Ideas New business addresses one of life’s peskier annoyances By Mike Corbett avid 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 Ed Wroblewski you. The question is: how much is it worth to you to not have to wait for the cable guy?
Everyone is Busy Ed is a Westfield resident with a full time job, a consultancy on the side and membership in the Westfield Running Club. He’s a busy guy and hates waiting for service providers as much as anyone. “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.”
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 Although there’s an altruistic side to this an opportunity for non-traditional workers. venture in providing employment for those who may have trouble working in other “Being in healthcare my entire career, I professions, Ed realizes this has to make believed my business also had to include money to be a viable business. He says he’s people who may doing “well enough” in that regard and that not be able to it’s not about the money. “I think I discovwork a ‘normal’ ered a win-win,” he says, “for both the busy job for whatever reason, like medi- worker/homeowner who have better things to do with their time & persons who want cal issues.” to work but can’t because of some sort of He was also seek- life challenge.” HCBM ing 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 AS A BUSINESS OWNER, only. They simply wait!”
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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 “The waiters do one thing and one they are willing to travel to Carmel, Noblesville or thing only. They simply wait.” Westfield & are available Monday through - Ed Wroblewski Thursday, they get more opportunities, more calls and more bonuses. Ed launched Wait 4U Services about a A website, wait4uservice.com, is the year and a half ago with a simple goal of central reservation location, and invites matching people who were short of time waiters, customers and partners to sign with others that had some extra time on up. Partners are those service providtheir hands. He currently has nine “waiters who make you wait. Ed wants their ers,” who will show up at your home and 18
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.
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April • May 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
A bi-monthly review of business news and features in Hamilton County, Indiana, USA