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Could you have a look and tell me if you would use this service?

(20 Posts)
PersonalErrands Fri 25-Mar-16 11:45:34

I'm in early stages of setting up a personal errand service. I've done some research and there's nothing like it in our area. I think (hope!) there is demand as I live in a high income commuter area with hopefully lots of people who would love me to run their boring errands for them!

The kind of things I am thinking of is

Shopping (food etc)
Prescription drop off/pick up
Returning/exchanging items
Mostly any shopping services
Dry cleaning pick up/drop off
Lanundrette (duvets etc)

House service whilst on holiday (plants/security check/turn lights on and off)
Check in service for elderly people
Post office services (car taxing/pick up passport forms/parcel posting)

Reminder service for dates/occasions
Pick up gifts, order online etc

So that's all I've got at the moment! It's in the very early stages so I not 100% sure if this is something people would use. I was thinking of aiming it at high income and elderly or disabled people who may need help.

Regarding pricing I thought I would charge per hour with a minimum hr charge.

Any thoughts at all anyone?

ihatethecold Fri 25-Mar-16 11:51:05

what would be your hourly charge?
what if someone just needs a prescription collecting that takes 20 mins?

Sounds like a good idea though

AlpacaLypse Fri 25-Mar-16 11:52:07

Someone has started something like this in our town, which is heavy on retired people who've sold up in London. Not sure how she's doing so far.

Our dog walking service does get asked occasionally to do some of these jobs too, so there may be a market for it.

PersonalErrands Fri 25-Mar-16 11:53:55

Starting at £8-£10 an hr?! Not sure if that's reasonable or not! I think I'd have to do a minimum of 1hr charge and then

ImperialBlether Fri 25-Mar-16 11:54:08

The thing is, if you live half an hour away from your client, how will you charge them?

Also, supermarkets are open 24/7 and offer virtually all the things you are offering - dry cleaning, food shopping, prescriptions etc.

Car taxing can be done online now - I pay monthly by direct debit for this, arranged online.

Pick up gifts - they would order online. Order online for them? Why wouldn't they do that themselves? It only takes a few seconds.

Many people have lights on a timer for when they're away. There's more of a security risk in having a stranger come to the house. People with cleaners will often have them come for a deep clean while they're away.

Most rich working people will have a PA who can organise things for them. There was an Apprentice who thought of this idea in the finals and it was slammed.

Perhaps think of something else?

FortyFacedFuckers Fri 25-Mar-16 11:54:37

My friend actually uses a service like this but they also do cleaning/dog walking/making appointments.

PersonalErrands Fri 25-Mar-16 11:55:19

15 minute charges thereafter!

Yes lots of retired people here but also lots of busy London commuters who might like a part time personal lackey wink

BeautifulMaudOHara Fri 25-Mar-16 11:55:32

Low start up costs are good but you're going to need to charge enough to make it worth your while. I'd use a service like this if it existed locally.

PersonalErrands Fri 25-Mar-16 11:57:25

All good points imperial, I didn't know that about the apprentice.

Possible aim it more towards elderly people who might not be confident online, may like the personal touch?

twirlypoo Fri 25-Mar-16 11:59:14

I offer a similar service as part of my business, we are up north so a different demographic to where you are possibly, and as it is only a part of my business my advertising encompasses it but once I realised there wasn't the uptake I didn't focus on it (these are the disclaimers!)

In the last 2 years, I've not really had many clients request these things. Elderly clients get their prescriptions dropped off from the pharmacy direct, wealthy people do online shops etc. Here dry cleaners will collect and drop off laundry too.

Don't get me wrong, we do get some business from this - but it's maybe every few months as a one off.

I would possibly change tact and target elderly as a companion / cleaning / errands service. Wealthy people here tend to have housekeepers who encompass the role, but obviously the elderly get really don't.

The only other clients I've had were moving house and wanted help packing up boxes, cleaning old place / cleaning new place, unpacking again at other end. So this may be a possible angle too?

I know this isn't what you wanted to hear - and again I stress that I probably have a different demographic area to you, but it is worth considering.

Also, what would you charge? We are £11 ph - it's actually quite difficult to make a living from that, as say at best capacity you have 3 clients a day at 2 hours each with an hours travel in between - that's 6 hours work for £66 a day. I have to stress as well, that those hours would be incredibly generous and hard to get - a real ideal situation (that I would love to be in, 2 years down the line!)

Hope that all helps, feel free to pm me if I can help at all smile

midnightlurker Fri 25-Mar-16 12:00:11

I know a lady who had this idea. She does cleaning now.

sparechange Fri 25-Mar-16 12:05:05

I would use this service, but be aware that it is very much like Task Rabbit, which has got the scale and money to squeeze out any smaller companies doing the same thing - just like Uber has driven lots of minicab companies out of business.

The other company that I've seen is one that will wait in your house for deliveries etc

My old company used to pay an annual subscription, and then staff paid per half day to use it. They would send retirees over who would sit and read, and then answer the door when required, sign for the package and leave.
It was called something like EnTrust?

Which part of the country are you in? I can see this being something that younger city dwelling time poor, cash rich people would use most

twirlypoo Fri 25-Mar-16 12:05:35

Also, I pay £600 a year in insurance (cheapest I could find!) £70 a month for useless yell.com advertising, £50 a quarter on fliers, £10 a week on social media advertising, £80 a week on petrol - this is school run too though. There are initial website costs etc too.

I wish I had never started my business - but we are just profitable now, so I will keep on plodding!

PersonalErrands Fri 25-Mar-16 12:09:05

Thanks for the feedback it's all appreciated!

So elderly/people with disabilities might be a way to go, with a luxury ad hoc service on the side for wealthy people....

I was thinking of the waiting in for trades people/deliveries etc too

I'm Essex based, 50 minutes by train to London

dudsville Fri 25-Mar-16 12:16:27

I work full time an hour away from home. It bugs me that I have to take days off to wait in for large deliveries or try to get to the post office when things need to be returned and they are bulky. I'm a bit tight so I don't know that I'd actually pay for your service but for what it's worth I think it's a really good idea.

PersonalErrands Fri 25-Mar-16 13:47:24

Would you pay £8 instead of losing a days holiday though?!

twirlypoo Fri 25-Mar-16 15:21:05

Can you make a living from only charging £8 though? You need to be able to manage these 1 off bookings and make enough money to survive taking into account travel etc too.

ImperialBlether Fri 25-Mar-16 15:48:49

Travelling time could be hours each day and expensive, too. You would have to bear the cost of that and if you're only charging £8 an hour, you'd be permanently out of pocket.

Also, if I were to pay you to be in my house when I had a delivery, I would want to know that I could trust you. I'm not sure what assurances could be given that you were reliable. And how would you get the key? I think waiting in for packages could only work if you lived very near to the client.

I think that rich people have people in their lives who can do that sort of thing. Their PA will arrange any bookings, their cleaner can be asked to work when a delivery is due, they don't get to be rich without being able to shop online.

Elderly people are generally poorer. I don't know of any elderly person who'd pay someone unless they were cleaning or gardening or doing odd jobs.

I think it's great you're thinking of starting your own business, but I don't think this one would be financially worthwhile.

ImperialBlether Fri 25-Mar-16 15:49:54

PersonalErrands, don't you think that most people will ask a neighbour to have a key for large deliveries, or simply arrange a delivery time when they'll be home?

AlpacaLypse Sat 02-Apr-16 02:42:51

Thing is, say you were booked to wait in for a delivery, which might arrive any time between 8 and 5, are your clients going to pay for a full day of you at £11 hour? And how often will that happen? How many other clients will you lose because you've booked the whole of that day out?

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