Nowadays, many people are looking for ideas that would help them earn a good amount of extra income. And starting a home-based business is considered one of the most popular options for secondary earnings. There are a few home-based businesses which can be started on a full-time basis. An errand service is a good option here, which includes doing miscellaneous tasks that clients aren't able to do in their daily routine.
What is an Errand?
In simple words, an errand is a short trip taken to achieve any kind of task, mostly on behalf of people who prefer not to do the task themselves. A person who undertakes these kinds of work is referred to as an errand runner. The tasks to be performed can be anything; like going to the market for shopping, delivering important documents, waiting in long queues for services, car servicing tasks, dry cleaning, taking the children to school and back, reminder services, and pretty much all things in everyday life. These types of services are usually availed by people from well-to-do families and by high-paid professionals who do not have the time to do petty tasks. Also, errand services are of great help to the aged and the disabled.
Steps on Starting an Errand Business
The very first thing you need to consider is to prepare a business plan. Since the types of services to be provided vary from one person to another, you need to first decide what all services you have to offer to the clients. At the start of your business, it is better to keep the services flexible. By doing so, there will be greater chances of your business getting a good start. Make sure you set up the business at a place where there are greater possibilities of customers wanting such services.
Pricing for Services
After you have decided on the services to be offered, you need to fix the rates for the same. Do a rough check on the prices for errand services in your locality or at the place of business. At the initial stage, keep the prices lower than what your competitors charge. You need to charge according to factors such as services offered, expenses incurred, distances to be traveled and time spent. On an average, you can earn anywhere between $15-35 on a per hour basis for the services rendered. Since the demand for the services may shoot up substantially during winter and the rains, you can increase your rates accordingly. You can set higher rates for after-hour or holiday services as well.
Licensing and Insurance Requirements
Since you are about to run a small business, you would require to possess a license for the same. You can get in touch with a government agency that deals in licensing for small businesses to know about the formalities. For example, if you are planning to start an errand business in California, you need to visit the California Secretary of State office. You also have an option of visiting the CalGOLD website which will help you find the appropriate entity for the type of license you require for the business. Consult with an insurance agent and learn about the liability insurance coverage. Also check if you need to get a separate car insurance, since you might use your vehicle for running errands.
Finances, Supplies and Recruitment
Now comes the most important part of a business plan, that is making arrangements for finances. A good thing about this business is that it does not require much of initial investment, if you do not plan to hire errand runners or invest in a car. If you choose to start the business on a medium scale, you might require additional personnel and some supplies. If you are thinking of running errands yourself, there are practically no finances to be arranged, apart from marketing expenses. An errand business is one of the businesses to start with little money.
It is said that the success of a business greatly depends upon how the advertising is done. You can use simple but effective advertising ideas to present your services to the public. Some of the methods include word of mouth, flyers, classifieds, billboards and advertisements on cars. One of the popular methods of advertising is online adverts. You can also consider creating a website or a web portal where you could post advertisements. Advertisements should also be backed by the assurance of providing quality services.
Starting an errand business is a good way to earn a decent income without a huge amount of investment. A successfully running business can earn you around $35,000 to $40,000 per annum. To run this business successfully, you need to be able to manage time effectively and be quick and prompt in providing the errand services. Also remember to start offering your services in a place where you would have clients ready to spend money on getting simple things done rather than spending time on doing them.