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In today’s world, one of the most popular ways to earn extra income is by running an errand business.
Though it may sound daunting, it really isn’t. Read on to learn the steps on how to start an errand running business.
But first, let’s look at why you would go into this type of business.
How Profitable Is An Errand Business
An errand business is when you get paid to do specific tasks for an individual or a business. An errand runner typically makes $20 to $35 per hour and the national average is $30 per hour.
When you have an errand-running business, you are helping those people and businesses who can’t find time to complete their everyday tasks. Therefore, such services are always in demand.
Target Clients For Errand Service Providers
The good thing about an errand business is you can pretty much market to anyone.
Here are some of the most typical clients that you should be focusing on to build a solid client base.
- Senior citizens
- Local small businesses
- Senior centers
- Elderly population
- Dry cleaners
- Service industry
- Busy people
- Local newspaper
Steps On How To Start An Errand Running Business
Now that you have an idea of how profitable this business is, here are the steps on how you can get started.
1| Decide On The Legal Structure Of Your Business
To avoid problems later on, you need to take care of all the legalities when you start a new business. First, decide on the legal structure of your business.
You can choose among sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability corporation. You will also need a federal tax identification number, which you can get for free here.
The structure you choose will affect your taxes and liability. When in doubt, check in with an accountant.
2| Name Your Errand Service Business
Now it’s time to name your business! Come up with a unique name and make sure that it is available and it hasn’t been trademarked already.
Then you have to protect your business name by registering it.
3| Get Your General Business License
Do your due diligence to make sure you license your business based on whatever your state’s procedures are.
The licenses and permits you need from the state, county, or city will depend on your business activities and business location.
4| Insure Your Business
Getting insurance for your business will give you peace of mind because it will protect you in the case of a lawsuit or claim.
Make sure you check in with your state about car insurance since you are using your car for commercial purposes.
You might also need other types of insurance like liability insurance, especially if you are transporting seniors, driving one of your customer’s cars, or house and pet sitting.
It’s best to check with an insurance company to learn what else are required.
5| Create A Home Office And Get Your Supplies Ready
With this type of business, you won’t need a lot of supplies. The most important thing you need is a reliable car to complete your delivery services and also to get to your customers.
You will also need a cell phone as a primary communication device when dealing with your clients.
A computer with an internet connection is a must for your bookkeeping and another way to be contacted.
Even though you will be running errands most of the day, you still need a dedicated space to store your office supplies, marketing materials, business, and financial records.
You can use a day planner like this to keep track of all your appointments and customers.
6| Create A Business Plan And Make A List Of The Types Of Services You Want To Offer
Create an outline of how you want to run your business. Make a list of the services that you want to offer and their corresponding prices.
Here are some examples of errands that are popular options.
- Dry cleaning pick up/delivery
- Bank errands
- Grocery shopping like Instacart shopper
- Pick-up and delivery of letters and small packages from the post office or a small mail order company
- Gift shopping
- Personal assistant or personal errand service
- Personal shopping or other personal tasks
- Companion care
- Trip to a local printer
- Concierge services
- Dog Walking
- House sitting
- Short trip
- Senior transport or senior errand service
- Taking sacks of leaves to the compost center,
And many, many more.
Make your budget, listing your overhead costs like gas and car maintenance, marketing, and office supplies.
7| Set Your Prices
Most errand businesses charge by the hour, not the task. So it would be best if you were specific on your pricing.
For example, if the errand will require you to drive farther than usual, consider charging for mileage.
You might also charge higher rates when customers ask you to work outside your regular business hours or on holiday.
You have to value your time and be realistic with your hourly rate.
8| Market And Promote Your Business
Aim to market your errand running business online and offline to attract potential customers and build a solid client base.
Some of the best ways include building a website that includes a list of errand services you offer along with your contact information and business hours.
Don’t forget to include a review page of past and present clients. The best promotion is by word of mouth. It can go a long way, especially in small towns.
Create your marketing items such as business cards, postcards, flyers, and brochures. Make them pretty using this tool for FREE.
Hand them out at places where your target people hang out. It can be at grocery stores, dry cleaners, community centers, or in residential neighborhoods with families.
You can also put your business in a classified ad or even mail postcards and brochures to local businesses.
You can also capitalize on social media by creating an Instagram account and Facebook account and then advertising a special offer. It can also be a great way to connect to small business owners.
Finally, when you have your regular customers and are ready to expand, you can start hiring new errand runners for your business.
Here are some of the minimal requirements that you will look for in an applicant.
- Valid driver’s license
- Clean driving record
- Reliable transportation
- Auto insurance
- High school diploma
- Excellent customer service skills
Final Thoughts On Running An Errand Business
Now you see, it is not that difficult to start an errand business. It is an excellent way to make a steady income while performing tasks you already enjoy
Besides the nice profit that can help you achieve your financial goals, you also get the perk of flexibility.
You have the option to do errands full-time, part-time, or just whenever you have spare time. Furthermore, the types of errands you want to complete will also depend on what you want.
You can accept any daily tasks or just focus on specific needs.
So as the world continues to change and as long as there are people around, the need for errand companies will not diminish. You will continue to have a viable business.
Did you find the steps on how to start an errand running business helpful?
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