Need a medicine drop? Hire a ‘Flu Fighter’

January is undoubtedly one of the most sickly times of the year, and that’s why we’ve decided to launch our new ‘Flu Fighter’ service for sick Brits.

The service will allow customers to request a ‘Flu Fighter’, who will deliver a care package of medicines, such as; Lemsip, Strepsils, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol and cough syrup, as well as any fast food or soft drinks you want.

We’re aiming the service at sick members of the public who don’t want to leave the house, but need access to all of their cold and flu essentials. Each ‘care package’ will cost £10, plus the additional cost for extra food or special requests you make, with Flu Fighters aiming to be at your house within an hour.

To reach our goal of this becoming a nationwide service by the end of January, we’re now recruiting for more ‘Flu Fighters’ across the UK ahead of the February colds. Each ‘Flu Fighter’ can expect to earn upwards of £10 an hour, dependent on the number of drops they make.

Fancy dropping Lemsip to sick people? Apply to become a Flu Fighter here: https://www.bark.com/en/gb/sellers/create/

Kai Feller, Bark.com co-founder, said,

“It’s common knowledge that illness and flu is especially rife this time of year, and it’s only going to get worse heading into February. We’ve got a few guys in the office who’ve been feeling a bit worse for wear, and that’s what sparked the idea.

“We want the service to span as much of the UK as possible by the end of January, which is why we’re appealing for people across the country to register to offer it.”

Can you help? Couple post request for ‘sexpert’ to watch and critique their sex tape

To help our customers find the professionals they need, we share some of the more alternative requests we get through bark.com – with their consent of course. This time, a couple is looking for a ‘sexpert’ to analyse their sex tape, in a bid to improve their relationship and save their marriage.

This isn’t a job our counsellors normally procure through the site or a service we facilitate, however we’re hoping that either one of our experts will be able to help or an expert will see this and get in touch with them. The couple have asked to remain anonymous but are happy to make their Bark public in order to help them find the right person for the job.

Here’s their request in full:

My husband and I have been married for twelve years and have two children together, aged 7 and 3. We have always seen sex as a huge part of our relationship and used to make time to ‘get intimate’ a couple of times a week at least. However, despite devoting time and energy to it neither of us have found making love pleasurable for the last few years. I hate to sound cliché but it feels like the spark has gone out. Luckily, my husband and I are very open and honest with each other, and we both feel the same.

After the birth of our second daughter three years ago, I stopped feeling sexy or desirable and although I remember this happening after giving birth to my first, I soon felt like myself after a couple of weeks. This time round I don’t feel like I’ve ever gotten back to that. My husband regularly compliments me, but this doesn’t help me get in the mood and I think it’s contributed to us viewing sex as a chore.

We still have sex a few times a month, but it’s rare that either of us will be fully satisfied by the act. We keep trying to make it work as we still find each other sexually attractive and love each other, but the lack of sexual enjoyment is starting to put a strain on other areas of our relationship.

We need help soon otherwise we are scared this might be the end for us, which is why we are looking for a professional sexpert (if that’s such a thing) or counsellor to help us see where we are going wrong and give us some pointers so we can rekindle our once amazing sex life and marriage.

We would like the professional to sit down with us first, so we can get to know each other and discuss our needs and we’re open to how many sessions the expert thinks we’ll need. One thing that we’re adamant on is we’d like them to watch a video of us having sex and analyse what they think we are doing wrong, which would then be fed back to us in a sort of debrief session. I know this is unconventional, but after discussions with my husband, we’ve both agreed that for someone to really help us, they need to see how we interact with each other.

Any candidate must have at least 10 years’ experience in the sex/relationship field and MUST sign an NDA to keep our video, identities and all subjects discussed private. We don’t want the tape to go anywhere and it’s crucial we find someone who we can 100% trust.

We really believe this is make or break and have set aside around £1,000 to work with an expert and are open to negotiations depending on the candidate.

