As an errand runner, you love helping others. Errand runners do just that—run errands for other people, often senior citizens, who are unable to. It’s a great way to bring a smile to someone’s face while also getting paid. Errand runners do normal everyday things such as running to the bank, getting groceries, picking up dry cleaning, and more. Best of all, they get paid good money to do it. The national average is $25 an hour. So what are some secrets that could make your errand running service prosper?
1. Group orders
If you have several customers in the same area, consider grouping errands together to save time and be more efficient. For example, make Monday and Thursday grocery days and Wednesday the day you pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy.
2. Charge a cancellation/rush fee
It’s customary for a customer to give 24 hours notice before asking you to run an errand or if they need to cancel the errand. If they cancel within 24 hours, consider charging them a fee. Some errand runners charge the entire amount they would’ve been paid. When someone cancels last minute, it’s often too late for you to find another customer for that allotted time. That’s why this cancellation fee is appropriate.
Also, if a customer asks you to do “rush service,” a job that needs to be done within two to four hours, it’s also customary to add an additional charge to their fee, such as an additional $10 an hour. Be up front of them with them about this.
3. Reminders for payment
Senior citizens might forget that they haven’t paid you. We all know about the “senior moments” that can happen. Just provide a friendly reminder. If it’s a task you do for them often, your customer could pay up front or on a weekly or monthly basis, making it less likely they’ll forget. It’s important you keep very good records. This will help prevent mistakes when it comes to collecting payment.
4. Pay for orders separately
If you’re going to the grocery store for more than one customer, remember to pay for the orders separately. Each customer will want their own receipt. They won’t want to see another customer’s items on their receipt.
5. Keep orders separate
In addition to paying for things separately, be sure not to mix bags at the grocery store. Ask the bagger to keep certain items together and bring a felt tip pen to write on the bag the name of the customer that the bag is going to.
6. Repeat newspaper ads
If you choose to advertise in the newspaper, or local senior publications, run your ad every week for a while. After a few months people will recognize your ad and be more likely to call you when they need help.
These are just some of the secrets that can help you become an all-star errand runner. Try some out, find what works for you, and before you know it, your errand running business will be the one to call. To learn more, read How to Start a Profitable Senior Errand Service.