What’s Your Time Worth?
New business addresses one of life’s peskier annoyances
David Letterman made a running joke of waiting for the cable guy. Like so many other things, he got that right: it’s just plain annoying to spend hours waiting for someone to show up. Well, every annoyance provides an opportunity, and Ed Wroblewski is chasing it. For a price, one of his “waiters” will do the waiting for you. The question is: how much is it worth to you to not have to wait for the cable guy?
Everyone is busy
“I imagined that I was not the only poor soul with this ‘problem’, he says. “Everyone is ‘busy’!” He imagined a service where a person could “buy some time” to free up his own time to do the things he wanted or needed to do. “Surely,” he thought, “there is a business that does this sort of thing. Surely, there isn’t! But there was going to be one.”
Ed launched Wait 4U Services about a year and a half ago with a simple goal of matching people who were short of time with others that had some extra time on their hands. He currently has nine “waiters,” who will show up at your home and wait for a service provider to show up, watch the worker do the work and lock the home when they leave. The price: $49/hour with a two-hour minimum.
Wait 4U screens potential waiters with background checks and drug tests. From the start, Ed wanted his business to provide an opportunity for non-traditional workers.
“Being in healthcare my entire career, I believed my business also had to include people who may not be able to work a ‘normal’ job for whatever reason, like medical issues.”
He was also seeking a way to serve veterans. “Then my ‘aha’ moment came. If I could develop a business where my workers could wait for people, that would be perfect! There is no lifting, bending, pushing, carrying, pulling hauling, etc. The waiters do one thing & one thing only. They simply wait!”
The waiters choose their own geography and availability and work as much or as little as they want. For instance, if he or she chooses to work in only Fishers on Tuesday & Thursdays, then that’s what will be scheduled. However, if they are willing to travel to Carmel, Noblesville or Westfield & are available Monday through Thursday, they get more opportunities, more calls and more bonuses.
A website, wait4uservice.com, is the central reservation location, and invites waiters, customers and partners to sign up. Partners are those service providers who make you wait.
Ed wants their referrals, the idea being that the service provider can gain bonus points with the customer by making their service call less inconvenient, even if it will cost them a bit more. Ed offers incentives to the partner for the referral.
Although there’s an altruistic side to this venture in providing employment for those who may have trouble working in other professions, Ed realizes this has to make money to be a viable business. He says he’s doing “well enough” in that regard and that it’s not about the money. “I think I discovered a win-win,” he says, “for both the busy worker/homeowner who have better things to do with their time & persons who want to work but can’t because of some sort of life challenge.”
By Mike Corbett