A senior concierge business offers a world of opportunities, catering to your preferences, regardless of whether you reside in a quaint town or a bustling metropolis. It doesn’t demand any formal qualifications or costly certifications; instead, it relies on your practicality, adept organizational skills, unwavering integrity, a genuine empathy for the elderly, and most importantly, a resolute can-do mindset.
Tips on Starting a Senior Concierge Business
Commencing your elder concierge services venture can either be a straightforward and rapid journey or a protracted and challenging endeavor. So why endure unnecessary difficulties? Embrace these ten guidelines to streamline the launch of your concierge business, ensuring it’s a seamless, efficient, and expeditious process.
Choose the Service You Want to Specialize In
The first important step in every senior care concierge business is to list the services you plan to offer. Think about what people might need and what’s popular in your area. Some people focus on running errands, some like managing homes, and others enjoy grocery shopping, pet care, providing company, or assisting seniors with computer problems. There are more than twenty services that seniors often want. Talk to other senior care providers to find out what services are in demand in your town. Once you’ve decided, create a list that can be part of your flyer, brochure, Craigslist ad, or website. At the end of the list, it’s a good idea to say, “If you need something not on the list, just ask us.” This way, you can ensure you meet all your clients’ needs, as you might miss a few services when making the initial list.
Know Your Market
Like any business, it’s important to know who your customers are before you start. When it comes to a senior care concierge service, you need to understand how different generations get along and what your clients like and need. For example, when you hire people, older generations might trust someone more if they don’t have lots of tattoos and a wild hairstyle, but instead, they wear a neat uniform. Also, many of your senior clients might not be good with technology. So, if you share special deals, coupons, or important information using online platforms like messenger or email, you should also provide it in another way, like a paper newsletter or just call them personally.
What’s the Name of Your Business?
It’s time to come up with a name for your senior concierge business. Choose something that’s easy to remember and sounds interesting. For instance, names like “Helpful Hands,” “All-in-One Service,” or “Your Town Concierge” are good ideas. You can also add your town’s name or your own name to make it more personal. Ask your friends and family for their thoughts. Do they like it? Also, make sure to check with your state authorities to ensure that no one else is already using the name, and that it’s not registered or trademarked by someone else.
Many older folks might require a concierge service for tasks that come with some legal risk. Tasks like handling money at the bank or shopping for clients without a prearranged payment method can be tricky if mistakes happen or money is lost. To handle these jobs, you need to set up systems and rules. This includes writing down all the details of what you do, and having the client agree that it was done correctly. You can also have family members or clients get prepaid cards for shopping or make arrangements with local stores to pay later if they offer that.
Another task for seniors that can be risky is picking up prescription medicines. Depending on the medicine, you might need to fill out forms, show ID, or even get permission from the client’s doctor before you can get the medicine for them. Also, if controlled medicines get lost or stolen between when you pick them up and when you deliver them to the client, you could get in legal trouble. So, it’s important to have clear rules and steps for this type of task. For example, you can keep the medicines in a locked box in your car until you deliver them, and keep careful records. If possible, arrange for the pharmacy to deliver the medicines directly.
Don’t Spend Too Much Money
When you’re beginning your business, try not to spend your money hastily. Before you purchase something, ask yourself, “Is this really necessary?” If you have a dependable car and a cellphone, you’re already set with the basics. It’s a good idea to work from home to save money on renting an office space, utilities, and other expenses. Be thrifty and cautious until your business is making a steady and reliable income.
Think About Your Client’s Family
You should also know that you’ll often talk to the family of elderly clients because they handle money and health matters. But always remember, your main focus is the client you’re helping. If there’s a disagreement between the client and their family, especially about money, check if the family has the legal right to decide. For example, if the client makes a shopping list, but their daughter wants different items, you should follow what the client wants unless you have legal proof that the daughter can decide. You have a service contract with your client, so it’s essential to stick to what they asked for. In these situations, good communication and a bit of tact can help a lot.
Get Necessary Training
Training for senior concierge services is vital to ensure that caregivers have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality care for elderly clients. This training typically covers a range of topics, including understanding the specific needs and challenges of seniors, effective communication techniques, safety protocols, and the importance of empathy and patience when dealing with older individuals. Caregivers may also receive training in areas such as first aid, medication management, and handling emergencies. Furthermore, ongoing training and updates are crucial in this field, as it helps caregivers stay current with best practices and the evolving needs of their senior clients.
Set Fair Rates
Many fresh faces in the senior concierge business often make the error of not charging adequately to cover all their expenses. It’s common because they might not have the experience to foresee all the little costs like licenses, bookkeeping fees, social security taxes, vehicle upkeep, or insurance, which can accumulate over time. A good practice is to add about 30-35% to your own wages. This helps you arrive at a reasonable rate that ensures profitability and keeps your clients content. Rates can vary nationally, typically ranging from around $20 an hour in smaller towns and rural areas to as much as $50 an hour in larger cities.
Having the correct insurance coverage is crucial to safeguard your business in the event of a lawsuit or a claim. It’s wise to have a chat with a nearby independent insurance agent to determine the specific requirements for a concierge business in your state.
Look for Clients
Once your business is up and you’ve defined the services you intend to provide, it’s time to begin seeking customers, and you don’t need a large number of them. Valuable referrals can often come from local senior service providers, such as those working in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, elder law attorneys, and volunteers at the nearby senior center. Another option is to place a free advertisement on Craigslist to attract new clients, and consider advertising in local newsletters targeting the over-55 community. Additionally, distributing flyers or leaving brochures at the senior center can help raise awareness about your services.
After you’ve served your initial clients satisfactorily for a period, don’t hesitate to request referrals from them. Let them know that your business is still in its expansion phase and that you’re looking for additional great clients like them. To sweeten the deal, consider offering a reward, such as two complimentary grocery shopping trips, in exchange for referrals that result in new regular clients.
Set-Up Your Senior Concierge Business and Serve the Elderly
With these guidelines in hand, you’re well on your way to establishing a thriving senior concierge business that truly makes a difference in the lives of older adults. Don’t wait, take that first step now and make a positive impact in your community while building a successful business for yourself!