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Introduction to Errand Runner USA

Discussion in 'Introductions & Networking' started by ErrandRunnerUSA, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. ErrandRunnerUSA
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    ErrandRunnerUSA 90 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Hi,



    My name is Kendra. I am the owner of Errand Runner USA. I help entrepreneurial females find more time in their day so they can focus on their businesses and make more money.

    How do I do that? Running basic errands: grocery shopping, pick up/drop off dry cleaning, taking their pets to the vets, and more. Other tasks include: hosting parties (party assistant), light cooking, walking dogs, house sitting, making restaurant reservations, and more.

    I joined this forum because I need guidance/advice with Errand Runner USA. This is my first business so I am learning new things as I go.

    Are there any more books I can read to improve my mindset and business?
     
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  2. Vigilante
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    Vigilante Warp 6 Staff Member FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    why females?
     
  3. ErrandRunnerUSA
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    ErrandRunnerUSA 90 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    My business helps everyone; however, my focus is on female entrepreneurs. Females entrepreneurs make up about half of the businesses created in the United States (Some Facts About Women Entrepreneurs).

    Furthermore, my mentor told me obtaining a specific marketing niche attracts a larger audience. I tested her theory. Currently, I have as many male clients as I have female clients.

    Alison Armstrong (creator of PAX) teaches the differences between men and women. Because of these differences, I believe females will need/use Errand Runner USA more than men. (My male clients have not used my business as many times as my female clients).

    I am passionate about helping females because I am a female. I understand womens' needs. Women multitask. Focusing on one thing at a time is a challenge (for most women--not all). I am here to help them take care of the lists inside their heads.

    Many businesses do not understand womens' needs (Niche Marketing). My business caters to womens' needs.

    I am passionate about this business. I love helping people!
     
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  4. wade1mil
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    wade1mil >8^) Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Hi Kendra, is this service similar to Task Rabbit?

    Are men not as good at multi-tasking? In my experience, the men I have worked with are great at multi-tasking. The women with children are great at multi-tasking as well :)

    Yes, this one if you haven't already:

    The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime.: MJ DeMarco: 9780984358106: Amazon.com: Books
     
  5. ErrandRunnerUSA
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    ErrandRunnerUSA 90 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thank you Wade1mil,

    Great questions!

    I am still reading The Millionaire Fastlane. I am on chapter 20 currently. I have a lot more to learn. All my business partners have finished reading The Millionaire Fastlane. After reading this book, our business model is following a similar model to Task Rabbit. Our previous model lacked passivity--huge flaw. I spent my own time running errands; I was thinking like a self-employed person rather than a business owner.

    Task Rabbit will be our competitor; however, our focus is on businesses. We will help anyone (including household errands). However, businesses have more money. Task Rabbit focuses on household errands while we run errands specifically for businesses.

    Task Rabbit has many flaws; our goal is to make Errand Runner USA a better version of Task Rabbit. Some examples of Task Rabbit's flaws: weak customer service. Clients have to post their jobs online in great detail before talking with a human. Errand Runner USA will allow the clients to talk with our contractors to discuss tasks/errands. The clients will have the choice of calling Errand Runner USA's number and talk with me (hopefully we can hire a manager soon) to find a suitable contractor, or the client can directly call a contractor they are interested in hiring.

    As for multitasking, men's and women's brains function differently. Most men are not as good at multitasking as women. Furthermore, most women are not as good at focusing on one thing at a time as men. This is what I have researched and learned. Bobbi Palmer (Date Like A Grown-up), Alison Armstrong (PAX), and a few books (sorry, I can't remember the titles) are some of my references. For example, most programmers are males because it requires intense single focused tasks. Many females are secretaries/customer service representatives (answering phones, making appointments, talking to people standing in front of them).

    I tried making this message as short as possible. I hope it's not too long! Do you or anyone else have any other advice for me?

    Thank you so much for your time Wad1mil! Time has a new meaning to me since I have read the book :)
     
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  6. PatrickP
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    PatrickP 120 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    I like that you are concentrating on one segment of the population.

