Good help is hard to find. As you go through different stages of life or move from one location to another, you need different services. For example, when you move, you need a good mover. You also have to find a good mechanic, physician, dentist, and other providers close to your new home. Similarly, when you have a kid, you need to find a good pediatrician, or after you buy a house, you may need a good gardener, plumber, electrician, handyman and other providers.
How do you find someone good for a service that you need? You could look up on Yellow pages or use Google search, but these sources just provide a listing of service providers. You cannot tell the good ones from the bad ones. Obviously, you would like to find a reputable provider for whatever service you need.
The other option is looking at online review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s list. However, Yelp is geared more towards restaurants and Angie’s list requires a paid subscription. But more importantly, can you trust the reviews posted on these sites by people you don’t know? Are those reviews really objective and unbiased? What you would like to have is a recommendation from someone you know and trust.
So the safest and least expensive option is to ask your friends. Whatever you are looking for, chances are someone in your circle of friends has used the same service sometime in the past. So why not tap into your social network to find a good reliable provider for the service you need? If your friend likes his gardener, maybe you should use the same gardener. If your cousin likes the law-firm that she uses, perhaps you might want to use the same law firm. Similarly, if your neighbor likes her music teacher, you might want to talk to that music teacher.
A recently launched Danville based new online service called Trustrecs (http://www.trustrecs.com) makes it really easy for you to tap into your social circle to find a good provider. The service is free and in beta right now. It helps you get trustworthy recommendations at zero cost. Try it and let me know what you think.