Don’t want to do it. Don’t have time to do it. Couldn’t figure out how to do it even if we wanted to. To recognize the potential in errand services, you need only to appreciate the three statements above or watch this video of the lines of people, many of whom being paid to camp out to wait for new iPhones.
Broadening your potential client base even further, there are people, such as the elderly or the homebound, who require the assistance of errand services simply because they can’t do certain things.
We live in a society in which there are nearly 29 million two-career couples struggling to cope with the day-to-day necessities of life. In the past twenty-five years, we have added the equivalent of a month of time per year with our work and commuting schedules. Add to that the fact that many of the things we once turned to for “relaxation and leisure”—from weekend games of tennis to exercise regimens—have become necessities that must fit into our busy schedules.
We rush everyplace. We are constantly minutes behind schedule. When, in all this rush, do we find time to shop? To go to the DMV? To buy a new suit, pick up the wedding gift, pick up a prescription, order flowers for our anniversary? And heaven help us if we have to get a car to the mechanic!
Enter errand services, sometimes called “personal concierge services.” If you are willing and able to pick up groceries, stand in lines, drive to the airport to pick up relatives, order flowers for wives or cigars for husbands, make restaurant reservations, pick up shoes at the shoe repair service—in short, do anything and everything that will simplify our lives—then you can be successful in errand services. You can establish your own service, such as Run My Errand serving the Ontario area, or affiliate with sites like Do My Stuff and TaskRabbit, which provide you to bid on the jobs that are posted by users of the sites. Associating with TaskRabbit involves submitting an online application, a video interview, a criminal background check, and a quiz.
In addition to basic errands, there are other varieties of errand services you can explore. In the past, only the well-to-do considered the services of a “personal shopper”—a person who was familiar with their particulars (waist size, height, etc.) and their preferences (colors, hemline, choice in accessories, etc.) and who frequented boutiques and department stores to shop for clothes, belts, scarves, blouses—whatever the person might need. But now more and more people need the services of a personal shopper. And not only to save them time. Many personal shoppers go past understanding a client’s preferences to recommending what kinds of clothes or accessories are most appropriate in a variety of settings.
Errand services are being provided by all kinds of people, mothers, retired men, students, young professional women – often people for whom most jobs are either unavailable or less than desirable than being out and active.
For an initial free consultation to explore this or another sustainable livelihood that bests suits your personality and your community, contact us.
Comments on the substance of the blogs are welcome. If you have other questions, please contact me directly for a consulting appointment.