More than half of all businesses start out as home-based businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. A concierge and errand service provides services to individuals or businesses. The services vary, and may be anything from waiting for a cable installer for a busy attorney to picking up client gifts for a sales office to booking a vacation for a business executive and her family. A concierge and errand service takes care of people, alleviating your clients' stress while making an income for yourself and your family.
Write a business plan. It doesn't have to be lengthy or complicated, but it should include a mission statement, which is a concise, specific description of your business and the services you plan to offer. You should decide how much you plan to charge for your services, and if you want to charge on a per hour basis or based on each project or task. You should also include a marketing plan, which should include your target market and how you plan to reach them.
Create your marketing materials. You should order business cards, create fliers and brochures, if needed (or hire someone else to do so). Set up business pages on social networking websites like Facebook. You can use these as your main business websites, or you can create a website specifically for your business.
Register your business name. If you're using a name for your business other than your own name, you need to register it as your fictitious, or "Doing Business As" (DBA) name. Each state and locality has its own process for registering your business; you can find out the process in your state by contacting your local Small Business Administration, or SBA, office.
Apply for any licenses or permits needed to run a business in your area. Requirements vary from state to state; you can find out exactly what you need by using SBA.gov's Business Licenses and Permits Search Tool at SBA.GOV/licenses-and-permits.
Sell your services. Call potential clients to introduce yourself and your business. Attend local networking events and join your local Chamber of Commerce. Advertise via social networking and, if your budget allows, in local papers or magazines.
Provide outstanding customer service. The most efficient way to grow your business is through word-of-mouth. Treat your customers well, and you'll have their repeat business and the business of their friends and families.
The SBA offers classes in preparing business plans and starting a new business. Contact your local SBA office for opportunities in your area.
The Federal Government does not offer grants for starting or expanding existing businesses. State and local governments may offer grants, but these typically require matching funds.
- SBA.GOV: Home Based Business
- Military.com; How to Start a Concierge Business; Christine Durst and Michael Haaren; December 2007
- Entrepreneur: How to Be a Personal Concierge
- SBA.GOV: Register Your Fictitious or "Doing Business As" (DBA) Name
- SBA.GOV: Search for Business Licenses and Permits
- SBA.GOV: Grants