June 17, 2013

How to Become an Errand Runner

With today's busy lifestyles, many working professionals don't have time for even basic errands, such as picking up dry cleaning, taking Fido to the groomer or waiting at home for the furnace repairman. That's good news if you're dependable, organized and interested in starting your own errand service business.

Running errands is a simple and inexpensive business to start, yet it offers great potential, with full timers making as much as $60,000 yearly. An errand business can be operated with not much more than reliable transportation and a cell phone.

In addition to working professionals, there is another group that depends on errand runners to help them with routine errands. Seniors and those confined to their homes because of illness or injury need someone to help them with everyday errands that many of us take for granted, such as grocery shopping and trips to the post office.

A third source of work for many errand services is the many small businesses who would rather hire an independent errand runner than send an employee. This is especially true for accounting and law firms, who frequently need to have documents delivered and picked up locally.

Unlike many businesses, you don't need a fancy office or inventory, and formal training is definitely not necessary. Nor is business experience, as most errand runners will tell you that organization and the ability to multitask are the essential skills. The national average charge for errand services is around $25 an hour - more in big cities, less in rural areas. An eight hour day can bring $200, or $1,000 for a five day week. That's $50,000 a year for a business you can start for just a few hundred dollars.

Most errand runners charge on an hourly basis, with a mileage charge outside of their customary service area. Regular customers often buy "packages" or "memberships", which entitle them to a small discount for using several hours every month. It's a win-win situation, as the errand runners can get paid in advance at the beginning of each month, and the customers save 10% or so.

Finding new customers at first can be a challenge, but fortunately, there are many free or low cost ways to spread the word. For example, your local newspaper is a good source of free publicity when you are getting started, or adding new services. A new business startup is newsworthy, and a simple news release or call to the business editor will often generate a story in the business section.

Referrals are another great source of new customers, and you'll find that customers who appreciate your service will tell all their friends. This is especially true among seniors, who have extended networks of friends, and are happy to tell them about any new service that improves their lives.

For those who need to balance family needs with earning an income, the flexible schedule offered by an errand business is a big advantage. Combine that with the solid earnings and the satisfaction of helping people, and you've got a winning recipe for a rewarding new business.

To learn more about starting your own errand service business, specializing in the lucrative senior market, read: HOW TO START A PROFITABLE SENIOR ERRAND SERVICE, available at:

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