Got a knack for multi-tasking, organizing, and love to work with people? A concierge business might be right for you.
Concierge service was at one time a luxury reserved for prominent, high-end hotels. Now, many professionals rely on concierge services to handle a wide array of tasks that facilitate their productivity, both professionally and personally.
Understanding your competition is the first step in determining a viable business model in your geographical area. Look at the type of services offered by the competition and consider how you can differentiate yourself or specialize in under-served niches.
A few services to consider are:
Home Services – Lawn and landscaping maintenance scheduling, pet grooming and care, pool maintenance oversight, home cleaning and cooking arrangements.
Appointment Setting – Book client flights, arrange airport transportation, book travel packages, make dinner reservations, procure VIP event tickets.
Personalized Services – Arrange child care, senior and dependent care oversight, romantic evening event coordinator, special occasion gift and floral service, on-call errand service.
Corporate Services – Computer rental and repair arrangements, client reception services, business consultation services, website design execution, copywriting and technical writing services.
Plan Your Business
A well thought out plan that is put to paper is more likely to succeed. Start with your mission statement, write a detailed business plan, and perform a market analysis. These steps may be time-consuming and laborious, but will serve you well in the long run.
Make It Legal
Decide if you will operate from a business space or from home. If working from home, make sure you meet local zoning regulations. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for business licensing requirements. Contact your insurance agent for the proper type of insurance and coverage needed for your business. Look here for a more detailed discussion of legal considerations for your business.
Secure Start-up and Operational Funding
Get the capital you need to start your business and carry you through the first 3 to 6 months of operation. This cost calculator will help you put some numbers on your business expenditures and start-up funding requirements. Look here for list of various financing options to explore.
Establish Service Partner Relationships
Depending on the type of service you offer, create agreements, or partnerships, with companies, vendors, and agents you will use to provide your service to clients. Secure favorable pricing and scheduling assurances that allow you to operate efficiently, profitably, and in a timely manner.
Get Professionally Connected
A great place to start networking and establishing a presence in the concierge community is with the ICLM Directory (International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Directory). You’ll find a robust suite of business services available for the budding concierge professional.
Starting a concierge business can usually be accomplished with limited capital up front for a one person operation. If you plan to have employees or contractors, a business space, or multi-targeted services, your costs will increase. Much depends on your business goals, but with research and planning you can develop a business strategy that is competitive in your market, fits your expertise, and professionally serves the needs of your clients.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.