Hot Home Business: Errand Runner

Want to work from home but not sure what you can do? The Hot Home Business Directory helps you find a business to run out of your home, lists the skills you need to do it and tells how to get started and where to get more information. Read on to find out if this Hot Home Biz is for you!

What You'll Do:
You'll offer services similar to the ones offered by concierges at upscale hotels. In addition to running errands, you'll take care of routine chores like picking up dry cleaning, getting the car inspected, booking airline tickets, helping plan parties and anything else your clients are too busy to do.

Skills You'll Need:
Organizational skills, people skills, creativity and energy. Ask women already doing this for more details.

Things You'll Need:
You must have a cell phone or pager. You'll also need a computer, printer, home phone and a car (or access to mass transit). A personal digital assistant (PDA) can certainly be helpful. For business purposes, you will need letterhead stationary and business cards.

NOTE: If you intend to deliver high-liability services such as shuttling elderly clients/children or events planning, you should consider structuring your business as a limited liability corporation (LLC) for tax and legal purposes. This will protect your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit from a disgruntled customer. If you prefer not to go the LLC route, you should purchase liability insurance. Learn more about structuring your business.

Start-up Costs:
Start-up costs will vary depending on the equipment you already have on hand. Cell phones and pagers can cost up to $200 and include service plans. Computers start at $800 in local retail stories, more with added peripherals. PDAs start at about $200. Cars and mass transit costs all vary. Research for the best deals.

How Much You Can Make:
Most errand runners charge by the hour, pricing their services according to what the market will bear. The range is $10 to $50 per hour, including travel time. Another way to go is to determine flat fees for specific services. For example, a weekly grocery-shopping trip is $75, shuttling a pet to monthly grooming might be $35. Some errand runners factor in their gas or mass transit costs, while others tally up all expenses and tack them onto the bill or compile them to use as an all-in-one tax deduction.

How to Break In:

  • Use your letterhead and computer to print up fliers announcing your business.
  • Place the fliers in shops (especially dry cleaners, shoe repair shops and garages), on school bulletin boards, at the commuter bus or train stations, and in retirement communities.
  • Contact human resource directors at corporations in your area; many are offering employees concierge services as incentives and may even have a "corporate concierge" on staff. This person may have small jobs to farm out to you -- anything from waiting at a person's home for a furniture delivery to addressing holiday cards -- and corporations generally pay more than individual clients.
  • Talk to small companies that might contract concierge services from you.

Community Support
Visit the Errands Services message board.
Get tips from women in errand services during our weekly chat.


Interested in other home businesses? Browse the hottest ones right now!

Find companies that are looking for work-from-home'ers on the Home Business Opportunities board.

Watch out for home business scams.

Then get a jump on your business with help from other iVillagers on the Getting Started board.

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