar workers, the self employed and those whose livelihoods depend on servicing the better heeled’…..’If you have to leave your home to do your job, you are probably in trouble. If you are securely ensconced in the better paid knowledge economy, and able to retreat to the virtual world of Zoom, you’re probably still in business.’….Covid has widened the already yawning divide between the better off graduates and the non college educated. Regional inequalities have deepened’ blah blah….
One of the saddest things in this pandemic is the lack of empathy with the less fortunate. Government ministers and the ‘better heeled’ as they call them, if they’re not directly affected, they don’t care. We have them in our own family, as well as neighbours. Their reaction to the plight of pubs and ‘hospitality’? ‘We don’t use’em, who cares, fed up with hearing about them’. Maybe they don’t, UNTIL. Until the day they’re on the way to their umpteenth vacation…and they’re thirsty. Often, these people have no idea or feeling for other’s who routinely struggle; twenty quid to some of those folk is a lifeline. People sometimes ask me what ‘potless’ means. I reply ‘Well if you need to ask, you’ve never been there!’ So, if you’re moaning about Tesco delivery slots and hassles booking a slot, spare a thought for the less fortunate. Two million people earned less than the statutory minimum wage while on furlough. [ONS figure] We’re busy recruiting them on potless; invariably they’re resilient souls who still manage a smile. Some of them have signed up for Delivery & Collection, and Shopping. Some of them will shop for you, SAMEDAY, NEXT DAY, ANYTIME OF DAY. Many of them are DBS checked. So if you’re struggling with supermarket online deliveries, why not arrange grocery shopping through potless.co.uk? Post your requirements for FREE. Don’t be a slave to the greedy giants! The little guy is more than capable of ‘delivering the goods’, you just gotta find ’em…..Click GET HELP now and complete the form, it takes no more than 3-4 minutes! Spread the word and help make our 100% British online marketplace a success! Until next time be good & #StaySafe!
And finally, flat roofs. This is a subject in itself, and warranting many pages….YAWN. Suffice to say, people conveniently forget …flat roofs of the felt/asphalt kind are only ever TEMPORARY ROOFS with a 20
odd year life span. So if you’re living in a house built in 1970 (when these kinda roofs were de-rigueur) and you’re still on the original membrane you’ve done well so count your lucky stars! By rights it should have been replaced, probably twice. Early felts were mostly ‘rag based’ and prone to rot. To make matters worse, chipboard was used as decking. If any moisture gets through to the chipboard it starts to spread and blow. Add a clumsy window cleaner to the equation and sooner or later it’s going to fail BIG TIME. He could quite literally step on the roof one day to reach bedroom windows, and end up falling through onto the kitchen table. I’ve seen it happen. Don’t forget, it never rains but it pours, and a good reason I don’t like window cleaners…DON’T EVER let them climb on your roof, even if it’s tiled. They will cause damage (unseen & potentially costly). If you can’t clean your own windows from inside, then employ cleaners who use water fed pole equipment…they never do as good a job as traditional window cleaners, however, risk of collateral damage is low. If you’ve a roof starting to give problems and you’re unfortunately potless just now, don’t despair. If you can locate the spot where it’s leaking, (NB: be careful on fragile roofs and use a crawler board or sheet of ply to spread your load) you can effect a temporary repair by covering it with a patch. Torch on felt is good and better than cold patching solutions. You’ll need a calm dry day, a warm air gun or even a hair drier to carefully dry the surrounding area (including beneath the leak as far in as you can get without aggravating the damage, and NEVER use a flame). You also want a roll or roll end of torch-on felt, a stanley knife, and a blow torch. Buy ‘green mineral torch on’ or ‘cap sheet torch on’. Once you’ve dried the surrounding area, and meticulously removed all foreign objects, roll the felt out, apply the flame to the back of the felt, heat it, paying particular attention to one edge. Stick the edge down about a couple of feet from the area of damage, then slowly roll the remainder of the piece down and over the area of damage, heating it with the torch as you go, until you’ve got the whole piece down flat.
Ensure all the edges are sealed well to the old membrane. Job done, but please, don’t get over-excited. Chances are, you’ll leave it like that until it leaks again, but this should only be regarded as a quick fix. Get saving, and get quotes in for a full replacement. If you’re selling your house, camouflage the patch by covering it with stones…a bit naughty I know, but ‘what the eye doesn’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over’ does it? Besides, a good surveyor will provide written warning at survey of an old roof deemed necessary to replace. The stones on a flat roof by the way are there for two reasons. With green mineral felt, the ‘stones’ are incorporated as it were, in the membrane, so chippings aren’t strictly necessary. Plain felts they are. The stones shield the felt from harmful sun. They also hold a little rainwater in between the stones during dry spells, which helps to keep the felt cool and avoid excessive heat from sun which can cause blistering. Got it? Good. potless.co.uk isn’t just another ‘trades’ site here to take your money….we’re a site with a soul and a conscience. We’re here to help you in numerous ways, so Stay Tuned. You can SAVE MONEY by asking for help or EARN MONEY as a helper #NowHiring #Stillhiring, please subscribe and spread the word to other potential users! Thanks for reading.
Today, September 22nd marks the Autumn Equinox, but what is it? The simple answer is the time when day and night are of equal length and when the sun’s exactly above the equator. A more complex definition is it’s the instant of time when the plane of the Earth’s equator (extended indefinitely in all directions) passes through the geometric centre of the sun’s disk. This occurs twice a year, March & September, Spring & Autumn equinox respectively. The word ‘equinox’ is derived from the Latin aeqinoctium meaning ‘equal’ (aequus) ‘night’ (noctis). There’s a spiritual side to the Autumn equinox too…traditionally it’s time to celebrate the harvest, and when the summer has finished giving its fruits, which are collected in preparation for winter. In today’s wired world its all too easy to forget these ‘simple things’. Outside my bedroom window there’s a rowan tree, which get’s laden with berries in late Summer. Right now at the time of the Autumn Equinox it’s about 2/3 stripped as blackbirds, robins and starlings devour the fruit, building up their body fat to survive the winter. Most people these days wake to a cacophony of notifications, most of them trivial, nevertheless they take precedent over nature and/or simpler pleasures, demanding to be attended to; the average Briton spends 3 hours 23 minutes looking at their phones daily (Screen Time Statistics, how do you compare). I often pass comment to my other half about addiction to ‘devices’ especially by the young as she checks her Facebook 🙁 I prefer to watch the birds as I sip the first coffee of the day. And it get’s worse….when they do rise, many folk switch on the TV for a dose of Breakfast Propaganda/Spin…setting the mood for the day. Each to his own of course. What millionaires have told me over the years is never far from my thoughts…why do you seldom see advertising for luxury cars on TV (think Maserati, Rolls, Bentley, Ferrari, even Jaguar to a degree)? Because ‘the kind of people who drive them don’t have time to watch telly’, and nor do I. Life’s too short. If you’ve read my last blog, you’ll have learned that interest in potless took a dip in August; now it’s gaining strength again, flowing like the high tides we’re accustomed to at the time of an equinox. ‘Time & tide waiteth for no man’ …an idiom attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer in the 15th Century & at the forefront of my mind as a driven individual and former Merchant Seaman. Blogging is interesting for many reasons, not least because when one researches a subject it uncovers more….and I see Shakespeare went one better writing ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.’ Food for thought.
So, with the country in turmoil, what might be worth thinking about this Autumn Equinox as we face several months more of uncertainty? I thought it might be fun to look at some of potless.co.uk categories, so here goes….