We are looking for some help ASAP, but we will discuss all finer details in person.

Do you think you can help the couple out? If you answered yes, then register your services here to apply for the job: https://www.bark.com/en/gb/sellers/create/ 

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com said:

“With counselling being one of our most popular categories onsite we are used to requests from couples looking for a professional to help with their marriage, however we haven’t seen one quite like this before.

“’Sexpert’ is not a profession we currently have onsite as a standard service, but hopefully one of our relationship experts or counsellors will be able to help this couple out. Alternatively, any suitably qualified ‘Sexperts’ can sign up onsite to offer their services too.”

The top ten most requested makeup looks of 2018

Images of celebrities are everywhere in today’s world, and more often than not, their makeup catches the eye. As 2018 comes to a close, we have decided to team up with our beauty experts to compile a list of the top 10 most requested makeup looks of the last 12 months.  

We have surveyed 2,000 of our makeup artists, stylists and beauticians who advertise their services through Bark.com, to reveal the signature celebrity makeup trends most requested by their customers. Kylie Jenner’s famous pout and Meghan Markle’s flawless wedding makeup feature on the list, along with a set of top tips to help you recreate each look.

The top 10 makeup looks requested in 2018 are:

  1.       Kylie Jenner:

Not only has the reality star and owner of Kylie Cosmetics become one of the world’s most talked about celebrities, her full pout has captivated the nation. Kylie’s trend-setting lipstick style has seen her build a multi-million-dollar brand and become the most sought-after look of 2018.

Our experts say…

Start by exfoliating your lips to remove any dead skin, then use a concealer to hide your lip line. Next, take a lip liner that matches your lipstick and trace just outside of your natural lip line to create a bigger pout. Fill in your lips with matte lipstick or use a lip liner to colour your entire lip.

  1.       Meghan Markle:

With 1.9 billion people tuning in to watch Meghan Markle wed Prince Harry earlier this year, it’s no wonder that her makeup was so popular in 2018. Her elegant and simple look highlighted her natural beauty and was in high demand with makeup artists across the country.

Our experts say…

Prepare your skin with a primer or moisturiser before applying a light layer of concealer and foundation. Don’t forget, less is more with this look. To achieve Meghan’s smokey eye, use a copper or light brown eyeshadow, line your lids with a warm brown eye pencil and finish off with a layer of black mascara, but nothing too heavy. For your lips, use a fresh nude or pink shade of gloss.

  1.       Kim Kardashian:

Arguably the most famous face in the Kardashian family, Kim’s signature contour makeup technique inspired millions to experiment with shading and highlighting, making her perfectly sculpted skin the third most highly requested look of last year.

Our experts say…

Use a primer to prep your skin, then take a foundation or concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone and apply to the centre of your forehead, nose, under your eyes, cheekbones and the centre of your chin. Next, use a darker shade to swipe under your cheekbones, jawline, hairline and sides of your nose. Blend the darker foundation followed by the lighter shade and even out your complexion. Use highlighter under your brows, on the tops of your cheekbones and down the ridge of your nose. Finish and set your makeup with translucent powder.

  1.       Cara Delevingne:

The 26-year-old model has been recognised for her unique look for years. Her thick statement brows and smokey eyes kick-started a trend that trickled from the runway to celebrities, vloggers and beyond to become one of the top five most requested looks of the last 12 months.

Our experts say…

This look is much easier to copy if you have a fuller brow to work with! First, use an eyebrow brush to comb your brow hair upwards, then use a pencil to trace underneath your brow, following your natural arch. Fill in the front part of your brow using vertical strokes. Next, fill in any sparse areas using a brown eyeshadow or eyebrow powder. Keep the brows as natural as possible without too much styling.

  1.    Ariana Grande:

It’s not just a long, high ponytail that’s defined her look – Ariana Grande is rarely seen without pristine cat-eye-liner. The pop star’s signature look adds drama, accentuates her almond eyes and has led many to turn to makeup artists for the perfect wing every time.

