Self-employed service professionals earn more than double employed professionals

Deciding whether to go self-employed is one of the biggest questions service professionals ask themselves. There are obvious pro’s and con’s, however many have made the transition in the UK, which has seen a steady rise in the number of self-employed people since 2001. In fact self-employed professionals now account for more than 15% of the UK’s workforce*.

This is why we decided to find out whether self-employed professionals get paid more than their employed counterparts.

The research we conducted took a few months to collect, and relied on more than 20,000 of our service professionals, across 11 of our biggest categories, filling out a financial questionnaire on what their salary was last year before tax. We compared all 20,000 salaries with the average salary for that profession according to the latest pre-tax data from the Office of National Statistics**.

Once we received all of the results, one thing held firm across every category: self-employed people earn significantly more. In fact, on average self-employed service professionals earn 103% more, or twice as much.

The sectors which we researched were: plumbers, electricians, personal trainers, builders, landscape gardeners, counsellors, cleaners, painter and decorators, photographers, private tutors and carpenters.

According to our findings, the profession which experiences the biggest increase in earnings when going self-employed is landscape gardening, with providers earning 198.9% more on average – almost four times as much. They are followed closely by carpenters, who’s salaries can increase by 185%  when they become self-employed, on average.

Builders also see a significant increase in earnings when working for themselves, with the average salary going up by around £47,120 a year. On top of this, counsellor’s salaries increase from £23,754 a year to £45,111, an increase of almost 90%.

Here is a full list of the percentage increase in earnings for each sector we looked at:

  1. Gardener – 198.9%
  2. Carpenter – 185.3%
  3. Builder – 181.3%
  4. Personal Trainers – 91.8%
  5. Counsellors – 90.4%
  6. Photographer – 78.2%
  7. Cleaner – 76.6%
  8. Electrician – 59.1%
  9. Painter/decorator – 57.4%
  10. Plumbers – 50.5%
  11. Private tutor – 39.2%

We also asked 5,000 of our self-employed professionals a few questions on their lifestyle since they started up on their own.

More than half (53%) said they work more hours as a self-employed pro, two thirds (65%) answered they feel more stressed and more than three quarters (77%) said they have more job satisfaction now they’re self-employed.

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

“At Bark we work with thousands of self-employed sole traders, and thought it would be interesting to see how much they earn a year, compared to their employed counterparts. The survey took a good couple of months, but was well worth the wait, because the results speak for themselves – being self-employed results in a much higher income. We were expecting them to earn more, but almost double on average is a huge increase.

“That being said being self-employed comes with a lot more work, responsibility and pressure more often than not, it’s definitely not a career choice to be taken lightly.”

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44887623

**https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/2018

 

Father posts request for hypnotist to make son support Arsenal, can you help?

At Bark, we cater to the needs of millions of people around the world. From tutors and accountants to plumbers and builders, we’ve got professionals for everyone. However, every now and then we get a slightly more bespoke request that maybe our current providers aren’t used to dealing with. Last week we had one of those.

We’ve pasted a screenshot of the request below. To sum it up, a dad from London is looking for a hypnotist to try and help him persuade his son to support Arsenal, after becoming a Spurs fan in the last six months.

Here’s the request:

After speaking to the dad, he’s asked us if we can make a public appeal to see if we can find the right person for this. If you think you’ve got the skills to make this boy switch to the red side of North London, please get in touch at: team@bark.com

The benefits of Elite Pro

Our Elite Pro membership program helps businesses on Bark stand out, and reap the rewards of having an enhanced presence on our platform.

Becoming an Elite Pro offers your business a range of benefits, and our Elite Pros are some of the most successful businesses on Bark.

1. Get hired more

Elite Pros are regularly suggested to more customers and have a greater interaction with them. As a result, they’re 50% more likely to get hired than standard Pros.

2. Increased exposure to new customers

As an Elite Pro, you’ll get prime position at the top of our online directory pages. This gets you seen by more customers and, by appearing in prominent places, you’re in a strong position to win more business.

3. Stand out from the crowd

Show all potential customers that you’re an Elite Pro with our exclusive badge. Upload the Elite Pro badge to your website and let everyone know that you’re dedicated to offering an excellent service.

4. Enjoy exclusive discounts

To further help you as an Elite Pro, you’ll regularly have access to exclusive offers and discounts to help you win more business for less.

