There are three important things you need to know before you start a senior concierge service. They relate entirely to the operation of your business and in order for it to run smoothly you really need to take care of these tasks first. I cannot stress enough the importance that should be placed on what I like to call the Big Three.
You may be able to get away with not doing all three of them but if you are serious about offering a senior concierge service in your community, you will want to take a good look at the Big Three. They will assist you in setting up the foundation – a solid base – for you to build the rest of your business upon. In fact, these three steps will save you a lot of headaches and problems later on once your business is running and generating a decent cash flow for you.
1 – Insurance
I know, for some of you this is a no brainer. For others, it looks like an unnecessary expense. Well, let me tell you that anytime you operate a business where you will come in contact with customers who utilize your service, you will want to ensure you have proper insurance coverage. This is sometimes a sticky one because it does mean there is an extra amount of money being spent for a premium. The other side of the coin is that the premium provides you with a level of protection.
The kinds of insurance you will need will depend on the kinds of services you intend to provide for your clients. If you plan on providing rides to and from appointments you will want to ensure your auto insurance covers this kind of use and the business use you will be using your vehicle for as well. If you are going to add specific services such as home security, pet sitting or anything off-site but on someone else’s property, you will need extra coverage for that. Consult with an insurance provider to determine what types of coverage you will need and see if they can be added to your current home or auto insurance policies.
2 – Supplies
I look at this as your office supplies. It can be as basic or as complex as needed depending on the space you intend to use for an office. For example, a spare room in your home could serve as an office where you would need a desk, a computer, phone or cell phone, office paper, pens, etc. If your vehicle is your primary office you will require magnetic signs, business cards, invoicing material, a day planner for scheduling and other related items. The supplies list is a major part of your business start up but will very likely not be very costly. Regardless, you will need these supplies in order to run your senior concierge service effectively.
3 – Legal Structure
This is probably the biggest part of the Big Three and although it should be the first thing you do, I left to last on this list to make a point. It needs your full attention. Even if you have no intentions of operating your concierge service as anything more than a one-person, part-time service you will need to set up the proper legal structure. This is especially true when it comes to banking as you will want clients to provide you with payments in check form made out to your business name.
It’s also a lot easier to have the legal structure in place when you get around to tax season. You can seek the advice of an accountant or lawyer to find out what would be the best structure to run your business under. You will have to determine if a sole proprietorship, partnership or LLC is the right route to take. Once you make this decision, you’ll need to license your business as well as register for a tax identification number.
Once you get the Big Three steps completed, you will be that much closer to providing a valuable service to seniors in and around your community. You have chosen a rewarding business opportunity that is destined to bring you success but in order to be successful you need to set your business up professionally from the very beginning. That is where my tips will come in handy and keep you from making errors when you should be running errands for customers.