Starting a Concierge Business

starting a concierge business

Job duties

Before starting a concierge business you should be aware of the different types of concierge services. Despite the variation of services, the main priority of all concierge businesses is to meet the clients’ needs and ensure they are satisfied. Below is a short description of the different types of concierge services. It is a good idea to choose one type of the concierge business to start and then you can choose to expand in the future. You should conduct market research to access which type of concierge service is more likely of success in your area.

Personal Concierge – There are many people in need of some assistance so their everyday lives can run more smoothly and efficiently; a personal concierge business is what they are needing. Personal Concierge (also known as personal assistant) will assist the client with a wide variety of services such as running errands, managing schedules, assisting with routine daily tasks, housekeeping duties, screening phone calls, organization, grocery shopping, and more.

Hotel concierge- The job duties of the hotel concierge are to assist guests and make sure they are satisfied during their stay. Other job duties include making recommendations for local attractions and nightclubs, making reservations, booking transportation, answering to guest queries, arranging for guests’ tours and trips, purchasing last minute tickets, interpreting, as well as handling incoming luggage and packages for the hotel. A hotel concierge may have other staff under them; if so they are responsible for supervising them. Similar concierge can be found in resorts and cruise ships.

Apartment Building Concierge- An apartment concierge is a general property caretaker. Job duties for an apartment building concierge will vary depending on what the employer requests. The job duties may include security, checking the grounds to ensure safety, finding a cab when a resident requests, and janitorial services.

Hospital Concierge- A hospital concierge can provide a wide range of services for employees and patients of the hospital including running errands, arranging for transportation, arranging a special dinner and more. Hospital concierge are there to help free up the employee’s valuable time while also making it a more pleasant experience for the patient.

Where will you work?

When starting a concierge business, urban areas with larger populations will most likely get more business.

Personal Concierge- Personal Concierge is not only for celebrities anymore. More and more people are seeking personal concierges because of their busy lifestyles. A good location to start a personal concierge business are areas with high population of people who can afford and are in need of personal concierge services. Areas with wealthy individuals and families can be a good spot. Look up ads on craigslist.com and other job sites to find out if there are a lot of people looking for concierge services in the area. You can also decide to post an ad searching for concierge services to check out your competition.

Hotel Concierge- If you are planning on starting a hotel concierge service, you should locate somewhere with a good amount of hotels. You should also research if the hotels in the area already have concierge services and whether they are willing to change service providers. Could your hotel concierge service offer them something your competition can not while still producing a profit? Look up ads on craigslist.com and other job sites to find out if there are a lot of hotels looking for concierge services in the area. You can also decide to post an ad looking for concierge services to check out your competition.

Apartment Building Concierge- When starting an apartment building concierge business, urban areas with a lot of apartment buildings and luxury high rise would be a good place to start. When choosing a location research the apartment buildings in the area. Find out if they are in need of concierge services, or if they are satisfied with current concierge services. Research your competition; is there anything you can give clients which your competition can not? Look up ad on craigslist.com and other job sites to find out if there are a lot of apartment buildings looking for concierge services in the area. You can also decide to post an ad looking for concierge services to get a look at your competition.

Hospital Concierge- When starting a hospital concierge urban areas and cities with a large population is ideal. You should research the hospitals in the area to discover if they can afford and are in need on hospital concierge services.

Basic costs

A great thing about starting a concierge business is that it is relatively inexpensive to start. You can start with a home office if zoning laws permit. Having a home office is a good idea at first, because having a separate office can be a big expense. However once your business begins to expand you can decide to have a separate office. Having insurance in case of an accident or theft can be a good idea. When starting a concierge service advertising will be one of your biggest costs. Additional basic costs include a computer with internet access, fax machine, business license, cell phone and employees’ salary.

Tips for starting a concierge business

  • List of contacts- Having connections will come in useful when running a concierge business. Knowing how to get last minute tickets to a sold out show or making great recommendations for a personal shopper will be very appreciated by customers and can set your concierge business apart from the rest. For a hotel concierge,
  • Be professional and have a positive attitude- As a concierge you are expected to be professional and willing to help at all times. For personal concierge businesses, you may be expected to be on call at a moments notice. Be sure that you are always courteous and polite. The way you present yourself is very important when starting a concierge business and can make all the difference.
  • Commissions- Concierge businesses can make commissions from stores and other businesses for recommending them. Hotels may already have a list of of partners and contacts which they arrange deals with but the concierge can have his/or personal contacts as well.
  • Set up a home office- This can help you a lot in cutting down your expenses. Get a different phone from your home phone. Ensure that you have call forwarding on your phone for those times you are out in the field. It is very crucial in this business to maintain customer communication so as not to miss money making opportunities.
  • Join an Association- You can learn valuable information about the business by joining an association. Finding a mentor with knowledge and experience in this field can also provide you with valuable advice.

Advertising a Concierge Business

Since there are several types of concierge services you can provide, advertising methods will vary. You try a variety of of advertising methods and keep track of them. Keep the methods that are working out the best for your business and dump the ones that are not.

  • Flyers- Determine if you can put up flyers in high end stores and places where your target market are likely to go.
  • Concierge Business Cards- Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears. Network as much as possible. Seek recommendations from friends and family.
  • Yahoo Local Searches- If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service in your local area your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
  • Google Local Searches- Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
  • Fundraisers and Charities- Donate your services to local fund raisers and charities in order to gain publicity. Have employees where t-shirts with the concierge business name.
  • Newspaper classified ads- Newspaper ads in your local newspaper can help spread the word about your concierge business.
  • Post ads online- Post ads on sites like craigslist.com offering your services. You can also use craigslist.com to find people looking for concierge services.
  • Website- When starting a concierge business a website is a good idea to provide clients with access to general information about your business.

Not sure about starting a concierge business? See a list of small business ideas

Do you have a business story or experience you would like to share?

Share with us your story on starting a concierge business

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Blogplay
  • email
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • RSS

Leave a Reply

Resources


Small Business Development Center- consult with experts

SCOREs - find a SCORES chapter near you to speak with a business consultant.

Small Business Administration- provides information for starting a small business.