Start an Errand Business
Are you looking to start your own business and work from home? Are you retired and mobile? Do you like helping people and want to earn a nice income? Then consider starting your own errand running business. This is an interesting business model that may be an ideal fit for you.
How Do You Develop an Errand Running Business?
An errand running business offers you the ability to help people, make personal connections with customers, and make a nice income.
Here is what you need to start an errand business:
An errand running business has a number of potential customers.
- New mothers
- Mothers of young children
- Elderly people who are home bound
- Visually Impaired people
- Disabled people
- Families involved in multiple activities
- Workers involved in long commutes
- Workers who travel to make a living
- Finally, consider also targeting affluent customers who work twelve-hour days and don’t have time to complete many tasks.
Booming Market to Explore
There are almost 40 million retired people over 65 and this population group is expanding by 10,000 a day. Senior services are booming simply due to this rapidly expanding market. Retired people don’t all live in Florida either. They are everywhere and will become more numerous as time moves forward.
Develop a Unique Business Name to Stand Out
You might want to consider using a unique business name to stand out from your competition:
- Senior Errand Runner
- Just Ducky Errands
- Helping Hands Concierge
- Mother’s Helper
- Errands R Us
You could use as your tag line:
“No errand too big or too small. We do it all!”
Brainstorm and let your imagination soar. Try to use your business name for your domain name on your website.
As a concierge or the owner of an errand running business, you have many options. You can offer a number of services or you can specialize. Some options include:
- Dry cleaning
- Grocery shopping
- Miscellaneous Shopping
- Post Office/Shipping
- Appointment Making
- Buying Tickets
- Walking/Caring for Pets
- Taking Pets to the Veterinarian
You can also specialize in a specific type of task or service like financial errands, which would require a high degree of trust. You may have to look into bonding yourself before handling other people’s money.
Research your competition to choose what services you offer and how you price them. You can charge by the hour or by the errand. You can develop a package for a monthly payment plan.
For people running errands for the elderly, the charges ranges from $15 to $45 an hour. The average rate is $25 an hour. Rates vary from metro areas to rural areas as well as the part of the country you currently reside.
- Start-Up Equipment
The wonderful thing about an errand business is that the start-up costs are extremely low. If you already own a reliable vehicle, your costs may be less than $100.
Remember to keep track of your mileage in a notebook within easy reach in your car. You will need to note the date, location and purpose of the errand. Then note your starting mileage and ending mileage for each stop. You will be amazed at how the miles add up.
Also, keep track of your vehicle’s expenses, such as gas, oil, tires, and repairs. Give this to your accountant who can use the data to determine if you will have a greater benefit using the car depreciation or the standard IRS mileage rate.
You’ll also need a telephone and email address.
A smart-phone with email capability, texting and instant messaging options would be a good investment. Be sure your cell phone number is your unique business number. That will help your customers stay in touch with you. You may also be able to deduct it as a business expense for your United States taxes.
Your home office should have a computer with software to track expenses and income for your business. You will need to generate invoices and track payments. Set up a business bank account and don’t mix your personal cash with your business. A PayPal business account will help to facilitate collections, especially with people who want to pay by credit card or online banking.
Investing in a high-speed Internet service will allow you to run a website with critical information your customers need to know, such as location, service areas and errand services you are providing.
- Marketing Your Business
Initially, your marketing campaign will be local. You’ll want a website for customers to reference and you’ll want to be listed on local search engines like Google Places. You will also want to use classified advertisements in your local papers, Craigslist and the yellow pages.
Networking and word of mouth are perhaps your biggest sources of clients. Help your clients spread the word and consider offering a referral bonus. Flyer and brochures will help spread the word too.
- Key Suggestions to Ensure Successful Client Relationships
When you are setting up an agreement with your client, you need to define the service in writing that you will provide. You could have a list pre-printed and check off the service the client desires. If you offer several different errand services, you should develop several simple lists, divided by topic.
Then you need to discuss their personal desires. They may need your help in defining what they want, so be prepared with questions. Put that preference in writing as well. Then give them an estimate of the service and deliver the items and service on time and on budget.
Always carry your cell phone with your client’s phone number since you may have to call them with suggestions on a better option.
It is best to use the KISS formula for this interview (Keep It Simple). Be professional and courteous. Avoid disputes by giving them a copy of your agreement. If your client requests extra services while you are working, be sure to be firm on additional charges if extra time is required. Remember, your time has value and your client must understand that there will be an extra charge.
- Crucial Personality Traits
An errand running business is a wonderful business if you’re personable and responsible. Additionally, it’ll help if you’re excited to start and grow a business focused on helping people. Research your competition, plan your business, and help meet the needs of your community. Get started today!
This post barely scratches the surface of the details involved in starting a concierge business. For more information: The Concierge Manual: A Step by Step Guide on How to Start Your Own Concierge and/or Errand Services by Katharine C. Giovanni
Let me know how you do with this business idea and I will share with the readers of this blog.