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The Girl Boss Diaries: An introduction to Bidvine

If you’ve been around here before, you probably know that in addition to being a Catholic It Girl (sic.), historian and self-made political commentator, I decorate interiors. Now, this only adds to people’s perception that I was born a century or two too late: decorating interiors used to be the pastime of well-off ladies, usually married into politics, who would host dinner parties and end up selling you vases and votes for women. However, it is now a full profession, and the profession that pays for my studies since I’m not married to Lord Something of Somewhere on a big salary from Parliament and family wealth.
And as part of my job, I spend a great deal of time on boring tasks like finding suppliers and subcontractors and reviewing quotas.

This is where Bidvine comes in like manna from the heavens. For example, as part of the project I’m working on I need to find a painter. Painters are one of the professions in the building industry that is the most localised and relies the most on word of mouth and a flyer at the local Whole Foods. If you google one, all you find are websites that do not allow you to vet individuals, at least not to the extent Bidvine does. Bidvine is like the Facebook of professional websites. It’s thorough in the information it provides about individuals, and you can see the face of the person you’re dealing with, which creates some trust, in addition to reviews and the number of jobs they’ve been hired for.

What’s the greatest about Bidvine for me, though is that they don’t just let you go through a list of people based on what service you need and the postcode where you need them, although that’s possible if you want that. They have a very detailed questionnaire where you’re asked your project specifications in advance, so you can rule out professionals which are not a good fit before you start getting bid. This is great for both you, who don’t have to read through stuff you don’t need, and the businesses, who don’t have to put forwards bids that are doomed to fail. You can even add pictures for ease of describing the project, which saves you a lot of time. And if you aren’t a professional, or need some extra bit of advice, Bidvine have some helpful blog posts to help you with choosing the right person for your project.

The Bidvine approach is that they research and vet prospects for their pool of professionals, removing one layer of work that you’d have to do otherwise. And painters and decorators are not the only professionals advertising through them. You can find music and language lessons, photographers, a personal trainer or nutritionist, a man with van and more. They’re all local, and have up to 4 days to make a bid once you request bids, which should save you some time and allow you to plan in good time.
The process to ask for bids is quick and easy to follow, and the website itself is well designed, user-friendly and mobile-optimised so you can get your bids going from the discomfort of your commuter’s train as well as the comfort of your bed when it’s cold and you work the first two hours of the day from under the duvet until you need food and are forced to get up (I’m not sorry!).

As you know, as a stereotypical Millennial entrepreneur, I’m really keen on collaboration over competition, so I was really excited when the opportunity to collaborate with such a great start-up came up. It was even better when I realised the extent of the services offered went beyond nutrition and fitness (I was connected to them by Jenna from A Balanced Belly, who is a health blogger), and could actually become my go-to resource in my professional life. While collaborations are all about helping each other, I genuinely feel like they helped me so much more than I’m helping them, because subcontracting parts of your project as a small business is so time-consuming and a pain. It’s not that nutrition and fitness wouldn’t have been helpful, because I’m trying to navigate the world of irritable bowels (and 90% of the management of such conditions is a good diet, and general fitness which also requires working around symptoms and other conditions conditions), so it would be, but it’s not a necessity in the same way. So, be on the hunt for my reviews on Bidvine in years to come.

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