Confused? So are we at potless HQ in Darlington. WTF’s going on? 🤔 Over 40 years of street campaigning with leafleting teams, door canvassers, direct salespeople and mobile media I’ve NEVER witnessed such frenetic activity as right now on streets up and down Britain. I remember doing quite well in the 80s, a decade which saw growth peaking at 5%; then too there was a boom in consumer spending & the housing market which all ended in tears as the 1990s began with a severe downturn after the bubble burst. What followed was the deepest recession since the Second World War which took nearly 3 years to recover from. On May 20, 1997 then chancellor Gordon Brown famously said “The British economy of the future must be built not on the shifting sands of boom and bust, but on the bedrock of prudent and wise economic management for the long term’. I don’t know about you, but I’m scratching my head just now and seem to be a voice in the wilderness, surrounded by folk who are sitting at home and spend spend spending like there’s no tomorrow. You as a reader of my blog (thanks for that) don’t know me, but friends and relatives will tell you I have an uncanny knack of correctly predicting the way things will work out. I suppose a good education, an apprenticeship which took me around the world, and four decades of living on my wits has got something to do with it, but I have to say right now, I’m confused. What about you? While working with promotion teams in the North East, the Midlands & North London over the past few weeks I’ve spoken to countless tradespeople, all snowed under with work. Many times we’ve had to step around guys with clipboards busy quoting potential customers for work. Sunak’s being hailed a hero for the furlough scheme, help for the self employed, and lately his Eat Out To Help Out scheme. Estate agents are excitedly jumping up and down boasting of ‘unprecedented demand’ and ‘highest house prices ever’. ‘Unprecedented’ is a word I’m getting tired and deeply suspicious of. One of the few advantages of getting older is you can look back on a lifetime….in years gone by I would have discounted my thoughts as irrelevant and way off the mark; I’m no academic & as we all know there’s a substantial wadge of Britain these days that writes off anyone without a degree. It starts at age 4 with kids ‘graduating’ from infant school with ceremonies where they’re all wearing mortar boards; ‘just a bit of fun’ one of my teacher relatives calls it…but to me it’s planting a seed…you’re SECOND CLASS if you shun ‘studies’ and prefer to work with your hands. I discussed with her my thoughts, mentioning in passing a guy who’d dropped out of school deemed a failure, who started a plumbing business, which attracted Lord Sugar’s attention and a £250,000 investment. Her reply? ‘You can do plumbing at university you know!’ and ‘we hate Sugar, would like to punch him in the face’. Modern Britain for you. But I digress! I’ll share with you what’s going on within 100 yards of my own home, which from what I’ve seen this past few weeks is fairly typical of the country as a whole. It’s on a lower middle class estate in County Durham; home-owners range from first time buyers to retired, professionals, white van man and trades. Next door bought a hot tub and installed new decking…they haven’t pushed the boat out too much to be fair. On the other side of us, they’ve had the front yard ripped up, re-landscaped it and splashed out on a 30 ft motor home (a self employed couple, neither one appears to have worked much since March). Behind and opposite are a couple of detached houses….both have replaced all their windows with premium alternatives; one of them has also added a summerhouse. Meanwhile 4 doors away, they’re building an extension which looks set to increase floor space by half. All that ‘discretionary’ SPEND has been within a hundred yards of our home I kid you not, over 12 weeks. I’d conservatively estimate the total to be around £90 -100k! Hard times?
