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Search Results for: concierge

Let’s look at a personal concierge service

I don’t get Entrepreneur Magazine sometimes. According to an article in the Las Vegas Business Press, Entrepreneur Magazine named a personal concierge service called “My Girl Friday” as one of the “hottest new franchises” in 2005. The first franchise was launched in 2005! How can a personal franchise business with one franchise in the personal concierge industry (seems I’ve been hearing its the hottest thing for the past 10 years) be named the “hottest” with ONE franchise? The article’s author showcases her lack of business knowledge in this paragraph: Hagenmaier projects that the Las Vegas operation of My Girl Friday will grow from one person to having from five to ten employees in the next 18 months. The company hires independent contractors, which mostly appeals to people willing to work flexible hours. Brommenschenkel explains that college students and retired workers make ideal independent contractors, because of their flexible schedules. By definition independent contractors are not employees. It’s a small issue but that stood out to me. Here’s more of the business description: Services cost clients anywhere from $30 to $60 an hour, depending on the chore…My Girl Friday offers a full menu of services including traditional concierge services, personal chefs, errand running, pet care, party planning and assisting with business tasks. She sounds like a personal assistant. So people will hire this woman as both a personal chef or party planner in Las Vegas? I suppose it is possible. In my opinion, there are not many errands worth $60/hour. Most things for a minimal fee can be delivered and arranged quickly from a web site or one minute telephone call (travel, food delivery, dry cleaning, courier, pet sitter or walker). This business will be fighting technology and streamlined personal services offered directly from the service supplier (remember what happened …

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Mobile Oil Changes

One concept I heard about several years back that I still think is a good idea are mobile oil changes franchises.  Specifically, those franchises that contract with large businesses to service their employees’ cars in the parking lot while they’re working. Providing businesses and office buildings (especially in the suburbs where everyone parks in the same lot) with on-site routine services such as dry cleaning, child care, oil changes, and other concierge type is tremendously convenient. Often, in the case for oil changes, there is only a time saving benefit and no extra cost to the employer unless they want to subsidize it. The oil change “van” is customized to hold the equipment to rapidly suck out the old oil and pump in the fresh oil (I’m sure companies use different methods, but that is how I understand one method). While the employees are working, the oil changer collects the keys and car descriptions. In a few hours and $25 later, the employee has a freshly oil auto. The employer has probably gained a half-hour of work from the employee. Maybe the franchisee offers other services, like windshield repair, minor maintanence, car detailing, tire changes, or inspections…maybe even a mobile mechanic. I would feel comfortable selling and coordinating this type of service with corporate customers. You have a very compelling story with real cost and time savings for the employees. A quick search on my favorite search engine turned up these companies: Oil Butler Lube N’ Go On Site Lube …readers can post more in the comments If you want to start this business on your own, the equipment per truck costs about $10,000. I haven’t heard of the big guys (Penzoil, Jiffy Lube, you know who they are) getting into this, but don’t be surprised if the do. …

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Is caring for the elderly a profitable business?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article profiling an in-home elderly care franchisee. Home Instead and the other senior-care franchisees pay caregivers somewhere between $8 and $12 an hour and charge clients about twice that amount. In the highly competitive Chicago market, the Melingers charge clients $18 an hour, with a minimum of two or three hours a day, or $180 a day for 24-hour care. They also provide a “rise and shine” or “tuck in” service, for $200 to $280 a week. The Melingers declined to reveal just how lucrative their business is, but FranchiseHelp, a consulting firm in Elmsford, N.Y., provides some guidelines for similar businesses. In 2002, for example, a franchisee of Homewatch Caregivers in Denver, with 60 workers, took in gross revenues of $1,265,324 and paid out $1,141,578 in expenses that included royalties and the franchisee’s salary, leaving a profit of $123,746. Their isn’t inventory to deal with, which is very nice. But that time is otherwise spent on finding and hiring responsible people they trust enough to send into an elderly person’s home. The franchisee said almost 1/2 the people don’t even show up for the their interviews and many quit after a few days. Ugh! If you can maintain a steady staff, you can easily open a 2nd conierge style business, which we discussed perviously. I’m neutral on elderly care franchises right now because they are heavily commonditized business (the market controls the fee level, it’s hard to charge more than $18/hr with all the competition). I am also hesitant when so much depends on finding qualified low wage employees that must work independently (unlike a retail location where managers can monitor what you do).

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