Need some help moving?

You can always hire a moving company, but for light moves you might want to just coax a friend into helping you.  But how do you get them to do that?

Asking for favors is not easy for most people.  It’ll almost certainly inconvenience the other person.  However, when the alternative is paying a lot of money, you should get over those concerns and learn how to simply ask.

How to Ask for Favors

If you have a very close friend, you can probably ask for and receive help for anything.  However, if you need help from Steve from accounting, who you just heard has a pick-up truck, you’ll probably need to offer something in return.

  1. Money – “I’ll pay you [some amount of money substantially less than hiring a moving service].”
  2. Social offering –  “I’ll cover your happy hours for the next month.” (This method is recommended as it encourages bonding).
  3. Work-related benefits –  “I’ll cover a shift of yours whenever you need it.”
  4. Something you know they really want (aka the bait) – “I’ll let you play left field once softball starts up again.”

Receiving Favors

Before you receive the favor, make sure the person knows exactly what you need help with.  If you need help moving heavy furniture, make sure he/she knows what it is.  If you need to borrow a truck to drive to a different town, make sure he/she knows where it is.  Put it in an email or a voice message, if possible.

When receiving the favor, try not to ask for more than you requested.  Don’t surprise the person with additional, last-minute requests.

Pay/Repay the Favor

If you offered something in exchange for the help, be courteous and pay that as soon as possible.  Don’t make the person have to ask you.  It’s plain rude.

If you didn’t offer anything but you still got help, be ready to repay the favor in the future.

If you can’t get a friend’s help for a small project, think about hiring a contractor from online classifieds.  They’re usually much cheaper than moving companies.