Mondays to Wednesdays during August saw 100 million meals served in Sunak’s scheme…apparently restaurateurs have until the end of September to put in claims, so there are bigger numbers forecast. Now maybe I’m misinformed, but 100 million times a tenner equals a thousand million aka a billion. Isn’t that way over what he forecast? Like he predicted a million on furlough, which ended up 9? He’s billed as ‘the man of the moment’, a super hero & our saviour. We shall see. He’s certainly no friend of the #excluded self employed #forgottenLtd brigade; reports this week suggest he’s planning to hit them hard with taxes post Covid…talk about kicking a man when he’s down 🙁 So, what about the housing market? Am I completely STUPID in thinking that the record rise in house prices and sales is more to do with pent up demand post lockdown rather than #FeelGood factor? Again, am I completely stupid not trusting ANY estate agent half as far as I could blow him? Perhaps I should rephrase that. 800,000 new universal claimants, 238,000 people leaving self employment last month, millions of furloughed people being downgraded by financial institutions meaning they face difficulties getting a mortgage…is none of that going to blight the property boom???? Pubs and restaurants, snowed under in August with Eat Out To Help Out, are now empty again Monday – Wednesday, and struggling Thursdays & Fridays, just like the office blocks no-body wants to go back to because the WFH brigade have got their wish, aided and abetted by bruised employers. Again call me STUPID, but can’t these people see the obvious? If some-one’s sold their 1 bed flat in Wembley and moved to a 5 bed detached in the North East for the same money because they can work from home (WFH) isn’t there a good chance same employers will think….‘Hmmmmm…I can get this work done remotely in India, and pay just $8 an hour for it, bye bye WFHomer!’ Facebook ‘have no plans’ to ask their workforce to return to the office (no surprise there) and Royal Bank Of Scotland are happy with 45,000 staff working from home. I’m wondering what spin commercial estate agents in the capital will give us as office blocks become surplus to requirements and begin to decay. The same ‘supply and demand’ model they’re crowing about now with regard to residential sales should point to a CRASH in the office market. Time will tell. One things for sure, public sector workers will remain relatively unaffected in these troubled times. Their numbers will grow guaranteed, in real terms and as a % due to rising numbers of unemployed in the private sector. I’m wondering, has anyone ever attempted to explain to you the money merry-go-round? I’ll bet they have at some stage. It goes something like this: State Aid like the money Sunak’s been dishing out, benefits the Government since over half of it comes back in the form of taxes & can work out cheaper than long term benefit payments. The UK is a consumer driven service economy, gone are the days we make very much. Could it be that the spend spend spend bonanza is indeed keeping the country afloat, while industries like hospitality, airlines, travel etc are left hung out to dry and considered ‘collateral’ damage? Again, time will tell. One things for sure. Rishi has to keep the merry go round turning, which is easier said than done. If it all goes tits up (likely in my view & the views of scores of ‘ordinary folk’ I’ve been talking to on the street) with a reputed £250 million in the bank and a billionaire as a father in law, what does he care? After all, you can never trust a politician can you? Or an estate agent God bless them. Until next time, enjoy the closing days of Summer, and I’ll leave you with this little gem from Gordon on ‘Boom & Bust’.
PS: Unlike similar ‘help’ and ‘trade’ websites, we at potless are 100% transparent. We’re not afraid to ‘say what we think’ and tell you ‘how we’re doing’. After a promising start, growth has stalled. We’re being laughed at by tradespeople for daring to suggest things are likely to end badly. Britain is famous for thinking ‘short term’. Short termism has blighted political decisions for the last hundred years and is a big reason for our country’s enduring STRUGGLE. Are we deterred? NO. We stand by our predictions and our business model. We think people are living under an illusion, failing to grasp the enormity of the ‘situation’ and consumed by fear. Please support us in any way you can; we’re here for the long haul, and don’t have the benefit of tens of millions of £££s in venture capital or Big Business behind us (unlike our competitor). Anyone can SAVE MONEY or EARN MONEY from using our platform. If there’s ANYTHING you need doing in any of the 20+ categories listed, post the task on potless.co.uk. If you want to help others, Get Involved and either Help for Hire, or volunteer & Help for Free. Thank you.
