Errand Business Idea

Real Estate Forms | An Assistant To Do Personal Errands And Business Tasks

DirectTM 8/4/2008

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Business Summary:

As the owner of an errand business, you will take care of both personal and professional errands depending on the needs of each client. You may be asked to run errands such as, grocery shopping, delivery and pick up of dry cleaning, bill paying, library book returns, taking a pet to the vet, delivering legal or other professional documents, shopping for office supplies, and the list goes on and on. Options would be limited only by what you are willing to do for someone.

You will have the flexibility to decide the area(s) you intend to service, maximum miles to travel per errand, fees to charge, and the services you are willing to provide. You can easily operate this business from the comfort of your home, minimizing overhead costs. You will need to be somewhat flexible with the hours you are willing to work in order to accommodate times frames and deadlines of your clients.

It will be an absolute necessity that you have a dependable vehicle. It is also important to ensure the vehicle gets routine repairs and maintenance for optimum service and have a backup vehicle in case you have a breakdown.

Start Up Cost: $800 – $5,000

Can Be Home Based?: Yes

Can Be Operated Part Time?: Yes

Skills Required:

You will need to have excellent communication and organizational skills and be trustworthy and dependable. You will also need to be familiar with your predetermined service area in order to travel from place to place with ease and in a timely manner.

Further, you should have someone on standby to serve as backup in case you become ill, delayed, or have car trouble.

How Much Can You Earn:

Potential earnings for operating an errand business will vary based on the number of hours you work per month and the number of errands you run. When determining your fees, you will need to consider demographics, total miles travelled, gas prices, vehicle maintenance charges, and other factors to arrive at a profitable fee. Also, determine an amount to charge for trips outside your set service area and for errands that cause delays or take longer than usual amounts of time to complete.

Most errand businesses charge by the hour or by the errand. Hourly rates can average between $10 to $40 dollars and per errand fees typically range between $8 to $20 each, with extra fees charged for longer than usual mileage or time. Average annual earnings range between $20,000 and $35,000 initially. However, earnings can be significantly higher depending on the number of clients you work with and your hourly or per errand rates.

Understanding Customers:

Your clients will be busy professionals covered up with work and other obligations leaving them without enough time to complete personal and professional errands. You may also have customers who are elderly and/or disabled.

Marketing Strategy:

The best way to find new clients is by word of mouth but until you get a few customers that could vouch for your work, you will have to rely on other means of advertising.

There are several ways to solicit new customers but with this particular business, you will need to be a bit creative to get started. One suggestion would be to make up homemade coupons on your computer offering the “first errand” ran free of charge. Be sure to limit the amount of time and mileage available with the coupon offer so you do not spend too much out of pocket per offer and the statement, “only one coupon per person” should appear on the coupon in bold print. This will give potential customers a sample of your services and will help to build their trust in you, often resulting in paid errands. The coupons can be placed anywhere you go or handed out personally.

Other ways to advertise would include putting business cards and flyers at hospital, doctor’s offices, attorney offices, banks, and anywhere else where busy professionals who may utilize your services will see them. Gift shops and florists are also good places to leave business cards. Placing a classified ad in the local newspaper and posting flyers on various bulletin boards such as churches, post offices and break rooms at local businesses will also give you much needed exposure.

Requirements:

The most essential requirement to operate an errand business is excellent organizational skills and dependability. You will also be required to have a business license to operate. For more information and specific requirements, contact your local department of revenue.

To get started you will need:

  • Dependable Vehicle
  • Cell Phone
  • Day Planner/Appointment book
  • Computer and Printer
  • Customer Database (spreadsheet where you will keep a master list of customers with addresses and contact information)
  • Price Chart
  • Basic Office Supplies (business cards, flyers, pens, receipt books, legal pads, post it notes, printer paper, file folders to set up each customer account, and a filing cabinet)

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