    Makes a GREAT story, gives your business direction and can be used when looking to get publicity in addition to all the other reasons you mentions such as your understanding that segment and being able to connect better.
     
  7. wade1mil
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    wade1mil >8^) Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    There was a thread recently about Task Rabbit and a few members commented that a lot of the jobs were fake. People posting stupid jobs like make me a cupcake and bring it to my work. Those were started by individuals, so I can see where it makes more sense to focus on businesses.

    Will there be some sort of screening process for the errand runners?

    Are you going to start locally and then expand?
     
  8. Mike39
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    Mike39 170 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Listen up...

    Only advice I can give is find a new business, that is my honest (honest!) opinion. Why?

    1) Females only, great, you just removed 50% of your market, you just halved all your possible sales. Plus if it were males only, it would be called sexist, reverse sexism is just awesome aint it?

    2) Marketing to Entrepreneurs, great, you just narrowed down your market more, female entrepreneur numbers are declining in the US if I remember right as well. Also, generally a lot of "entrepreneurs" are strapped for cash, not necessarily the 1st person I would try and reach out to in order to have give me their money

    3) Competition! Task Rabbit has spent millions on setting up their system, can you provide what they do? Why will female entrepeneurs pay more to use your site then they would on task rabbit, if you think just they will choose you just because your site is aimed towards them, you are wrong, both services are exactly the same, they will choose the cheaper, more reputable, more reliable service (TaskRabbit). To put that previous sentence in other terms, would you hire "BeaverHeaver Suzies" to clean your pink carpet (for $80) over Stanley Steamers (for $45) just because they say they love pink carpets on their website and SS doesn't???

    4) Passive. I hope to god you are not running these errands yourself, talk about trading time for money

    I might be wrong but I suggest you take a good long look at your business before you spend another DOLLAR on it, don't suger coat anything, don't say "oh I just know it will do well", look at the cold hard facts & numbers

    Thank me later,
    Mike
     
  9. kraze
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    kraze 40 kph Speedway Pass

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    @Mike39 No need to berate the OP; and by your logic, blacksocks.com and many other successful niche based businesses should never have been in existence.

    @Kendra I would change the layout of your site, it looks slightly dated. You might also want to have a stronger USP.
     
  10. Mike39
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    Mike39 170 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Lol :smilielol: I guess time will tell

    If I had to bet my house on the success or failure of her biz.......... well I wont berate

    by the way. Berate? I said this is my honest opinion, nothing more, I think I made some quite valid points
     
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  11. Brander
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    Brander 60 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    If you can find TaskRabbit's soft belly (LOL), fine. I can understand that some women like to deal with a business run by women for women. You have to ask yourself - how many, then proceed (or not).
     
  12. PatrickP
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    PatrickP 120 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    Well I am going to take an opposing view. I never heard of task rabbit. But if a local person left a door tag on my (well ahh door :) ) I would for sure tell my wife about it and she would most likely use the service.

    As to limiting how many people might use your service my company only has a few million potential customers and so far we have not run out of new customers.

    I actually think this is preferred for me and my thinking. I have basically zero chance competing in markets where almost everyone is a potential customer. Reason is the HUGE companies want those spaces. The space I am in is small enough to make it of almost zero interest to HUGE companies, and yet is tough enough to get started in to make it difficult for a tiny startup person to get into it.

    In addition to this there are still quite a few people, usually older people who are not online who would be receptive to a local person running errands as opposed to using task rabbit. For this reason I would suggest the OP have a feet on the ground organization going door to door. So if you get a homemaker who is not a business woman no biggie.
     
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  13. AndrewNC
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    AndrewNC Hello FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Kendra - How do I know I can trust the person who is running these errands for me? Is it you, or will it be a random person when you scale out? Perhaps your (future) employees can post pictures/video/profiles on your site so the customer get to know them and trust them before they use your services. And requiring them to pass a background check would be a good trust builder as well.
     
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  14. Vigilante
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    Vigilante Warp 6 Staff Member FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I think we would use this service if it were available in our area. Time is extremely valuable.
     
  15. mlangley
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    mlangley 20 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    Franchise it.
     