PS (2) Tell me, am I alone in thinking all the new notes in circulation right now are due to Rishi printing ’em as fast as he can in collusion with the Bank of England? Enlighten me. (You are still using cash, right? 🙁 ) #quantative easing
So, the hospitality industry has been singled out to receive help to the tune of an estimated £500 million quid with Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme, launched this week, and set to run through August. The idea is to help kick start the economy while saving up to 1.3 million jobs in catering. It’s gone down a storm this week but not everyone’s happy. The scheme’s flawed and open to abuse…another initiative rushed through ‘on the hoof’ without proper consultation; I read somewhere that it was made public before it had been signed off by Jim Harra, boss of HMRC, who’d raised questions. It’ll be interesting to see if this is yet another gross miscalculation on Sunak’s part. Restaurants and pubs have been heaving all week, with some like the Westleigh Inn near Bideford in North Devon pulling out of the scheme, unable to cope. (Am I alone in thinking Why Bother Going To The South West At All? A few weeks ago council chiefs were telling us all to Stay Away, now businesses themselves are complaining about ‘over tourism’, is there any pleasing these people? We suggest you Stay Local). The logic of it all defies comprehension. While High Streets the length & breadth of Britain are overflowing with revellers sat cheek by jowl, qualified beauticians & similar trades have been forbidden to work, with just 24 hours notice of a two week postponement for re-opening due to a ‘spike’ in new Covid cases. Locally, a Health Chief lectured us over risks of ignoring social distancing rules, pointing to a ‘spike’ this week in the Hartlepool area of wait for it………………FOUR cases. Anyway, if you’re one of the millions who have saved £30 – £40 on a meal for a family this week, FAIRPLAY TO YOU. We managed to get out ourselves; fitting in with a daughter who’s been mega busy herself, working extra hours at a local hotel overseeing an influx of diners.
Sunak’s £10 Eat Out To Help Out deal meant 50% off the bill for many patrons. People love a bargain and the crowded scenes this week are testament to that, however the offer ends at the end of the month. Some say it’s more Smoke & Mirrors from a Government on the ropes desperate to get the economy going again. Check out this amusing article in the Guardian this week..which highlights other burning issues too, well worth a read. Our mission at potless.co.uk is to help people with ‘the little things in life’….little jobs, tasks, errands etc that people want done but don’t think anybody’s interested in doing; OR, they don’t know where to look to find people to help them. While out on the street campaigning for potless, the team have spoken to large numbers of people, many down on their luck, struggling with job loss, furlough, uncertainty, and lack of money. Sunak’s 50% off scheme is all very well for people who can afford to go out in the first place, however, there are millions not so fortunate. We’ve spoken to folk wanting doors fitting, gates and fences repaired, gardens cleared, rubbish collected, cars fixed, holes in walls repaired, cheap flat pack furniture assembled, help with local house moves, people wanting stuff picked up who can’t afford the time to wait for service at places like Screwfix …..all manner of jobs & services wanted by people seeking help at reasonable rates or even for FREE.
But here’s the thing….’trades’ sites are advertising on Gumtree for new service providers to sign up and earn anything from £10 to £44+ an hour; Some of these platforms are collecting huge fees from members…we had a painter who’d paid £12+ to a big American site just to view our contact details; we’d posted decorating work before potless was launched. In essence, by using potless.co.uk to find help with little jobs, home services, errands, bigger jobs (there’s no upper limit on jobs you can post or bid for) you can SAVE 50% or more every day by cutting out greedy middlemen, (many jobs are FREE to post, & when fees are charged they’re mostly no more than 99p) shunning big US corporations and using local people perfectly capable of performing your tasks but who don’t want to make it their everyday living. Eat Out To Help Out has a nice ‘ring’ to it; it kinda rolls off the tongue. I would imagine Her Majesty’s Government will have paid PR consultants a small fortune to come up with the slogan. We’ve invented one of our own. We’re calling it ‘Give Work To The Out Of Work’. Join it all up and stick a # in front of it and let’s start promoting it, so people can find help with all manner of things for about 50% less than anywhere else. Simon Henig leader of Durham County Council said this week that ‘it is ‘vital’ ministers funnel cash to the areas most in need’ in response to research that suggests 58.55 per cent of jobs in County Durham are considered vulnerable, making it the fifth worst affected county area. potless.co.uk foresaw this way back in February, but it seems the penny’s just dropping in the halls of Government & County Halls. The past few days have seen several reports of ‘growing alarm’ about the extent of job losses, so do your bit. Support our ‘Give Work To The Out Of Work’ hashtag. We Want People Like You so if you’ve got something you need doing, post the job, task or errand on our platform and SAVE MONEY while HELPING OTHERS, Help for Hire, Help for FREE, Barter. Until next time, I’m Jeremy Potter MD at potless.co.uk, Enjoy your weekend, and lets all work for a brighter future…..