 

If you want to take your Bark profile to the next level and start winning more business, upgrade and become an Elite Pro today.

Upgrade my membership now

Become A Featured Pro

We’ve got some exciting news. Very soon we’ll be launching an exciting update to our directory pages to include Featured Pros.

“What does that mean?” we hear you cry. Well, basically we’ll be giving extra visibility to some of the best professionals on Bark – and you could be one of them!

As a Featured Pro, we’ll show your profile on the directory page for the service(s) that you offer. This will increase your visibility on Bark and improve your chances of getting hired.

How will we choose who to feature?
We want to show the best professionals. We’ll do this by choosing the most complete profiles, with a particular focus on your company description, review score and Q&A answers.

Providing thorough information helps potential customers understand what you have to offer, and hopefully decide to hire you for the job.

Example of featured dog walkers

Show potential customers what you can offer

Ensure these key areas of your profile are completed to improve your chances of becoming featured and increase your hire rate by 60%.

1. Write a winning Q&A
2. Complete your Company Description
3. Achieve a great review score

There’s more detailed information below on how best to complete these.

Writing a winning Q&A

Your Q&A allows your potential customers to find out more about you and your business.

Professionals who have compelted their Q&As are almost 2x more likely to get hired over those who have not.

1) Consider your answers
Take a moment to really think about each question before writing your response.

2) Be detailed, yet concise
Include as much information as possible within the recommended target range of 150-250 characters.

3) Be honest
Coming across as genuine is very important for building trust in your business.

4) Be professional, yet friendly
Showing enthusiasm for what you do will encourage customers to choose you over your competitors. Avoid using slang words and abbreviations, and remember to check for any typos (we recommend using Grammarly).

Log in to your account >

 

Completing Your Company Description

Your company description is a great opportunity for you to explain in your own words what you do and what sets you apart from your competitors.

Information like this can be a useful selling tool when convincing a potential customer to choose your business.

Take a look at the below example to see how your Company Description can be used to drive sales.

Example Image

Log in to your account >

 

Achieving a GREAT REVIEW SCORE

A strong review score shows your potential customers that others have had a good experience with your business.

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 >

 

Need Some Assistance?

If you require any assistance, or have any questions about becoming featured, please get in touch by emailing team@bark.com, or by calling us.

United Kingdom: 020 3697 0237 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm & Sat-Sun 9am-6pm)
USA: (424) 227-5323 (Mon-Fri 9am-8pm Eastern)
Canada: (604) 227-5161 (Mon-Fri 9am-8pm Eastern)
Ireland: 76 888 6814 (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm)
South Africa: 087 551 7012 (Mon-Fri 10am-7pm)

Lip fillers revealed as the most popular cosmetic procedure – Kylie Jenner cited as the main influence behind the trend

Cosmetic surgery has always been well documented in the media, usually lead by celebrity examples or the new ‘vogue’ procedure that you can now have. Cosmetic surgery is everywhere in popular culture, so it’s no surprise that Bark.com has noticed a surge in demand for it.

We decided to interrogate our internal data from the last 24 months, to see exactly what impact the popularity of cosmetic surgery has had on consumer buying habits and the jobs market.

Our data indicates that over the last two years, non-surgical cosmetic practices have soared in popularity, with treatments such as lip fillers and dermal fillers becoming more accessible as more salons adopt these practices in the UK.

Since January 2017, there has been a 138% increase in the number of people looking for ‘non-intrusive’ cosmetic surgery. Non-intrusive surgery is classified as procedures that do not require clients to be put under anaesthetic in an actual hospital.

Our findings show that the most requested cosmetic surgery procedure on Bark.com is a lip filler, which has seen a 156% increase in the last two years, followed by non-surgical nose jobs and dermal face fillers, with increases of 81% and 64% respectively.

Bark.com surveyed 2,032 of its cosmetic practitioners on why they think non-intrusive cosmetic surgery has become so popular recently. Four fifths (81%) of them cited celebrity influence, a tenth (10%) said accessibility and 9% said price.

When asked why lip fillers have become the most popular procedure, every practitioner cited celebrity influence as the main reason, and when asked which celebrities have had the most influence in their opinion, more than two thirds (70%) said Kylie Jenner, a tenth (11%) answered Megan Barton and a tenth (11%) said Charlotte Crosby.

