How to Start an Errand Business

The great thing about starting an errand business is that you don’t need a lot of money to launch your service. What you do need is to stand out from your competition by employing effective marketing techniques, being organized and flexible and by providing great service. The tips below will help you start an errand business successfully.

Decide what services your errand business will provide. Will you concentrate on errands like grocery shopping and dry cleaning pick-up? Do you want to offer dog walking services? Are you planning to target the needs of small business? Do you expect to transport individuals to appointments or pick up children at school? Will you take a car in for service or wait in someone’s home for a repair person?

Learn what business licenses and insurance you’ll need to start an errand business. Visit your state government website or call your town’s licensing board for direction in filing the appropriate applications. Contact your insurance agent to determine what liability coverage your errand business should carry. Also, make sure your car is insured for business use. For comprehensive information on starting a business, see the Resources section below.

Market your errand business. Network with the customers you hope to gain. If you want to run errands for seniors, go to the senior center on bingo night and introduce yourself. Pass out business cards and senior discount coupons. If you are targeting small businesses, attend functions sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Have business cards on hand and be prepared to describe your services. Place an ad in the services section of your local newspaper and leave flyers in high-traffic commercial establishments.

Set your prices. Before you start an errand business, study the competition by calling similar services in your area. Ask them for details on pricing and request a cost sheet by mail for reference. Visit the websites of local errand businesses to see what promotions they offer. Prices range from $8 to over $40 per hour depending on your location, your customer and what services you provide. For example, businesses are apt to pay considerably more for your services than seniors will. See the Resources section below to find errand businesses in your area.

Provide great service once you start your errand business. A satisfied customer is usually a repeat customer. Positive word of mouth will go a long way in providing your errand business with future clients. Remain flexible to accommodate the needs of your clients. And make sure you have back-up help to cover errands you cannot perform. For instance, engage a few college students as independent contractors for on call assignments.


About the Author

M.J. Kelly began writing professionally in 2007. Her background includes real estate sales, taxation, college admissions and financial planning. Focused on business, careers and real estate, she has written content that has appeared on numerous lifestyle-related websites. A graduate of Boston University, Kelly has earned a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature.

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