Our experts say…

After applying your choice of eyeshadow, outline your cat-eye with a pencil, angling the wing upwards toward the end of your eyebrow. This helps to make the eyes look larger and eyelashes to appear denser. Next, trace and fill in the outlined wing with liquid liner – Ariana typically uses a rolling applicator to achieve her famous look. Finish the look with false eyelashes to add even more drama.

  1.       Lily Collins:

This year’s Met Gala was one of the most creative when it came to hair and makeup, but with her bold brows, dark lips, intense eye makeup and gem stones to finish, Lily Collins’ take on ‘Heavenly bodies’ stuck in everyone’s minds.  

Our experts say…

Once you’ve prepped your skin, apply a foundation and concealer base, and set with powder. To achieve Lily’s full brows, brush hairs up and out before lining with a brow pencil. Fill in sparse areas with vertical pencil strokes and eyebrow powder. For the eyes, apply a smokey brown eyeshadow over your upper lid followed by a layer of shimmery bronze and a couple of generous layers of black mascara. If you’re going for the full look, add adhesive gems to the centre of your lids and under your lash line, and a red tear drop under one eye. To finish the look, add a light layer of dark purple or red lip gloss.

  1.       Beyoncé:

Not only did Beyoncé make history as Coachella’s first headlining woman of colour, she did it looking flawless, with dramatic and sparkling makeup that saw the performance become one of her most memorable to date.

Our experts say…

To achieve Beyoncé’s glow, apply your foundation as usual and set with powder, followed by a touch of bronzer and highlighter. The glittery eye is the highlight of this look, so it’s important to use layers to create extra dimension. Start with a luminescent powder and layer with gold or copper glittery tones. Next, line the lid to create a feline flick and swipe on black mascara. Finish the look with a dark nude lipstick.

  1.       Bella Hadid:

At just 22-years-old, Bella Hadid has become one of the most in-demand supermodel’s in the world. The dark-haired beauty is famous for her feline, smokey eye makeup, so it comes as no surprise that so many people would want to replicate her look.

Our experts say…

This look is all about the drama, so don’t be afraid to layer on the liner. Start with a metallic silver eyeshadow and apply from the inner corner to the centre of your eye. Take a charcoal grey or black powder and apply to the other half of your eyelid, sloping upwards slightly towards your eyebrow to create a cat-eye. Repeat to build up the intensity then use a brush or your finger to blend. Line your lid with liquid eyeliner, following the outline of your eyeshadow. For your lower lash line, use a densely packed powder brush and layer on the darker eyeshadow. Finish with a generous coat of mascara.

  1.       Rihanna:

The singer, fashion designer and pioneering founder of Fenty Beauty is famous for her flawless foundation, making her glowing skin the envy of millions and securing her spot in the top ten most requested makeup looks of the last 12 months.

Our experts say…

Start by using a primer to prepare your skin before applying foundation using a brush or makeup sponge and blending evenly. Next, blend a darker shade of foundation or contour stick below your cheekbones, along your hairline, your jawline and the sides of your nose. Swipe concealer down the bridge of your nose and under your eyes for a subtle highlight, and blend once more. Set with powder. Add some warmth to your look by swiping a little bronzer over the top of the areas you have contoured. Finish by applying blusher on your cheeks, followed by generous layers of highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, your browbone and the corner of your eyes.

  1.   Taylor Swift:

Taylor Swift’s style has evolved almost as much as her music, seeing her go from country darling to global superstar, but it’s one of her recent looks, channelling the 1960s at this year’s American Music Awards, that’s proven most popular.

Our experts say…

To achieve the hitmaker’s 1960s inspired look, start by applying primer, foundation and concealer as usual. Set with powder for a flawless, matte finish, then add a peach-toned blush and highlighter to your cheekbones. Next, swipe a silver eyeshadow across your lids, sloping upwards toward your brow to create a cat-eye. Line your lid with liquid eyeliner, following the curve of your eyeshadow, then add white liner to your waterline. Line your lower lash with a black or charcoal pencil, give your lashes a generous coat of mascara and add false lashes for extra drama. Finish the look with a pale pink or nude lip gloss.