The average cost for a lip filler on Bark.com sits at £340, down 40% from the previous 24 months, however the cheapest option, according to our data, is 0.5mm of lip filler and is just £50 on average in the UK. The most expensive price for a filler treatment on Bark.com is £1800, which includes a full lip, chin, cheek, jawline and nose procedure.

Our data also shows that requests for surgical cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentations and liposuction has actually gone down by 24% since early 2017, and the number of responses for intrusive therapies had only risen by 17%, demonstrating the rising popularity for less intrusive procedures.

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

“We’ve seen a huge spike in demand for non-surgical cosmetic surgery over the last couple of years. The rise of these types of procedures has been well documented in the news, and is a reflection of the society we live in, where it’s now normal and common for people to get work done to their face, so I’m not surprised our data supports that. It will be interesting to see whether this trend continues to grow.

“Our purpose is to give businesses the best possible chance of reaching customers who want their services, and with the increase in demand for cosmetic surgery, it’s encouraging to see an increase in supply on the site as well.”

Bristol woman posts request for a clairvoyant to make decisions for her – can you help?

We get some truly quirky requests through Bark.com sometimes, and we’re always more than happy to try and help find our customers the right professional for them, no matter how weird their request is. Recently a women from Bristol posted a request in our clairvoyant category, asking for a spiritual person to make all of her decisions for her.

This isn’t a service that our clairvoyants/psychics/spiritual guides normally provide – however, we’re hoping that some of our professionals will be able to help her out. The woman has asked to remain anonymous, because she’s using the money from some inheritance she received last year, and doesn’t want her family to find out. She has however agreed to let us make the Bark public in order to help her find the right person for the job.

If you think this sounds like something you’d like to try, here’s the request in full:

Hiya, bit of a weird one I know but basically, I feel like I need someone to make my decisions for me. I’ve had a really rubbish year and would love for someone to take control of my life think of it a bit like a real life Bandersnatch :). I have no idea if this sort of thing exists, but came across clairvoyants when I was looking for another service, so thought it was worth a shot.

As I said, the past year has been awful. I lost money that I loaned to an old friend, I got stranded without any money while backpacking in New Zealand, was in an abusive relationship for 6 months before I got dumped and then I got mugged because I decided to take a shortcut home through a dodgy area. I am obviously completely incapable of making the right choices by myself!

My mum even jokes about it. It seems like every week some minor mishap will happen to me and I’m fed up.

I’ve always been quite spiritual so I’m looking for someone like a clairvoyant or spiritual guide that I can really connect with, who can help me make the right decisions. I think a month should be long enough to get things back on track for me. But if it works, then maybe I’ll keep on going with it.

The type of decisions I’d need help with include who I should go on a Tinder date with (I seem to have terrible taste in men) and what I should spend my savings on, amongst other things. Basically, I’d like the person to be on-call so they can help me whenever and with whatever I need. I text a lot so they should be available to message me frequently and very quick to respond.

I’m really ready to try anything – and I’ve set aside £2,000 for this from some inheritance money I received last year.

Do you think you can help the women out? If you answered yes and you’re a clairvoyant/psychic/spiritual person, then register your services here.

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

“Despite the fact it’s a bit of a strange idea, with the pressures of modern life I’m surprised that a request like this hasn’t come in sooner. We’re now bombarded with countless decisions and choices and sometimes people don’t always make the best ones.

“It’s a bit extreme to hire someone to make those decisions for you, but I guess people hire financial advisors and trust banks to manage their money, so why not hire someone to manage your life?”

A wingman’s guide to dating this Valentine’s Day

Remember the days before apps like Tinder and Bumble added to the already complicated world of dating?

With Valentine’s Day closing in, it’s time to put down your smartphone and start meeting people in real life! That’s why we’ve partnered with our most successful wingman and wingwoman to create a detailed guide to dating…offline.

A recent survey by YouGov* found that dating apps are the least preferred way to meet someone, despite roughly half of 16-34-year-olds using them. Of more than 2,000 people surveyed, 37% said that apps such as Bumble were their least preferred method of meeting a partner, but almost a third who use dating apps do so because they are too shy to approach people in person.

In addition, Bark.com has seen a high demand for the ‘pro wingman’ service since its launch in August last year, with more than 400 requests from members of the public in just six months.

