16 Tips to Start Personal Concierge Service

Personal Concierge Service: This business is for someone who is supremely efficient and has the ability to make things happen.

People who hire you will expect things when they want them.

And you need to be able to come through with not only what they want.

But with a personal touch and a smile on your face.

The most likely clients for a personal concierge service are top executives.

Who find themselves at the office by 7 a.m. and are there most nights until 9 p.m.

Leaving them very little time to do all those things that often need to be done during those very hours.

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Personal Concierge Service

1. Get the business Background

A concierge business is a small business venture that provides personal errand services to corporate and non-corporate clients.

A concierge service can have one self-employed person handling all requests.

Or consist of a group of concierge professionals who specialize in dealing with particular clients.

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2. Find out the legalities of starting a concierge business.

Every state or region is different in how it governs the startup of new businesses.

So speak with your local chamber of commerce.

Or small business association about how to start a concierge business before investing any money.

Some common things you need to discuss are:

  • Which type of business license will you need for your business? Most concierge service businesses are small businesses, with some being run out of a home office. You may need more than one license if running a business from your home.
  • What type of insurance will you need to carry? You will need to find out about personal liability insurance and business insurance.
  • Should you hire employees or independent contractors, and what are the current employment laws? Hiring employees may obligate you to pay taxes and provide time off and sick leave. Using independent contractors releases you from much of that responsibility, since independent contractors aren’t considered employees of your company. Your small business association will be able to answer your legal questions regarding the business.

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3. Research competing businesses and find out which area is lacking services.

If there are a lot of corporate concierge services in your area.

Consider catering to a different demographic.

Such as work at home professionals or busy families.

While many concierge businesses cater to a variety of needs, others like to focus on particular niches.

4. Some niche areas include:

  • Travel reservations and destination suggestions. This includes booking hotels, cruises, extended vacations, professional travel and possibly creating an agenda and scheduling all activities for the trip.
  • Pet care services, such as pet sitting, grooming, walking and scheduling appointments for the veterinarian or training classes.
  • Gift services, such as buying gifts for friends and family members, suggesting gifts for certain occasions and keeping up to date on the trendiest gifts on the market.
  • Shopping services for groceries, clothes and other personal needs. Some concierge businesses will even offer chef services or food preparation services.

Judie Kaplan Personal Concierge, Inc.

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5. Know the target Market

Who uses personal concierges? Everyone from the millionaire corporate chairman to the single mom with two jobs and three children under age 10.

Concierges are finding their services are needed more than ever–not just by Mr. Corporate, but by Josie Average, too.

As mid-level workers get busier and busier, they’re becoming more and more comfortable with the concept of passing along their errands to personal concierges.

And in an effort to attract and retain employees, more and more companies are offering them personal concierge services.

Personal Concierge Service

6. Contact agencies and venues you think you will use frequently for your clients.

Let the agencies and venues know you’re starting a concierge service.

And find out if they will offer you reduced pricing or unique services when using their business for a client.

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7. Make a database of reputable companies you can use for your concierge services.

Make a note if the contact will offer special pricing or unique services for your clients.

8.Determine the location of your new business.

If running a small concierge service, you can create a home office and run it out of your home.

If hiring numerous people to help you, a leased business space will offer the room you need.

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9. Create a marketing plan and implement your strategies.

You should advertise directly to your intended market through direct mail.

Depending on your marketing budget.

You may also want to place print ads in newspapers, magazines and online.

10. Design a business plan that outlines the ultimate goals of your concierge business.

This is the area where you will write down your financial goals and how and when you expect to meet those goals.

Personal Concierge Service

11. Speak with the small business association or a small business lender if you’re having trouble funding the business.

Since this type of business is essentially running errands, the startup costs shouldn’t be too high.

Once funding is complete, you can start operating as a professional concierge.

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12. Join a professional association.

Such as the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association at www.ICLMA.org.

Personal Concierge Service

13. Take a Course or buy a book.

There are several good books about how to start a concierge business.

All can be found on Amazon.com. Three good ones are The Concierge Manual by Katharine Giovanni.

Keys to Starting and Operating a Successful Concierge Service.

And Entrepreneur Magazines Concierge Start up Guide.

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14. Things You’ll Need

Business license

Business insurance

Location for business

Business and marketing plans

15. Know the Services to Offer

With the industry growing and developing the way it is.

It’s impossible to give a complete list of services personal concierges provide.

Who knows what new service might be offered next week?

But this list of some of the services personal concierges can offer might help you come up with a few ideas for services you can provide to your clients:

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16. Learn Marketing

Letting the world know your business is up and running will bring clients your way.

Start by attending some casual business functions and passing out business cards.

For instance, find out when your local chamber of commerce, Rotary Club or Toastmasters group holds meetings.

Often, they hold breakfast meetings that can be good “meet and greet” opportunities.

If you have the time, start your own networking group.

You can hold meetings at a local restaurant.

Or even line up a seminar room at a college.

Or university and publish a print or e-mail newsletter to keep members informed of meeting times and dates.

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