Information on starting an errand service for the elderly
Errand services for the elderly are a growing trend in the service industry, especially now that the baby-boomers are senior citizens.
If you want to start an errand business for the elderly, you need to know some basic information about the demographics in your area, the legal issues related to such a business, the kind of errands you want to do, and how to plan, prepare, and market your business.
Know Your Market
Elderly people have a wide variety of needs. Some simply need companionship -- someone to attend meetings and social events with them. Others need help getting to doctor's appointments or other appointments such as the beauty shop or barber shop. There are many elderly people who are basically homebound and need someone to do their grocery shopping and other errands outside the home. You need to know what kinds of errands are needed by the elderly in your area. As you learn about the particular needs in your market, you can define your services accordingly.
You will need to research the legal aspects of running a business on your own and in particular, the legal requirements for serving the elderly. For example, you may need a special driver's license or more insurance to use your car for your business. You will need to know about taxes for running such a business and what liability you may need to be aware of.
Before you can start your own errand service for the elderly, you need to know how to plan the details of your business. For example, you will need to set your prices. You can find out how to make your prices competitive by calling other elderly errand services either in your area or in a similar demographic area to see what others are charging. You will need to know where the places are located that you will be doing most of your errands in order to consider your time requirements. This will also help you to set your prices. Consider how much time you can devote to running errands for others. Research the cost of advertising such as newspaper ads. Estimate your cost in both time and gasoline to run errands. All these factors will help you plan the details of your business.
As you research your market, you will need to know what your potential clients' specific needs are and how you will reach them.
High Quality Service
You will need to know what all is required in order to provide high quality service. For example, providing high quality service means that in addition to efficiently executing the tasks required of various errands, you will need to be available, attentive, considerate, and gentle. You will need to be committed to making life easier for the elderly population in your area. High quality service is the key to making your errand service for the elderly business a success, so you need to know if you have what it takes to go the extra mile (both literally and figuratively) to get the job done well.