PS: Missed out this week? Support Local Business and Eat Out To Help Out next week at a hostelry somewhere near YOU! Book it NOW.
We’re sticklers for detail here at potless.co.uk & always striving for PURRfection[sic]. So we’re a little embarrassed about our latest leaflet. OK, we were hustled to a degree by our printer, and we didn’t ACTUALLY SIGN A PROOF off, so the guy (quite understandably) took our payment in full as a NOD to set the plate and start the press. A couple of hours after payment we noticed a mistake (see highlight on image) : the word ‘Altruist’ missed a ‘t’ making it alruist. By the time we messaged the guy it was too late; the job was committed to print. Now here’s the thing. potless.co.uk boss had proof-read the card three or four times over and found numerous misspellings & omissions. Instead of reading the whole document and marking the errors, then listing them in a message to the print people, he mentioned them two or three at a time in a series of emails and telephone conversations. Proofreading isn’t as easy as it sounds. The brain’s very good at skimming over stuff and telling us what we expect to see, & not what’s actually there; potless MD eventually spotted the error by doing what he should have done in the first place…proofreading each individual word for word, in isolation to its neighbours, reading left to right and right to left, and taking care not to miss a single letter. That’s how he spotted ‘alruist’.
Something else you have to bear in mind, is that even printers will sometimes come across words they’re not familiar with, but they’ll often not take much notice….their brain is being told to make a plate from the letters in front of them. ‘Altruist’ is a word some people haven’t heard and it’s possible the guy didn’t even think to question ‘alruist’. We were tempted to stop the Press and take a hit with extra expense for re-printing, but that’s something we can ill afford, so we let it go. Lesson well and truly learned though, even after 40+ years of designing leaflets & ads!!! We’re changing the text for next time. It did give me the idea for this blogpost however, hence the reason I’m sharing it with you. And in case you’re wondering why we go with litho & plates as opposed to digital, it’s better quality and its the right price.
There’s an Administration category on potless.co.uk. If you like that kind of work, you might consider adding ‘proofreading’ to your portfolio of admin services. £20+ an hour with a 1 hour minimum is what many ‘pro’s charge, so there’s room there to make some fairly easy extra cash if you’re that way inclined. While we’re on the subject, copy-writing is something else which is currently in demand, especially as many businesses intensify their online marketing effort and need extra web pages & unique product summaries. Many business owners simply copy and paste manufacturers descriptions. The problem with that is, hundreds of others do the same. So, if you want to differentiate your offering from the crowd, write your own product information and be sure to make it Google Friendly. Time is the enemy of most business proprietors, especially online retailers, so employing a freelancer to write exclusive copy for YOUR products makes perfect sense. Just be sure to proof-read their script properly before shelling out their fee. Until next time, enjoy the hot weather and please remember to post some of those little jobs you never get round to doing, here, on potless.co.uk! 🙂
PS: Did you spot the deliberate mistake somewhere in this blog post? 😂 HINT: Be VERY thorough with your search & consider ALL of a blog post’s components! Practise your proofreading skills! Tell us where it is by emailing email@example.com. We’ll draw one winner and give ’em thirty quid’s worth of upgrade here on potless.co.uk. Deal?
That’s a good question. Type ‘find odd job man near me’ into the blessed Google and you’re served with two main options: big national ‘trades’ platforms like ‘R*ted People’ ‘My Build*r’, ‘B*rk’ and a host of others, OR local handymen.