Here are the top dating tips from our very own wingman and wingwoman:

  1. Start off in a comfortable environment: If a bar or nightclub isn’t your usual scene, then you won’t feel completely at ease. Find a spot that’s familiar to you, and where you will feel most comfortable, such as your usual coffee shop.
  2. Do your research: If you have a potential date in mind but haven’t plucked up the courage to ask them out, it will be worth your while to do a little social media research beforehand. Use Facebook or Instagram (if available) to find out where they enjoy spending time, what their hobbies are and what you both have in common.
  3. Practice flirting with your friends: You know what they say – practice makes perfect. Your friends are more than likely to be honest with you, so it can be beneficial to try having a naturally flirty conversation with someone you know before speaking to a stranger.
  4. Dress to impress: While you don’t have to throw on your best or most expensive outfit when you’re looking to meet a potential partner, it’s important to remember that confidence and colour are key. Choose clothes that flatter and make you feel great.
  5. Don’t be afraid to give compliments: A lot of effort goes into getting ready for a date and it’s nice to acknowledge this effort, so take the time to give a compliment, like “you look lovely”. Anything more is a bit much for the first date.
  6. Be approachable: When you feel awkward or uncomfortable, people can pick up on that tension. Stay calm, smile and keep your body language open. These non-verbal cues can say a huge amount about a person.
  7. Avoid cheesy one-liners: You might think that you’re breaking the ice, but the majority of pickup lines are sleezy or just plain awful. There’s nothing wrong with saying “hey, how are you?”
  8. Grab tips from romantic movies: There are plenty of lessons to learn from romantic movies. From learning to love yourself first to tackling long distance relationships, dealing with rejection to keeping the romance alive; don’t be afraid to get some inspiration from your favourite flicks.
  9. Turn off your phone: Having your phone on during a date can be a huge distraction and take your attention away from the person you’re spending quality time with. Avoid interruptions and turn your phone off completely.
  10. Don’t forget your manners: Demonstrating poor manners such as foul language is one sure fire way to end the night abruptly. Good manners are not hard to keep up and will set a good first impression.
  11. Don’t be afraid of rejection: You shouldn’t let a fear of rejection stop you from meeting someone in real life. Start by getting comfortable talking to strangers, at coffee shops or the supermarket for example, and build your confidence from there.
  12. Get yourself a wingman: If you’re not 100% confident going out alone, want advice from someone with a little more experience or just want someone to back you up, bringing a wingman or wingwoman along is a great idea.

Professional wingmen and wingwomen advertising their services through Bark.com typically charge upwards of £30 per hour, but as with all our service providers, they can set their own prices.

People can hire a professional wingman or wingwoman here: www.bark.com/en/gb/services/wingmen-wingwomen/

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

“For some people, it can be really nerve-wracking to approach strangers in public, let alone ask them out. Throw in the social pressure to be a smooth talker and appear perfectly groomed and it’s no wonder so many people have admitted to being too shy to approach a potential date!

“We’ve received hundreds of Barks through the site since we launched the wingwoman and wingman service last year, so the demand was certainly there. We’re happy to have accommodated the needs of our users, and we hope that this guide provides further help to anyone looking for love this Valentine’s Day.”

*www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-45007017

Introducing our new customer app…

Bark: Hire Local Professionals

Finding a local professional with Bark just got even easier, with our new Bark customer app. Whether you’re looking for a web designer for your new business, a cleaner to keep your home spotless, or a personal trainer to whip you into shape, we’ve got you covered.

Download our new app now to start searching local services nationwide in seconds, and find the right professional for the job.

Download the Bark: Hire Local Professionals app now:

Start using the app today

Quick and easy search

Search thousands of local professionals across the country by browsing popular categories,  searching specific services or exploring suggestions based on your previous requests.

Connect with the best of Bark

Like on Bark.com, we’ll suggest the best professionals for the job and now you can contact them and request quotes directly through the app.

Read customer reviews

Compare professionals and read reviews from previous customers to help you decide who to hire. And add your own review after you’ve hired a professional.

Keep track of your requests

You can view all of your requests and quotes, past and present, in one place. And post a new request whenever you need.

Manage your account on the go

Wherever you are, it’s now super easy to update your contact details, add a profile picture, change your password and manage notifications.

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.”