The survey results revealed that 75% of people looking for a makeup artist will request a specific celebrity look, highlighting some of the biggest trends in the UK cosmetics industry, which has been dubbed the third largest in Europe*.

The research also showed that people in London, Birmingham and Essex are more likely to hire a makeup artist than the rest of the UK, with weddings listed as the top reason for hiring a makeup artist.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said:

“Considering the popularity of these celebrities, it’s no surprise to see many of them on the list. The influence of celebrity culture on the cosmetics industry is huge, with many of these stars even capitalising on this and starting their own successful beauty lines.

“It’s always interesting to see how celebrity culture impacts consumer buying habits – who would have thought that an American singer’s eyeliner would impact what British makeup artists do day-to-day!”

*https://www.cosmeticsbusiness.com/news/article_page/UK_cosmetics_market_dubbed_third_largest_in_EU/149236 

How to write estimates that will win you business on Bark

When a client asks for an estimate, it’s an exciting moment – the thought of new business, a new project to work on. And putting together a strong estimate is vital for turning that prospect into one of your future clients.

It’s not just about giving a price for a job. Estimates give your prospects an insight into what you and your business are like. And first impressions really matter.

So, with that in mind, here are some top tips to help you write estimates that will seal the deal and hopefully turn your leads into new business.

1. Ask questions

Getting the facts right is essential to providing an accurate estimate. It saves a lot of time in the long run if you’re both on the same page from the beginning. Sometimes, a quick 5-minute call or sending over a quick email can make a world of difference to you understanding your prospect’s needs.

2. Remember your profit margins

The excitement of potentially landing a new client can sometimes tempt you to go in with a low price to win the job. But, you don’t want to undersell the services you offer. Instead, charge a fair price and make sure you allow for sensible profit margins that reflect your time and effort.

3. Offer a freebie

Giving your clients something for free as part of the job is a great way to get into their good books from the start. Even if it’s just a small detail for you, it can mean a lot to them and will help you stand out from the competition.

4. Add a personal touch

Having a ‘one size fits all’ approach, can seem temptingly efficient to save you time and energy. But it’s important to make sure each client knows that you value their business.

Use your client’s name in the estimate and, if possible, refer to any other additional information that is personal to them and their job. These personal touches can make all the difference to the client.

5. Make it easy to read

Clients should be able to read through your estimate and understand it in seconds, without too much effort. Provide all relevant information and make sure you include details of every part of the job, but keep each point brief.

6. Be thorough and accurate

Double check spellings, names, dates, description, prices etc. to make sure everything is present and correct. And make sure you include your business’s details and logo to make sure it looks professional.

Receiving a well-constructed, comprehensive estimate shows you have a considered, detailed approach to your work. This can do wonders for helping convince a prospect that you’re the person for the job. A sloppy, ‘copy and paste’ estimate can be really off-putting to potential clients.

7. Speedy responses

Responding to your leads within 24-48 hours or less shows you mean business, and that you’re enthusiastic about the project. As they say, the early bird catches the customer!

Hopefully, if you can start using these tips, you’ll have your calendar filling up with booked jobs in no time.

Need help? To make the most of Bark, call our helpful support team on 020 3697 0237 (9am-6pm Mon-Fri), or 424-227-5323 if you’re in the US. Or drop us an email to team@bark.com.

How to get seen more by customers on Bark

We want your business to be as successful as possible on Bark. To get you there, we’ll proactively suggest you to customers looking for your services. So, to help us do that, we need your profile to be as strong as possible.

Here are a few key things you can do to help boost your profile, which will get you seen by more customers and improve your chances of being hired once you get in touch with them.

