Starting your own senior errand service is easy and inexpensive. There are no classes or training required, and you won’t have to sink a ton of money into start-up costs. You can get started very quickly and inexpensively. Still, there are some questions you should ask before you get going.
1. Legal Structure
You will need to figure out your business’s legal structure for tax purposes. Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC)? If you are running the business by yourself, then is it a sole proprietorship. If you are running it with a partner, then it’s a partnership. A limited liability company gives you limited liability from debts and actions of the business, similar to a corporation, but also allows pass-through taxation, which is similar to a sole proprietorship.
2. Your Name
What is the name of your errand running business? It’s important to have a good and catchy name. It’s also not a bad idea to put your own name or the name of your city or town in your business’s name. Look around your area and make sure the name you’d like to go by isn’t already being used or trademarked by another company.
3. Solo or Employees
Are you going to work by yourself or hire other employees? Hiring other employees can mean greater profits, but can also mean a lot of work on your part, training employees and engaging in other administrative tasks. Working solo means you get to run the errands yourself, keep all the profits, and build personal relationships with your customers, whereas hiring employees would leave you more of in a managerial role. Decide what works best for you.
4. Services to Offer
When setting up your errand service business, think about what services you’d like to offer. Make a list for your potential customers that lists these services. In addition to general errand running, would you like to also offer pet or house sitting, senior citizen transportation, computer help, transporting pets to the veterinarian or groomer, or performing house checks when a customer is out of town? On your list of services you offer, be sure to mention, “If you don’t see the service you’d like listed here, just contact us to find out if we offer it!” This simple message opens you up to a potentially high number of customers. And who knows, you might discover a whole new service you can do that is not only fun, but profitable.
5. How Much to Charge?
Errand runners typically make between $18 and $35 an hour, depending on where they live in the United States. Currently, the national average is $25 an hour. When deciding your rates, take into account where you live and how much you’d like to make. High prices could drive potential customers away, but if you set your prices too low, you might be robbing yourself of a large profit. If you can, learn what other errand runners are charging, and find what prices work for you. Don’t worry, you can always change your prices later.
Before you start your own senior errand running service, there are some questions that need to be asked and then answered. Spend some time thinking about your answers, and once you feel comfortable with what you’ve decided, you’re ready to start your own errand running service. To learn more, read How to Start a Profitable Senior Errand Service.