Concierge Business Idea
If you love problem solving, are detail oriented and have great customer service, you may have what it takes to start a concierge business.
What is a Concierge?
The French word " concierge" originally was used to describe a caretaker of an apartment or hotel.
A more modern image of a concierge is of Hector Elizondo’s character in “Pretty Woman,” always ready to solve problems for his guests.
But for a low cost home business idea, consider a concierge business that you can conduct from the comfort of your own home office: a virtual concierge business.
What is a Virtual Concierge Business?
A virtual concierge works with her clients via computer, fax and phone. She may perform duties in person depending on the types of services offered.
Need to pick up dry cleaning or a graduation gift? How about make dinner reservations for the boss and his wife? Plan evening entertainment for the big conference coming up? Or research vacation locations?
A virtual concierge can do the research or running around, giving clients more free time for work or leisure.
What You Need to Start a Concierge Business
As you can imagine, a concierge could be asked to do any number of things. A recent article about concierge service VIPdesk.com recalled how one unusual assignment was to provide monkeys for a birthday party.
You may not need to do that, but you will need equipment, including a good computer with high speed Internet, e-mail and fax and a phone where you can be easily reached.
To start a concierge business, you will especially need to have an in-depth of knowledge of your town, and the ability to research and find answers.
What new restaurants are opening? What’s the weather like in Fiji? Where’s the coolest city playground? Where should you go shopping for a present for a teenage boy? What florist should you use for apology flowers?
Be active in your community so you’ll be in the know. Avidly read the local business and entertainment sections of the newspaper. Join the Chamber of Commerce and be sure to network.
As you network, make sure people know about your business. Offer interesting suggestions when someone says, “Where should we go for lunch?” Be creative in selecting presents. Demonstrate your skills whenever you can. Word of mouth advertising is a great way to grow your business.
Focus of Your Business
In addition to developing resources in your community, you’ll need to target your business, especially as you begin, so you do not get overwhelmed with more requests than time. If you prefer to be out and about, you might also start an errand business.
Or, if you prefer to work in your pajamas, a personal assistant business would allow you to do more work via your computer and phone.
To find clients, write to the CEOs of area businesses explaining how your services can make their lives easier. Be sure to do a little background on them so your letters are personal and tailored to them (just like your service would be).
Hotels may also be interested in outsourcing some of their concierge duties.
As your business grows, you may want to hire more people to meet demand. Or, you can hire a virtual concierge of your very own.