How to Start an Errand Running Business

The modern life has become a busy life. People are working harder, spending less time at home, and finding fewer hours available to them to get some errands completed. That means someone looking for the perfect business opportunity might be able to get something profitable going by creating an errand running business. Everyone has personal tasks that need to be completed. By being able to complete these tasks for people during the day, you’re letting them spend more of their personal time on personal matters. That’s valuable.

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If you want to know how to start an errand running business, then you’ve got to be willing to do virtually any task that might be needed. Running to get some coffee is just one aspect of this business. Someone might need you to pick up their dry cleaning and deliver it by a specific time. A company might hire you to pick up marketing materials that are printed weekly. To get started, here is what you’re going to need to do.

1. Are you authorized to open up a home-based business opportunity from your home?

There are two points of emphasis that must be examined here. The first is that some communities have zoning laws against having a home-based business of this sort. Some zoning laws are so strict that even some digital businesses that are 100% computer based could be technically illegal. If you are renting your home, then your lease may forbid you from running a business out of your home. A simple call to your landlord and governing administrative offices can answer these questions pretty effectively.

2. How much of your home can become a home office?

Most people starting an errand running business aren’t going to be able to afford their own commercial space. By designating a home office area that is used strictly for business purposes, you’ll be able to have the working space you need and a second benefit as well. Home offices are something that may provide deductions on your taxes in a prorated fashion. Your mortgage, monthly rent, insurance, and utilities that are associated with your home office space can be deducted as a percentage. If you have 10% of your home as a home office, for example, then 10% of your monthly rent is considered a business expense.

3. Get the details of your business set up.

The first official business decision that you’ll need to make is to choose the name of your company. If you using anything besides your own name, then you’ll need to register your business name with your local government office. There is usually a fee for this service and you’ll also need to create banking accounts in the name of your business. They can be a dba account, but it will still need to be separate from your personal finances.

Once the naming of your business is settled, you’ll also need to obtain a vendor’s license. Almost all jurisdictions require errand running businesses to pay sales taxes on services rendered. You’ll be able to charge your customers for the sales tax that is due, but you’ll need to file your taxes 2-4 times per year and pay the sales taxes that are due from the services that you’ve rendered.

4. Insurance may be needed in multiple forms.

The primary insurance that you’re going to need for your business is general liability. This is a catch-all type of policy that can have riders attached to it to meet specific needs. You’ll want this because if you’re using your personal vehicle for business purposes and have an accident, the auto insurance might not cover your losses. The general liability insurance, on the other hand, will help to fill in the gaps.

5. Pick a niche service to begin marketing.

Instead of offering to run every errand that could possibly be needed in your community, focus on providing a specific niche service that households and busy working professionals would need to have met. Here are some ideas that have proven to be popular in many communities so far.

  • Dinner delivery services from restaurants that don’t offer their own delivery services.
  • Grocery store errands for those who are home bound or busy executives that don’t have enough time to browse through fresh produce.
  • General executive delivery services that include coffee, lunch, dry cleaning, and other daily chores that need to be complete.

Every community will have unique needs that must be met. Retirement communities tend to need more grocery runners. Urban areas have more executive needs. Rural communities that are in the 5k-10k population size have found a spot for meal delivery services. Examine local needs and then adapt your business profile to match.

6. Begin marketing yourself.

It’s going to be slow going at first. People need to get to know you and what services you’re planning to offer. Then they need to begin trusting you. Your marketing details can spell out exactly what you provide, how you provide it, and how much you plan on charging. Have business cards created that can be handed out to everyone you meet. Make appointments with business executives to see how your business could fit in as a daily contractor.

7. Set a schedule now and then try to fill it up.

Many business will take whatever work comes their way, but that’s not always the best way to go. Set the schedule you’d like to work now and then begin booking appointments based on that schedule. Otherwise it’s far too easy to get trapped in working extra hours that aren’t wanted because you’ve allowed the time to be booked without control.

8. Now you’re ready to develop a website.

Once you start booking appointments with face-to-face meetings, you’re ready to begin developing a website that can help to facilitate orders. A simple website that allows people to place certain items on your available calender and pay in advance for them is one of the best ways to stay booked in a consistent way.

If you want to know how to start an errand running business, then these 8 steps will get you up and running in no time at all. Once you get started, then your work ethic and ability to provide quality results will make you stand out and eventually help start making a profit.