Do you love assisting and taking care of elderly people? And you are looking for a low cost business that you can start from home with no money? Then below is an in-depth guide on how to start an errand running business for seniors.
Presently, over 40 million Americans are over age 65, and about 6 million are over age 85. This statistic explains why the senior service industry is becoming more lucrative, requiring the services of everyone from health care workers to fall prevention specialists.
One of the fastest growing senior service businesses is running errands for those who have grown past their prime. As seniors age, they become weaker, and they require assistance with routine errands. For this reason, the demand for services that take care of everyday errands for seniors is on the increase.
Since most seniors prefer to enjoy an independent life at home, you can make a difference in their lives while making a living by running errands for them. And the great thing about starting an errand business for seniors is that you don’t need a lot of money to launch the business.
Do you love the idea of helping seniors? Can you stand out from the competition by employing effective marketing techniques and by providing satisfactory services? Then the tips below will help you start your errand business successfully.
How to Start an Errand Running Service Business for Seniors
Based on your skills and capabilities, you will need to figure out what services you will render for seniors. Most senior errand runners specialize in basic errands such as grocery shopping, pet walking, dry-cleaning, picking up prescriptions, and so on. However, some senior errand runners render transportation services, such as driving clients to and from doctor’s appointments, shopping, and so on.
2. Obtain the necessary licensing and insurance
You will need to find out what business licenses and insurance you will need to start your senior errand business. The requirements vary by city, state, or country. To find out what is obtainable in your location, you should visit your state government website or call your town’s licensing board to make inquiries regarding the licensing requirements.
In addition, you should contact a seasoned insurance agent to find out what liability coverage your errand business should carry. If you would be offering transportation services, then you ensure that your car is insured for business use.
3. Gather the required equipment
The basic equipment you will need is a cell phone through which clients can reach you whenever they need your services. If you will be rendering transport services, you will need a car, too.
Before you get your business up and running, you must find out what similar businesses in your area are charging for their services. You can start by contacting them and requesting a cost sheet by mail for reference. You can also visit their website to see what promotions they offer and what tactics they are employing to attract and retain clients.
Prices range from $8 to over $40 per hour depending on your location, your customers, and what services you provide. For example, you will charge more for transportation services than you would for simple errands that you can execute on a bicycle or scooter.
You should also make a list of all the services you will render, attach prices to each, and figure out how much discount you will offer to new clients or loyal clients who hire your services repeatedly.
5. Market your services
Trust is what works in the senior marketplace. If you succeed in gaining the trust of your first customers, they will tell their friends, and you will soon have enough customers to handle.
A good way to start marketing is by checking on homes where there are seniors and tell them about your services. Pass out business cards to everyone you meet, and leave flyers and brochures at places like senior centers and other places often visited by seniors.
6. Open your doors for business
Once you begin gaining the attention you need, you must start delivering your services to clients. However, you must provide great service once you start your errand business. If you satisfy a customer, you already have a repeat customer.
Always remain flexible to accommodate the needs of your clients. And avoid taking up errands you cannot perform. A better way to go about such errands is to engage someone who can handle them. For example, you can engage a few college students to help you handle extra assignments that you cannot handle.
7. Watch out for competition
As you run your senior errand business, you must bear in mind that there are many other businesses rendering similar services. And any poor service or mistake on your part will only drive your customers towards the competition.
Even if your services are satisfactory enough, always brainstorm for ways to push ahead of the competition. Grab every opportunity you have to improve your services so that your clients will keep hiring your services repeatedly.