Starting your own Errand Service Business

Published: 21st January 2009
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Thanks to the internet the last decade has seen an exponential increase in home based businesses. Because of low investment and low operational costs, running a home based business is a great option for anyone looking to work out of their homes. One among such home based businesses is the errand service business.

If you look around, you will be amazed by the sheer number of people who are in need of help to complete an errand or some task or another. These tasks can range from paying bills, picking up groceries to personal shopping, concierge services, picking up laundry to buying gifts. There is literally no dearth of people willing to pay to get these mundane tasks taken care off.

If you have been considering starting your own home based business and are good at organizing your time, then this can turn out to be a profitable venture for you.

Required skills and experience

To start your own errand service business there are two basic requirements; first up you should be someone who can prioritize tasks and secondly you should be apt at organize your time.

Another essential requirement or skill for this business is that you need have pleasant social skills. There are two reasons for this -

· You will need to market your business and yourself to people and other businesses in need of your services.

· You will need to interact with people on a daily business, and someone with a smile and good social skills can quickly multiply clients and gain referrals and recommendations.

Lastly, as with all businesses you will have to perform regular administrative tasks and maintain your accounts and financial books and taxes. So a basic understanding of administrative tasks and finances will be required.

Estimated start up costs

If you are starting with a few clients or on a very small level you can easily get by on the following:

· Reliable transportation (a car or a van)

· A cell phone and a dedicated land line and fax machine

· Basic office supplies so you can fill out and create invoices for your clients.

If you are low on investment it is advisable to do this on a part time basis so you can keep your expenses and bills under control. As and when your client list grows, of course your operational costs will increase.

What you should charge?

There is only one simple determinant here; what your clients are offering for your services.

Some errand service business charge hourly rates, while others prefer monthly or annual packages. However on a start up basis hourly charges are better and on an average you should be able to earn anything from $15 to 35 per hour for private or home clients.

If however you can tap into corporate clients then your charges will obviously be much higher. A good way to determine what you should charge is to go by what your competitors are charging.

Marketing your business

Nothing works like recommendations and word of mouth advertising. Build on your business network and work on building your reputation.

Alternative advertising and marketing options are classifieds, printing and distribution of flyers and printouts of your business. An absolute must are business cards; pass these around to your existing clients and potential clients.

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