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  16. PatrickP
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    PatrickP 120 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    I don't see your age so I don't know how old you are.

    Do you own a house?

    How do millions of people trust the cable guy, the A/C repair guy and on and every day?

    If a person shows up at your door with the groceries you ordered via phone or online I would say there is a good chance they are not there to kill you.
     
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  17. ErrandRunnerUSA
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    ErrandRunnerUSA 90 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Yes, right now we are working on a screening process for errand runners. This is a road block we must overcome. We are researching a variety of background check programs, general liability insurances, and we are creating a GPS system specifically for Errand Runner USA so we can keep track of our contractors while they are out in the field (an iphone/android may be required for this program). The contractors can purchase their own iphones/androids or they can get Errand Runner USA's iphones/androids (a deposit will be required if contractors decide to get an Errand Runner USA iphone/android). This deposit will be returned to the contractors when they give Errand Runner USA the iphone/android back. Furthermore, contractors must show us proof of automobile insurance in order to be hired. We are still working on the screening process.

    Errand Runner USA requires money for services up front via Paypal (or Paypal credit card system). Miscellaneous purchases need to be paid up front as well (miscellaneous purchases include: grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, mailing packages, and more). Clients must buy at least 2 hours worth of services in order for us to do business. Any hours or funds appropriated for miscellaneous purchases that are not used will remain as credit in our system or can be refunded to the client after completion of a job.

    Task Rabbit allows anyone to post jobs online. Task Rabbit shows these jobs instead of showing the locations of their Task Rabbits. Our clients will have the choice of either calling us or directly contacting a runner online. If the client choses to directly contact the runner then a text message and e-mail will be sent to that specific runner. If the specific runner is not available, then an automatic e-mail or phone call will be sent to the client and ask them if they would like to use a different runner. If the client chooses to contact Errand Runner USA, we will automatically text 3 of the runners in the client's location. The runners have exactly 1 hour to contact the client. If the client has not been contacted by an errand runner in 1 hour a 2nd set of texts will be sent to 3 different errand runners (we have a software tracking phone system that allows us to do this). This insures the clients will be contacted by an errand runner and not hassled by too many runners. It is the runner's responsibility to contact the client.

    The runners and clients will not circumvent the system because they will want to be financially protected via the site. The clients want to ensure they are paying for accurate hours and mileage tracked. Our system will make a visual report for the clients. The report will include a map of distance traveled including the times each worker spent at every location. This is all automated via our iphone/android time tracking GPS software (we will sell this product to more businesses :)). Therefore, insuring accurate hours for billed services.

    We are going to start locally and then expand--yes! We are testing our business in Los Angeles and Orange County currently. Then we will expand to San Diego if all goes well.
     
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  18. PatrickP
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    PatrickP 120 kph Read The Millionaire Fastlane

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    I originally said I would use this service.

    The way I understand the above I never would use the service. Too complicated. I want something simple and not be HOPING some runner will respond.

    I want to hire Errand Runner, not some nameless faceless helper who may or may not send me a text. I want to go online at errand runner, Pay my money via Pay Pal and know my groceries will be delivered the next day at 2 PM.
     
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  19. AndrewNC
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    AndrewNC Hello FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    PatrickP - I just think knowing who is walking your dogs, taking your suit to the cleaners, buying your food, etc. would help ease the concerns of some customers vs. it being a completely random person that you know nothing about. Not saying they would come and kill you, maybe the background check is just going a little too far (perhaps my past LEO background changed some of my outlook on society). But if I can put a face to who is doing these tasks for me, I think that might be the point that makes or breaks if I will use the service.
     
  20. x11joex11
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    x11joex11 10 kph

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    Hi Patrick, I just want to note, that she gave '3' different ways you could get contacted. You don't have to wait for 3 texts to come to you, you can directly call the main number and she would arrange an errand runner for you OR you could just give your information and an errand runner would contact you 'for you'. There was also the option for you to choose your own Errand Runner. It seems fine to me, I like having lots of options. It's not as complicated as it seems, just 3 different options. In your case you would want to be contacted right away, her system would let you do that. That is better than task rabbit.
     
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