1. Keep your profile up-to-date

Make sure you’ve filled out as much of your Bark profile as possible. Provide additional details where you can and add links to your website and social media pages. Profiles with lots of information get much more interest and are hired more.

2. Get more reviews

It’s always encouraging to see when a business has been recommended by previous customers. It gives potential new customers confidence in your services and shows them you’re good at what you do.

Asking your customers to provide reviews will help get your profile more attention and encourage prospects that you’re the person for the job. And you can ask all your customers to leave a review, including those you didn’t get through Bark.

It’s also good to respond to all your reviews. Engaging with your customers and acknowledging their feedback shows excellent customer service. Another plus for prospects trying to decide who to hire.

3. Update your lead preferences

The best way to get the perfect leads for your business is to make sure you set the right preferences on your profile. Tell us exactly which services you offer and where, and for each service make sure you review the filter questions to refine the leads you receive for that particular service. That way we’ll send you the leads that you really want to receive.

4. Make sure you have credits

A speedy response to a lead massively improves your chances of being hired, so make sure you’re always ready to respond to leads by keeping your credit balance topped up.

Having credits in your account also means we can suggest your business to more customers, because we know you’re ready to respond.

Need help? If you have any questions about improving your profile, or need help to make the most of Bark, give us a call on 020 3697 0237 (9am-6pm Mon-Fri), or 424-227-5323 if you’re in the US. Or drop us an email to team@bark.com.

Tension between your partner and parents? Here’s a handy guide to resolve those issues before Christmas

With Christmas approaching, we noticed an increase in requests for counsellors on our site. When we investigated, we realised that the increase was mostly due to the fact that partners and in-laws were seeking counselling together to resolve their differences.

Due to this, we decided to work with counsellors on the site to create a guide on how to relieve the tension between partners and their in-laws.

Try to understand the other person’s perspective and respect it

Thinking about a situation from other person’s point of view can be a tricky thing to do, but crucial. In a stressful situation, you need to distance yourself and consider how you would feel in the other person’s shoes. That way, you’ll be able to empathise with them more and be able to resolve the situation.

Find something to bond over

Finding something your partner and parents both like might be difficult, but it gives them a topic to talk about. It could be grandkids, football, a hobby – anything! This demonstrates to them that they have something in common and can discuss something at length. Once they find a topic they have in common, they may find more and build a better relationship.

Concentrate on something else

By focusing on an activity, it diverts their attention to something else and not the uncomfortable situation they may be in. They could watch a film or play a board game, anything that will distract them. It also allows them to relax and have fun in each other’s company.

Be flexible

Your partner and parents need to learn to be more flexible around each other. This also means compromising with each other on different situations. It takes a lot of patience on both sides, but it’s something that will greatly help ease the tension and lighten the atmosphere.

If you feel an argument brewing, walk away

If you, your partner or your parents begin to feel an argument is about to happen, excuse yourself and leave the situation. During an argument, things can be said in the heat of the moment that cannot be taken back. It’s best to leave the situation and discuss it at another time when everyone is calmer.

Try to forgive and forget

It’s a difficult thing to do but trying to forgive and forget is crucial to improving relationships. There may be something that happened years ago that caused the rift and because no-one has wanted to forget about it, no-one’s moved on. Try to confront the problem, explain why it was an issue and then set out to resolve it.

Set healthy boundaries and don’t be afraid to enforce them

An issue that may be arising is the lack of boundaries parents have when at your house. To prevent this, you need to clearly tell them what you and your partner are and are not comfortable with and they need to respect that.

Focus on the positives

Everyone has their good points and it’s important to focus on those rather than the bad. While it’s not always easy, the effort you put into focusing on the good things will give you a more positive view, which will, therefore, improve your relationship.

Have realistic expectations of people

No-one’s perfect and people do get on one another’s nerves. It’s important not to have unrealistic expectations of others and accept they have flaws (and that you do too!).

