I want to see you succeed with your senior concierge business so here are some tips to help you along the way. I am going to focus on the many steps you will be required to take to start up your business to ensure you meet all local, regional and federal requirements. Before I get into them I want to make it clear that you do not require any special kind of training to start this kind of business.
That being said, you do need to have the right kind of caring, compassionate, understanding and patient personality to be able to serve elderly people. They may be forgetful, have mobility issues or other problems that you will need to accept and work with. If these are not concerns that may create an issue with you, then you could very well be perfectly matched for such a service.
1 – Legal Structure
This is a very important first step as you will not be operating your senior concierge business as a hobby. As you will be earning a wage of some kind you will need to have the proper legal structure in place. You will want to look into the benefits or disadvantages of operating as a proprietorship, partnership or LLC before going much further with your business plan. You can find good, free advice about the best option for you at: Nolo.com
2 – Licensing
The licenses you will need are fairly basic including a business license to operate in the community you intend to run your business and all proper vehicle licensing. If you require a tax number, this is the time to sort out those details and purchase or register whatever is needed to comply.
3 – Name Your Business
If you haven’t already done this, you will need to have some way to identify yourself and use it to promote and advertise your service. You would be wise to do a business name search to verify you are not using an existing name and once you find one that is available, register it. This protects your business identity.
4 – Supplies
Considering you will be using your senior concierge business as a primarily ‘mobile’ business you will not require a storefront of any kind. You will want to possibly set up some office space in your home to keep track of clients, billing and additional clerical and office related tasks. You will probably require a cell phone and a computer. Remember, whatever space you set aside in your home for your business could result in a tax saving on your home so look at the extra expense of setting up your office as a way to earn a bit of a credit at tax time.
5 – Service Schedule
You will have to put on paper an actual list of services you intend to offer as a senior concierge service provider. This will be specific to various factors and may not be limited to just working with seniors if your market has other opportunities. You may be able to include additional services to other clients such as yard maintenance and mail/prescription pick up/delivery. The list of services you put together will define the scope of your business.
6 – Rate Structure
Probably the hardest part of any business start up is determining what to charge customers. In the senior concierge business you can expect to earn between $20 and $35 per hour so an hourly rate in that range would be fair, provided it works in your area. You may wish to add bonuses such as discounts for some seniors or just stick to a single flat rate. Your customers will be able to tell you one way or other if you are charging too much.
7 – Promote Yourself
Before you start to see a lot of business you will need to actively advertise your business. This can be done in several ways including free classified newspaper, such as Craigslist.org, or online advertising, paid newspaper/radio advertising, posters, hand outs, business cards, signs, contacting seniors facilities including local seniors activity centers and just about any other way to get the word out. Once you build a client base you will receive referrals from happy customers and fill your schedule.
I hope these tips take away any of the questions you may have about starting your own senior concierge business. It is a service that is needed in today’s world and with the high number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age there will be a demand for many years to come. Discover more in our new start-up guide: