How To Become a Personal Concierge (With Steps)
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Personal concierge businesses offer an exciting, creative way of providing services for busy people. You are self-employed and have the option of working from home. There is a high demand for personal concierge services due to the growing economy. In this article, we discuss what a personal concierge is, what a personal concierge does, how to become one, skills and the salary and job outlook.
What is a personal concierge?
A personal concierge is a person who makes arrangements and performs tasks on behalf of busy people. There are similarities between a personal concierge and a personal assistant—but a personal assistant usually works for a single company, while a personal concierge works as an independent contractor.
What does a personal concierge do?
A personal concierge offers services to serve the needs of their clients. Personal concierges can work on a long-term or short-term basis. A great advantage of having a personal concierge business is there are various niches to prosper in. They perform multiple tasks that involve making travel arrangements, shopping for groceries, taking care of pets and landscaping. Other duties may include:
Carrying out personal errands
Coordinating household chores
Handling dinner reservations
Providing carpet cleaning services
Repair and maintenance services
Pet care services
How to become a personal concierge
Becoming a personal concierge requires you to start a business where you can offer your services. Follow these eight steps to start a concierge business:
1. Create a business plan
When you want to start a new business, it is crucial to have a business plan to help you determine the costs you need to budget for, how to market your business and how to manage finances. Your business plan should factor in:
The startup costs
A great advantage of starting a personal concierge business is that it isn't capital intensive. This is because it's a service-based business, which means there is no need for inventory. Despite it being a service-based business, you should consider these costs:
Sales and marketing: When you want to advertise your concierge services, you need to create business cards and flyers to promote your business locally—and create a logo and website for your business online.
A phone and computer: These are essential tools you need to operate your business and communicate with clients.
Transportation costs: Distance shouldn't be an obstacle. You need to commute to wherever the client may be to offer your services.
Membership: You should become a member of the National Concierge Association. The association provides its members with benefits that include marketing advice, education, ideas and networking opportunities. The membership fee ranges from $90 to $280 yearly, but prices vary according to state.
Insurance: It may not be in your plan, but insurance provides your client with trust regarding your services and offers you protection in case of a claim or lawsuit.
Read more: How To Make a Business Plan
2. Target market
Your target market should be people who are busy and are financially capable of contracting your services. Your clients may consist of parents raising children, college students, adults who care for their physically disabled parents and older adults who can't take care of themselves. Look for clients who can highly benefit from your services and offer them a solution.
Read more: How To Identify a Target Market
3. Pick a niche
The personal concierge business is broad and you may find it challenging to decide what services to offer. Common niches personal concierges specialize in are grocery shopping, relocation services or running errands.
You must avoid attracting different clients simultaneously because this prevents you from attracting ideal clients to your business, resulting in lower profits. To help identify your niche, find the demand in your area and see how to meet it.
4. Choose a business structure
Before you obtain a business license or a federal tax number, you first have to register your personal concierge business under the proper legal structure. There are four types of business structures. These are:
Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business structure where one person is responsible for all the business's profits and debts. It is the best business structure for small businesses.
Partnership: This is a business structure where more than one individual shares all the business's profits and debts. The startup costs are lower than other business structures like LLCs and corporations. This business structure is simple to start and maintain.
Limited liability company (LLC): This is a business structure that combines the benefits of the corporation, partnership and sole proprietorship. An LLC gives you more legal protection because you are not responsible for the debts of a company.
A corporation: This is a business structure run by general management and owned by shareholders.
The majority of concierge businesses operate as either a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC), but choose a business structure that is suitable for your business.
5. Obtain the right business license or permits
Many small businesses need business licenses to operate in agreement with local, state and federal rules. Every state has different licensing protocols. Failure to comply with their protocols can result in penalties and fines and can shut down your business. There are a variety of business permits. Some are:
Business operating licenses: These are licenses issued by the city and state that grant you legal consent to run your business in your town. Each state and city has its regulations and requirements, so you may have to apply for these licenses separately.
Tax regulation: Your personal concierge business must meet all the tax regulation requirements, which means you may have to get several licenses for tax purposes. The majority of enterprises obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) that allows you to collect payroll taxes and hire employees.
Building and home occupation permits: These permits validate that the building in which you perform your operations meets the standards. A home occupation permit allows you to operate your business from home.
The process involved with getting business licenses depends on which type of license you obtain. You can look at the federal and state websites for more information. It is also advisable to seek legal advice to make sure you comply with the guidelines—and get the right licenses to start your personal concierge business.
6. Register your business
Your business name should be unique and captivating. Choose a name that people can remember and is easy to spell. You can add the name of your town or your first name into your business name—and inquire with close friends or family to see if they approve of it. After deciding on a name, you must go through measures to protect it. There are four ways to protect your name. Some serve different purposes, while others are legal requirements. These are:
Entity name: The state can require you to register for an entity name depending on which business structure you choose and your location. An entity name protects your business at the state level by preventing people in the state from using your entity name. Before registering for an entity name, check what rules your state may have for entity names because they may need specific requirements.
Get a DBA: If you want to operate as a sole proprietorship and have decided to use a different name from your own, you need to apply for a DBA (doing business as). A DBA allows you to manage your business with a different identity in whichever county, state or city location you choose. Some requirements vary with the business structure you choose, so check the local government's websites and visit government offices.
Get a trademark: Getting your business name trademarked prevents people from stealing it. You must first confirm whether your business name is already trademarked because there are trademark infringement lawsuits in all states where businesses operate.
7. Open a business account
When your business is ready to start accepting money, opening a business bank account provides legal compliance. The most common business accounts are a credit card account, savings account, checking accounts and merchant accounts.
A merchant or credit card account provides options of accepting debit card or credit card transactions from your client and ensures their personal information is secure. The benefits of having a business bank account are:
Protection: A business banking account offers you protection by separating your funds from business funds, which reduces the risk of losing your funds in case of a lawsuit.
Provides professionalism to clients: Your clients can pay with credit cards and write checks for your concierge business instead of making direct payments to you.
8. Market your business
After creating our logo and setting up your website, you need to start attracting visitors. You can begin by creating social media profiles on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and promote your business by informing audiences about your services.
You can also post your flyers in your neighborhood and give your family and friends business cards to promote your business on your behalf. You can also post free ads on Craiglist to help you find new clients.
Skills for a personal concierge
Having a successful personal concierge business requires a variety of skills. These are:
Problem-solving: This is an essential skill required in every job. You need to have the ability to identify and evaluate problems and find solutions to them.
Service Orientation: You must always look for ways to help and serve the needs of your clients.
Active listening: You must give full attention to what your clients are saying and understand their feedback.
Time management: You must have the ability to manage your client's time and your own. If your client wants a service done by a particular time, you must complete it by then.
Technical knowledge: You need to manage files and records and know about word processing and other software programs.
Customer service: You need to know the principles and processes involved in delivering customer service. This may include providing customer satisfaction, assessing their needs and offering quality services.
Empathy: You must be sensitive to your client's needs and emotions and show understanding.
Integrity: For you to earn the trust of your clients, you must be honest and ethical.
Dependable: Your clients are going to put their trust in you and your services. You must fulfill their obligations and be reliable, responsible and trustworthy.
Leadership: Having a personal concierge business requires you to handle your client's responsibilities and provide solutions.
Flexibility: You must always be open to change and welcome the possibilities of working in a different environment.
Self-control: You must have the ability to maintain your composure, keep your emotions under control and avoid becoming aggressive when confronted with difficult situations.
Independent: This job requires you to develop ways of achieving your duties without any supervision and without relying on anyone to do your tasks.
Communication: You must convey your thoughts and ideas to your clients clearly and positively.
Salary and job outlook
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for concierge services can increase from five percent to seven percent from 2019 through 2029. The average salary of a personal concierge is $38,233 per year ($14.13 per hour).
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