Talk about the issues in a safe environment

There is most likely a root cause to much of the conflict between partners and in-laws and it’s important to be able to discuss this reason in a safe environment where everyone can talk freely. With the conflict out in the open, it gives everyone a chance to address it and try to resolve it.

We also have dedicated family counsellors on site, if this is something you feel you need: https://www.bark.com/en/gb/services/family-counselling/

Shop owner posts request for professional thief to ‘rob’ store – can you help?

Letting someone deliberately steal things from you might seem like a strange decision, but for one desperate store owner, this request could save thousands of pounds.

An owner of an independent store in Greater London has posted a ‘Bark’ looking for a ‘professional thief’ to rob her store in an effort to test her security systems and the diligence of her staff.

While this isn’t a service we normally provide, we’re hoping that one of our security professionals will be able to help her out.

She has asked to remain anonymous, however she has agreed to let us make the Bark public to help find the right person for the job. Here is the request in full:

I’m looking for a professional to help highlight security weaknesses in my store, by deliberately stealing from it.

I’ve been a business owner since I opened my retail shop in 2013, and have experienced extensive theft every year in the run-up to Christmas for the last five years.

Like clockwork, from the start of November, the shop gets busier and it becomes harder to monitor everyone who comes through the door. Thieves swipe items from our shelves and I’m losing thousands of pounds every year and, as a small business owner, I can’t afford to let this slide.

I’m thinking that I need to re-evaluate how my shop is designed, and where I have CCTV cameras, because currently we’re unable to catch any thieves in the act. To help I’m looking to hire someone to come in and try to steal from my shop deliberately, and then feedback where we’re going wrong on the security front.

I would like to hire someone as soon as possible to carry out the mock ‘theft’, and am willing to pay up to £50 an hour for the right person. As an added bonus, whoever is chosen will be able to keep 3 items they successfully steal without being caught.

I’ll need you to come in beforehand and visit the shop on different dates/times over several weeks. After the ‘thefts’ I’ll also need a detailed report of how they were carried out, whether you were approached or questioned by any members of staff, any blind spots in the CCTV coverage and any other security weaknesses.

Obviously, I don’t want anyone with a criminal record having this kind of access to my store, so a full background check will be conducted. Experience in a security profession is also required.

It’s an odd request, but I’m determined to find weaknesses that I may not have spotted before. If you can help or think you can help me improve the security of my store, please let me know.

Thanks.

Do you think you can help this shop owner out? If you answered yes, then sign up here: https://www.bark.com/en/gb/sellers/create/

Here’s what our co-founder, Kai Feller had to say:

“Retail theft can have a devastating impact on small businesses, costing retailers more than £700 million in 2017. Increased footfall during the festive shopping period often leads to a spike in thefts. So, when you consider that this store owner is losing thousands of pounds every year due to Christmas thefts, it’s not surprising that she is taking this step to find out how she can improve the security of her store.

“While we do have a variety of security professionals already on our site, professional robbery isn’t a service we actively offer. However, we hope that someone with the right skills and know-how is willing to help this store owner better secure her shop. Who knows, if we have a significant number of applications perhaps this can become a permanent service on Bark.com!”

Spending too much time on your phone? We will give you free counselling to help you curb the addiction

A new feature on the latest iOS version update has been causing a bit of a stir, and for good reason. The Screen Time Addition lets you see a report of how much time you spend on your phone each day, and each week, with many people amazed at just how often they use their phone and social media in particular.

The Screen Time Addition offers some interesting insight into how we behave and interact with our phones, so we decided to survey 2,000 iPhone users to find out how often the ‘average’ person goes on their mobile and what apps they use the most.  

According to the results, people spend an average of 2 hours and 36 minutes on devices per day, with more than a quarter, 27%, admitting that they use their phone for more than 4 hours each day. 7% of respondents admitted that they used their phone for more than six hours a day, as per their reported data.

The average iPhone user picks their phone up 92 times per day. A fifth, 19%, said they picked their phone up more than 200 times a day. At the higher end of the spectrum, one in 20, 6%, said that their report highlighted more than 300 pickups per day on average.