Let’s look at the first option…the trade platforms. They’re money making machines for their owners, charging a small fortune to trades people who invariably bid amongst unknown numbers of others; its not uncommon for a worker to pay between £12 and £22+ to these sharks just to get access to a potential customer’s contact details. You’ve got to watch the reviews too. I myself got stung by a local painter & decorator, who without a word of a lie, trashed our furniture and ruined the walls in our living room, stairs and landing through incompetence & failing to follow manufacturer’s instructions. We’d trusted him with the keys to our home while we were away for a week on business in Scotland. BIG MISTAKE. But you live and learn. My partner was swayed by his reviews; I told her to take no notice of them because at the end of the day it’s YOUR JOB that matters most, not other people’s. Furthermore its common knowledge that many so called respected ‘trade associations’ may only look at between 1 and 3 jobs done by a prospective member, before permitting registration, and the option of all kinds of fancy trade association stickers on their vans/stationary/website etc. Mind, I accept blame too…for being taken in by the ‘no mark’s’ patter when he initially visited to quote. To cut a long story, CheckaWhatever refused to publish our negative review, and wouldn’t come out to see the damage, despite their head Office being only 25 miles away in Newcastle. Why? Because their kind depend on Member’s Subscriptions for their very survival. They put tradespeople first; Said cowboy had been trading for 16 years & had paid them tens of thousands of £££s over that time in bid fees and subs. The moral of the story is NEVER to hand over keys to tradesmen while you’re away, and NEVER to rely solely on reviews or ‘trade sites’. It’s why some of these big players sponsor football. Football reigns supreme in many folk’s minds. Attach a trade site to it and by implication, the members are ‘kindred spirits’ & the first places most folk will go to when they want something done. Its the way the World works I’m afraid, though things ARE changing.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Ask yourself…‘Do I really need ‘TRADES’ at all?’ The answer is: Probably not.
As for the second option…handymen…browse their ads and they’re almost always showcasing building related skills. They’re not likely to be very interested in picking up your shopping or jump starting your car. When people think of odd jobs, very often they really mean ‘errands’ or tasks totally unrelated to mainstream trades. The word ‘errand’ is old fashioned and not used much these days. It’s one of the problems we’ve got promoting potless.co.uk….just what do we call our niche? Another crowd use the word ‘taskers’ but that’s very American, and a word not in common use over here. Interestingly, that particular platform started out pushing the word ‘errand’ but dropped it after a couple of years…it just didn’t cut it with the public, and now they seem to be morphing into ‘just another trade site’. That’s NOT what we’re going to do with potless. Our priority is not greed and exploitation of vulnerable trades-people and customers; we’re first and foremost about HELPING PEOPLE, whichever side of the fence they find themselves…help providers or seekers. Even the word ‘HELP’ has negative connotations….people think we’re something to do with mental health or debt; getting the right message across is work in progress for us; which means we’re spending a lot of time on the street promoting our NEW platform. The streets are our comfort zone. potless.co.uk management have a lifetime of promoting businesses at street level behind them using leaflets, door canvassing, mobile media, radio, business to business, business to consumer and political campaigning. And when you’re out and about you talk to all manner of people. It’s a buzz, especially in the North. It also opens one’s eyes to all kinds of little jobs people need doing, indeed want done, but don’t know where to go or don’t think anybody would be interested in turning out for. That’s what potless.co.uk is about. Helping people with ‘the little things in life’. Covid-19 has changed the world as we knew it; the worst in terms of company closures and redundancies are yet to come. As we learn or should I say re-learn to ‘mend and make-do’, to SAVE, to reduce our spend in order to ‘get by’, to shun the ‘throwaway culture’ & to cut waste, let us share with you a selection of ‘little things’ we notice on our travels & things people talk to us about. Check out the images below for ideas, hover over the pics to show captions
So, How do you find local people for odd jobs? Answer: Click ‘Get Help’ on potless.co.uk! You’ll find willing local Help for Hire, Free Help and Barter Opportunities. What’s not to LOVE? Post your little job, errand or task on our platform today, & let’s get it sorted. It’s early days, and we don’t have many members, YET. We do however, have a consistent trickle of new helpers and customers. Our job is to turn that trickle into a stream, a tributary, a river, an estuary, an ocean, so please SUPPORT OUR PLATFORM. Thanks folks! 🙂