The largest population group in the United States today is the Baby Boomer generation. The youngest members of this generation just reached the age of 50. More than 8,000 Baby Boomers are retiring from the work force every day. This means niche services that help to meet their senior needs are going to continue seeing an increase for demand.
That’s why knowing how to start a senior concierge business could be a way to start walking a path that leads you to financial success. If you’re willing to meet some of the unique challenges of this population group, then the rewards could be quite substantial. Here is what you need to know in order to get started.
1. You Need to Know Your Market
Although a senior concierge business is going to be marketing itself toward Baby Boomers and their living parents, this isn’t a strong enough customer segment to create a business plan upon. You’re going to need to know the personal preferences, attitudes, and needs that each specific segment has in order to effectively meet their needs.
Did you know, for example, that many Baby Boomers don’t trust young people who have visible tattoos? Even if they have several tattoos themselves, the open display of the artwork communicates distrust to the senior population.
Seniors also tend to spend less time online than they do offline. You might be skilled in online marketing, but if your customer base isn’t online at all except to take a video call from the grandkids, then you still won’t achieve the level of success that you wish.
2. You Must Be Flexible
Being a senior concierge means needing to be flexible to ever changing needs. Seniors may find themselves physically limited to take care of daily living tasks, but they may also be financially limited as well. Nearly half of all Baby Boomers don’t feel like they’ve saved enough for their retirement. This means your business must be able to find a way to subcontract specific tasks, like mowing a lawn, or you must be willing to complete these tasks on your own.
Being a senior concierge also means taking on a lot of travel responsibilities over time. Those in the senior age demographics usually have more doctor’s appointments than the rest of the population, so you’ll need to be assisting individuals onto public transportation, taking them directly to their appointments, or referring them to a transportation agency to meet their needs.
3. You Must Manage the Legal Risk
The senior population is generally considered to be an at-risk customer segment, which means you need to be on your toes at all times when money is involved. If you are assisting a client who spends too much money at the grocery store or doesn’t receive the right amount of change, then you may be held liable for the losses.
It will be beneficial to develop relationships with local business owners to proactively avoid issues like this. Even something as simple as having a local line of credit at a store so that clients can shop now and pay later could save you from a major headache in the future.
4. Open Lines of Communication Are Important
When you’re serving as a senior concierge, you’re not just serving the individual. You’re also serving the family of the individual. They are going to want you to be in consistent communication with them about their family member. You may even be involved with discussions about who should hold the power of attorney or other situations.
What would you do if your client asks you to shop for some specific groceries, but the client’s family wishes you to take off certain items and add other items that are not wanted. If there is no legal power of attorney or cause for financial authority, it would be your duty to serve the client, not the client’s family.
Knowing how to start a senior concierge business means being able to think on your feet while providing safe, consistent services for your clients. You may be asked to pick up prescriptions, mow a lawn, or help someone get out of bed and into the bathtub. Diplomacy skills above anything else are going to benefit you during difficult situations, so focus on transparent actions, strong communication, and a solid business structure above everything else.
When you do, then you’ll be able to serve the growing retiree industry in a safe, yet still lucrative way.