Social networking accounts for more than half of the average iPhone user’s time on their device, according to the survey, with apps that fall under the banner of ‘entertainment’ accounting for a tenth of time, on average.

The most startling result to come out of the survey is that more than four fifths of respondents, 84%, said they were concerned that they’re addicted to their phones.

To help people concerned with their usage, we’ve worked with some of our  counsellors to put together a few pieces of advice on how to spend less time on your phone. For those who spend more than 6 hours on their phone a day, and can prove it with a screenshot, we’re willing to offer one free 1 to 1 counselling session to help you put down your handset.

5 ways to reduce your Screen Time

Ignore your phone when you’re out

When you’re out with friends, put your phone away and focus on what you’re doing with them. Turn it off or if you’re not comfortable with that, put it on airplane mode so you’re not tempted to scroll on social media or answer messages. This allows you to spend more quality time with your friends and if you continue to do this, it will become second nature not to use it when in their company. You may even find that you have a more enjoyable time as well.

Remove non-essential apps 

With iPhones, you can see which apps you use the most and the ones you don’t. Delete the non-essential social media apps from your phone and only spend time on them when you’re at a desktop, for example Facebook. You’ll find your time on them plummets, but if you miss it, it’s easy to reinstall. 

Don’t have your phone at the table when you’re eating 

It’s easy to put your phone on the kitchen table while you’re eating, and use it absentmindedly. However, giving yourself a rule of ‘no phones at the table’ can keep you away from your phone for half an hour or so. This also allows you to communicate and engage with family members, housemates and partners better, strengthening these friendships/relationships.

Put your phone away when at work

If you don’t need your phone for work, why not turn it off? This means you have 8 hours roughly away from your phone and can focus on your work more, you might even find your productivity improves because you’re less distracted.

Don’t take your phone to bed

Phones are now our main means of waking up, so it is impractical to turn it off at night, however if you are part of the minority that still owns an alarm clock, then switch it off or put it on charge in another room, so it’s out of sight and out of mind. It’s also a good idea to set an alarm about an hour before you usually go to bed, to remind you to either turn it off or put it on airplane mode. This gives you a chance to wind down before bed, without stimulating your mind with social media or other apps, and can lead to better quality sleep.

Screen Time Counselling 

If you are concerned about the amount of time you’re spending on your phone and can demonstrate high usage of 6 hours a day or more, you can apply for a free counselling session here.

You must be 18 years old or older, and be able to provide a screengrab of your usage data from Screen Time, such as amount of time spent on your phone, number of pickups and most-used apps. If you qualify, you will be paired with a counsellor in your local area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Businesses you should start in 2019

We’re in a fortunate position where we have access to more than 400,000 small businesses across the UK, and can interrogate data to get insight into which sectors are in need of more professionals, and which are oversaturated.

This information is invaluable to entrepreneurs and people who are thinking about starting a business in 2019. So, we decided to analyse the three million job requests that have passed through Bark.com over the last year, and create a list of those sectors that need more pro’s.

Below is the 2019 list of sectors that need more professionals to service demand, along with the average job price:

  1.       Dog and pet grooming – £34.16
  2.       Dog training – £99
  3.       Catering – £700
  4.       Gardening – £18/hr
  5.       Personal training – £30/hr
  6.       Wedding car hire – £295
  7.       Marquee hire – £925
  8.       House cleaning – £13/hr
  9.       Hypnotherapy – £75
  10.       DJ – £235

Dog and pet grooming is the most underserviced sector in the UK according to the data, with just 20% of job requests being answered on average. Dog training is closely followed with a 33% response rate and then catering with a 44%. It’s estimated that there are 8.9 million pet dogs in the UK* with the UK pet care market valued at £4.4 billion**.

The average dog and pet groomer can do six jobs a day. Following a standard five-day work week, a pet groomer can make £1,024.80 before tax per week. Courses in pet grooming start at £1200 on average and can be obtained via City & Guilds.

