By Holly Reisem Hanna
Do you want to launch your own home-based business, but you’re not sure what you can do?
Consider working as a Personal Concierge, not only does this allow you to work from home, but it falls under the most basic human needs – not enough time + too much to do = pay for someone else to do it.
As Personal Concierge you’ll assist individuals with their overflow of tasks and errands:
- Booking Travel
- Appointment Setting
- Running Errands
- Picking Out Gifts
- Planning Parties
- Meal Prep
- Dog Walking
- Grocery Shopping
- Sending Out Correspondence
- Internet Research
- Mailing Packages
- Picking up Kids
- Managing Repairs
- House Sitting
Being a Personal Concierge does not require any special skills, training or a large budget to startup, however you will need to be professional and organized.
So how do you get started working at home as a Personal Concierge?
1. Have a Business Plan.
Since it’s unlikely that you’ll be taking out a loan to launch your business, you don’t have to have a formal business plan, but you do need to create a simple plan,so that you have a roadmap to chart your journey. Within your plan you’ll need to include things like what services you’ll offer, what to charge, how to accept payments, how you will market you business and take care of bookkeeping and financials. Need a little help, Life Hacker has a free one page business plan to get you started.
2. Business Structure.
You’ll most likely will be working by yourself, so choosing your business structure should be relatively easy – Sole Proprietor. But if you are going to have a partner or you’d like to have some extra legal protection you’ll need to file for a Partnership, Limited Liability Company, or Corporation. Each structure has its own pros and cons, meeting with an attorney or an accountant can help you to determine which structure best suits your needs.
3. Naming Your Business.
If you plan on using something other than your own name, you will need to apply for a DBA – Doing Business As. You will also need to research to make sure that someone else isn’t already using the name you want to use. This is also a good time to look at available domain names for your website.
You will need to keep track of all of your business expenditures and sales by opening up a separate bank account for your business. Along with having a separate business bank account, you’ll need to figure out how to accept payments and what type of bookkeeping software to use. PayPal is a third-party payment solution that is both widely used and accepted, and it allows your customers to pay with a credit card. Outright is a free online bookkeeping application, that will automatically add transactions from PayPal and or your bank account, making your bookkeeping a snap.
5. Online Presence.
There are many affordable ways to create your business website, from using a website builder like SnapPages or Homestead, to utilizing a multidimensional content management system, like WordPress or Blogger. Creating a website is especially important for home-based businesses, since your website may be the only impression you ever get to make with potential customers. Along with your website, you’ll want to secure a Business Page on Facebook and Twitter, which will help with your marketing efforts.
You will want to designate a separate email account for your business activities. Once you purchase your domain name, you’ll be able to get an email address that reflects your business name. Having a separate phone line for your business can be nice, but it’s also an added expense and may not be needed. Explore different options, like using your cell phone, Skype or Google Talk.
Now that you have your website ready you will need to get traffic to your site. Start by setting up social networking profiles on Facebook and Twitter to promote your business. Place free ads on Craigslist, start an e-letter, print business cards, set up a blog, and ask family and friends to spread the word. You may also want to post flyers or promote your new business at your local chamber of commerce. Remember to take a little time each and every day to market your business.
8. Getting Your First Clients.
Now that you have all of the essentials in place, you’ll need to secure your first client in order to start making money. While there are numerous ways to go about this, take a look at these articles for more in depth instruction.
- The Way to Find More Clients and Make More Money
- How to Get More Business Clients and Customers
- How to Land a New Client
- How to Attract High Paying Clients that Love You
- How to Obtain Higher Paying Clients
- 3 Steps to Creating Raving Fans Who Help You Get Clients
- How One Line in My Email Signature Gets Me More High-Paying Clients and More Time With My Family
For some more resources on becoming a Personal Concierge check these out:
- Start a Personal Concierge Service Business
- Start Your Own Personal Concierge Service
- The Concierge Manual
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