With 10,000 baby boomers a day turning 65 every day in America, it’s easy to see why the market for senior services is thriving. One of the most rapidly growing senior services is a senior concierge service business. As seniors age, they need more help with many of the daily tasks that younger folks take for granted, like running errands, pet care, grocery shopping, getting to and from appointments, household management and dozens of others.
The term “concierge” comes from the French compte de cierges, or keeper of the keys. In years past, a concierge worked in a hotel or luxury apartment building, assisting the guests or tenants with their daily needs. Today, modern concierges assist corporate executives, busy working professionals and seniors, doing what their clients are too busy or unable to do themselves. About 70% of the personal concierges in the U.S and Canada are women and 30% are men.
Offering a senior concierge service is a wonderful way to earn a living for anyone who loves helping people and is a good problem solver and organizer. It can provide a very good part-time or full-time income without high startup expenses. In fact, the only essential tools needed are a reliable vehicle and a cell phone. Before you can land that all-important first client, you’ll need to take care of the startup basics. Here are the essential five steps:
Step one: Find out who is offering this service in your area. You’ll need to find out what they are charging and the services they offer. One good place to start is to do a web search for “senior concierge in your town.” It’s very important to keep your rates in line with what others are charging to make sure you will get enough clients to make your business profitable. If no one else is providing this service, you can find typical rates from nearby towns or cities.
Step two: Check with your city, county and state to find out what licenses or permits are required for your business, then check with your insurance agent to update your insurance coverage. Tell the insurance agent if you will be using your vehicle for business, such as errand running or grocery shopping. If you plan to offer your clients transportation to appointments, you’ll likely need specific insurance just to cover that aspect of the business.
Step three: These days, a simple web site can help you find clients for your new senior concierge service business you would never find otherwise. For example, many adult children of seniors are looking for senior service providers in your area, and search the internet to find them. That’s why it is important to include the name of your town in either the domain name of your web site, or on the home page of the site. A simple five-page web site that lists your concierge services, includes a personal profile, and testimonials from satisfied customers is all that’s required and allows your prospects to get to know you and builds trust. Most web site hosting firms now offer free site do-it-yourself programs to help you build your own site, or you can hire someone to do the whole site at elance.com or odesk.com for under $200.
Step four: Tell seniors about your new concierge service business. Almost every area has a local senior newsletter or monthly magazine, as do the “Over 55” communities. Most run affordable classified ads in the back of the publication. Be sure to run your classified ad in every issue until you have more clients than you can handle, because prospects will see your ad over and over, and then know where to find you when they want to hire a senior concierge. When you have business cards printed, print a coupon on the backside for a free consultation or free hour for new prospects. That will encourage prospects to save your card instead of tossing it. You can also run a free classified ad on Craigslist.org for your business.
Step five: Take the time to introduce yourself to all those in your area who work with seniors, such as those at the senior center, employees at senior living communities, senior care managers, and eldercare lawyers. They can steer new clients your way, and they will often mention your services to those they work with everyday.
Starting a senior concierge service is the ideal business for those who want to help others, be in control of their own life, and make a good income regardless of what the economy is doing. If you’ve got the ability to stay organized, common sense, a can-do attitude, and a big heart, you can be a successful concierge for local elders. To discover how, read How To Start a Profitable Senior Concierge Service.