As people get older they’re less capable of managing daily tasks, such as grocery shopping, picking up prescription medicine, and more. Senior citizens often hire errand runners to do the tasks they no longer can, or want to, do. Errand businesses typically charge between $18 and $35 an hour, with a national average of about $25 an hour. As an errand runner you stand to make a nice profit. So what are the steps to getting started?
1. Legal Structure
First you need to decide on the legal structure of your business. Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability corporation? Whichever you choose will affect what taxes you pay and what your liability will be. Also, while you’re doing this, make sure you license your business based on whatever your state’s procedures are. You’ll also need to get a federal tax identification number.
2. Name Your Business
Now you’re ready to name your errand service business. Think of something catchy and memorable. Consider putting your city name in it, or even your own name. Make sure no one else is using your name and that it hasn’t been trademarked already.
You must have insurance. It can protect you in the case of a lawsuit or claim. Check with your state about auto insurance. Some require it if you are using your car for commercial purposes. There are other insurances you might need, such as if you’ll be transporting seniors, driving one of your customer’s cars, or house and pet sitting. It’s best to check with your insurance company to learn what is required.
4. Gather Supplies
An errand business is great, because you won’t need a lot of supplies. In fact, most you probably have already. You’ll need a reliable car to get you to and from your customers and wherever the errands take you. You should also have a cell phone and computer as a way to be contacted. After this you should consider purchasing business cards as a great way to get your name and contact information to prospective customers. And don’t forget a day planner or other way to stay organized. You need some way to keep track of all your appointments and customers.
5. Choose Services
It’s a good idea to make a list of what services you offer. You should also put something that says, “If you don’t see the service you need – just call and ask if we offer it!” There are many errands you could consider offering: bank and car errands, dog walking, dry cleaning, grocery shopping, and many, many more.
6. Set Your Prices
Most errand runners charge by the hour, not the task. If the task involves a lot of driving, you might want to charge for mileage. You should also charge differently if you’re being asked to work outside your normal business hours or on a holiday. Consider offering package deals as a way to get customers. If they’re only using your services for grocery shopping, pick a special rate for that. Experiment and find out what works best for you.
Starting an errand service business is quite easy. In just six easy steps you could be up and running errands before you know it! To learn more, read How to Start a Profitable Senior Errand Service.