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Old 28th December 2011, 01:43 PM   #1
stevek1
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Default Shopping/Errand Service-Only $10 Hr But No Customers

ok so I had this great idea for a shopping/errand service for people who have trouble getting around. I posted an ad looking for people to do the jobs,and I have been overwhelmed with responses. I also placed a couple ads looking for customers,but have yet to get one response so far. Anyhow the way it will work is if someone needs some shopping done and calls me. I will call a driver/walker in the area,and get them to do it. The customer will begin to be charged when the shopper gets at the store. I will ask my shopper to pay for the item ,and he/she will be reimbursed by the customer when he/she delivers the goods. If a larger amount of money is involved then my shopper may require the payment beforehand,so he or she would have to pick it up from customer first,or get the customer to call in a credit card # to store. There will also be a $10 administrative fee for each job,which the customer has to pay. The minimum charge will be 1 hr,so that would be $20 minimum. Anyhow I really that this idea would fly,since there must be sooo many people out there who need things at times but just cant get out to the store due to physical disabilities,lack of time,bad weather etc. Therefore any feedback on this idea is greatly appreciated!

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Old 29th December 2011, 09:55 AM   #2
daveb1
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Hi Steve,

There are lots of online delivery services that do exactly what you describe and have been in business forever (pink dot is just one example). Although your idea sounds like it should work you may have trouble landing new customers at the prices you mention. In your post you state that 1 delivery of anything will cost at least $30 (1 hr minimum + admin fee). The reason people can most likely not afford this:

-They friends/family/associates that can get them places for far less then $30

-They can wait 2 days to have something delivered for $10

-They are not purchasing goods worth more then $30 so why pay $30 to get them

-people rich enough to afford these types of services already have assistants/helpers

Lots of grocery stores already have services like this so that takes out a huge portion of your business/products. What were you thinking the most common items people would order to have picked up? The most successful business like this I have seen usually attack a niche. Like maybe you could do food delivery for all the restaurants in your are that do not deliver. Thats the idea I have seen executed most successfully over time when the delivery business is not making money off the end product. This type of business is getting more competitive quick so will have to move fast to find your market. Best of luck!

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Old 29th December 2011, 01:37 PM   #3
stevek1
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"In your post you state that 1 delivery of anything will cost at least $30 (1 hr minimum + admin fee"

I dont know where you get $30,my math tells me 1 hour at $10/hr+$10 is only $20 not $30

Anyhow, after searching the net for about 1/2 hr,I found quite a few errand service companies. However very few of them had their prices listed. A few times I tried clicking on links to their supposed websites,but nothing came up. I tried calling a few of them ,but nobody ever answered the phone. Anyhow here are a couple of companies that did list their prices.

Senior Care
Call
416-892-9394
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Cooking, Cleaning and Shopping for SENIORS ONLY. 20 years experience. $45 per hour. References available. Share

if you go to the site below you will see they charge $30 hr

http://www.cantsomeoneelsedoit.ca/pricing.html

"They can wait 2 days to have something delivered for $10" you say

often they cant wait 2 days,or just figure why should they if for $10 more they can get it within a couple hours,maybe an hr.


"They friends/family/associates that can get them places for far less then $30"
Obviously this isnt always the case or there would be no need for errand services at all.

"people rich enough to afford these types of services already have assistants/helpers"

My service is affordable enough for "non rich" people,I believe,and there are certainly many many of us out there

"Lots of grocery stores already have services like this so that takes out a huge portion of your business/products"

I would argue that there are many non grocery items that people still need . Also I would think these grocery stores probably have minuimum orders,only delver a specific distance,and only during store hours as well.

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Old 30th December 2011, 10:45 AM   #4
stevek1
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I think that maybe most people ar much too paranoid to call and use a service like this,or else just too stupid to understand what this is about. Perhaps I should offer one on one courses,maybe about one hour long, to explain how this simple business is supposed to work.


Last edited by stevek1; 30th December 2011 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 31st December 2011, 04:54 PM   #5
stevek1
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Isnt this great . I have a way to completely undercut the competion,in an already established,or semi established industry,and nobody gives a damn. I say I can undercut the competition without any doubt whatsoever because I have dozens of people willing to work for me at $10 hr. I could not find any other companies at all that offer such low rates. The $10 I pay myself per job,is not a lot ,and I think that most people wouldnt argue with that either.

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Old 31st December 2011, 10:44 PM   #6
Hugha
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"or else just too stupid to understand what this is about."

Underestimating the intelligence of your customers is a pretty sure way of not getting/keeping customers.

Where are you advertising your services? I would guess your target audience is primarily the elderly. My hunch is that market sector does not shop for services on the internet. So how do you reach out to them?

Are you bonded and insured? That might make customers more comfortable with your services.

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Old 1st January 2012, 12:12 AM   #7
Rachelz
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Default It might just require more marketing...

Hi Steve,

Your idea is not a bad one at all, and I have no doubt that it could be achieved.

Your competitive advantage is not hard to determine...you would be smaller than the majority of companies offering such a service and could therefore provide a real "personalized" and friendly service to your customers.

So why no customers yet? Well, you state:

"I also placed a couple ads looking for customers, but have yet to get one response so far."

Marketing a new business is a serious and somewhat lengthy endeavor. It will take some really creative marketing plans (if your budget is small) to get the word out and build credibility. After that, your quality of service should be your # 1 marketing tactic (i.e.: to grow and achieve repeat sales through word-of-mouth).

Consider approaching some other businesses in your area that provide services to your ideal customer and asking for referrals (offer them a referral fee). Try placing signage in local shop windows and on noticeboards. It will be people that are out and about wishing they weren't that will look at your service adverts and think "ok, next time I will call this person instead of having to be here!".

Don't get disheartened so easily. And if you find that this idea is not the right business for you, something else will be. Just don't give up!

Best of luck...

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Old 5th January 2012, 02:12 PM   #8
The Diamond Pen
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Default Are you speaking to your customers?

I might also add that the way your craft your messaging to potential customers can make all the difference. Certain demographics tend to be attracted by particular words and phrases. Are you keeping that in mind when advertising?

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Old 9th January 2012, 11:00 AM   #9
EricB
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In my opinion I think you need to be a bit more professional if you want to be running a business. If you didn't write your posts and you read them what impression would you have of that person.

Quote:
I think that maybe most people ar much too paranoid to call and use a service like this,or else just too stupid to understand what this is about. Perhaps I should offer one on one courses,maybe about one hour long, to explain how this simple business is supposed to work.

Quote:
Isnt this great . I have a way to completely undercut the competion,in an already established,or semi established industry,and nobody gives a damn. I say I can undercut the competition without any doubt whatsoever because I have dozens of people willing to work for me at $10 hr. I could not find any other companies at all that offer such low rates. The $10 I pay myself per job,is not a lot ,and I think that most people wouldnt argue with that either.

Remember you get one chance to make a first impression and if I was a potential customer of yours and saw those posts I would not think of you as professional. It's understandable to get frustrated at times, but what you say in a public place is important to potential customers. Rather than trying to prove daveb1 wrong with the math you should listen to the advice he gave you. That doesn't mean you have to take it, but maybe consider it.

Quote:
The most successful business like this I have seen usually attack a niche. Like maybe you could do food delivery for all the restaurants in your are that do not deliver. Thats the idea I have seen executed most successfully over time when the delivery business is not making money off the end product. This type of business is getting more competitive quick so will have to move fast to find your market. Best of luck!
If you can't take a little criticism on a forum where you asked for peoples opinions, what will you do when you have a customer that has a complaint?

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