We’ve also created a list that details the most underserviced sectors in the UK’s major cities:

  1. London – Dog & Pet Grooming
  2. Manchester – Catering
  3. Birmingham – Dog Training
  4. Bristol – Dog & Pet Grooming
  5. York – Hypnotherapy
  6. Newcastle – Marquee Hire
  7. Leicester – House Cleaning
  8. Liverpool – Catering
  9. Edinburgh – DJ
  10. Glasgow – Gardening 

The 10 sectors that are currently being over serviced in the UK:

  1. Fence and gate installation £700
  2. Wedding photography £595
  3. Carpet cleaning £95
  4. Magician £237.50
  5. Photography £210
  6. Therapist £49/hr
  7. Counselling £48/hr
  8. Dog walking £13
  9. Landscaping £820
  10. Chimney sweep £40

Bark.com co-founder, Kai Feller said,

“We wanted to create something useful for the public with our insight and data, and a list of the sectors that need more professionals was an obvious choice for us, considering what we do. The pet market is huge in the UK, we’re a real nation of dog lovers, so I’m not surprised there’s an abundance of customers in the space, however there is obviously a shortage of professionals.

“I hope this list helps advise those who have been deliberating on whether to start their own business and encourage more entrepreneurial spirit. Being self-employed and a sole trader has some amazing benefits, but it can be a big risk to take. I think the list encompasses enough sectors where most people will be able to read it and think ‘yes, I could do that’. Hopefully next year we’ll see an even bigger rise in small businesses!”

*https://www.pdsa.org.uk/get-involved/our-campaigns/pdsa-animal-wellbeing-report/uk-pet-populations-of-dogs-cats-and-rabbits

**https://www.statista.com/statistics/491371/pet-care-united-kingdom-uk-market-value/

 

The Certificate of Excellence Awards 2018/19

Are You The Best At What You Do?

We want to acknowledge the best Sellers on Bark who offer an outstanding service to their clients, and help you stand out from the crowd.

Introducing the Certificate of Excellence Awards 2018/19.

Achieve Excellence

These are the three main factors that we will be using to pick the best Sellers for the award.

1. Reviews
2. Response Time
3. Profile Completion

There’s more detailed information below on how to be the best in these three areas and be awarded the Certificate of Excellence Award 2018/19.

Winners will be announced December 2018.


 

Reviews

To qualify, you need to have a strong review rating.

How can I get more reviews and improve my score?

Add Reviews Badge
Add the reviews badge to your website to encourage those who may not have been hired via Bark to leave feedback.

Link Accounts
Link your Google and Facebook accounts and we’ll pull through any reviews (these will show on your reviews badge).

Request Reviews
Request reviews from your previous Bark customers.

Request Reviews from Clients You’ve Secured Outside of Bark
You can even request reviews from customers you haven’t secured from Bark.

Log in to your account >


 

Response Time

To qualify, you’ll need to respond to requests quickly – we recommend within 12 hours or less. The faster you respond, the higher your chances of securing new business.

Enabling One-Click Response can improve your response time by up to 43%.

Log in to your account >


 

Profile Completion

To qualify, you should have a strong Seller profile. Our top sellers have an average profile completion of 70%.

Your profile is the first place a client will go to find out more about your company before deciding whether they would like to work with you.

How can I improve my seller profile?

Link Accounts
Link your Google and Facebook accounts and we’ll pull through profile pictures, photos and reviews to enrich your profile.

See How Others View You
Check how clients will view your profile to see how it will look to them, and better understand where you can improve.

Log in to your account >

 

Need Some Assistance?

If you require any assistance, or have any questions about the Certificate of Excellence Awards, please get in touch by emailing team@bark.com, or by calling us.

UK: 020 3697 0237 (9am-6pm Mon-Fri)
US: (424) 227-5323 (Mon-Fri 9am-8pm Eastern)