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9 Steps To Become a Personal Shopper for the Elderly

How to Become a Personal Shopper for the Elderly

1. Choose a niche-: There are different niches in this business and you may find it hard to do all therefore, it is more reasonable to select a niche or two to focus on. The most popular niche is grocery shopping. A personal grocery shopper for adults would be responsible for getting food items, groceries and other daily needs for elderly people. You can also become a medical/health shopper which would involve helping with refilling prescriptions, shopping for vitamins, getting good massage therapists and so on. You could also choose other niches like fashion shopping, furniture shopping, errand services and several others.
2. Get the required supplies-: You don’t really need much for this business but you would still need to get yourself a very reliable means of transportation which could be a car or a very good tricycle or motorcycle but a motor vehicle is better because you would have enough space to keep items when transporting them and you would also have the privacy that you need. You can hire a vehicle each time you need to make a delivery if you do not own a vehicle.
You also need a dedicated business phone with which your customers can reach you whenever they need to; your phone should also have an automatic answering machine service for times when you would be unavailable to pick your calls. It would also help if your business phone has a camera because there may be times when you would need physical confirmation before you make purchases; having a camera phone can make it easier for you to do this. A business card and a brochure with details of the services you offer and how you can be contacted should also be made.
3. Get Customers for your business-: In the beginning, you would need to work really hard to get customers and get them to trust you but eventually, when you have been able to build trust; a lot of your customers would come from referrals. To get customers when starting out, you would need to focus your attention on places where seniors visit a lot. For example, if there is a community center for seniors in your area, you could ask for permission to place your flyers in strategic places where they could be seen and picked up easily. You could also try other places like hospitals, massage parlors, religious centers, fitness centers, pension and insurance service providers among others. You could also advertise in newspapers, monthly newsletters from different groups and senior magazines. Offering attractive discounts also helps you penetrate the market when you start off.
4. Get insurance coverage-: I would also advice you to talk to your insurance provider about a suitable insurance coverage for this kind of business because there would be times when you may need to drive a client’s vehicle or handle something of theirs that may be very expensive; if in the course of carrying out your business, something unfortunate happens to their items in your care; you may be liable and without an insurance protection, things may get ugly. Therefore, you should try hard to commit a small percentage of your earnings to getting insurance protection.
5. Try to get some retail experience-: Like I already mentioned above, this may not be necessary but no knowledge gained is a waste. You can try working for an established personal shopper or working in a retail store to gain more knowledge and experience about this business.
6. Build a relationship with suppliers-: One of the ways by which personal shoppers make their money is by building relationships with suppliers and sellers of products such that they are able to get items cheaper than the market price. However, you should not give your clients the impression that you are pushing items that would bring earn you more income. You should give your customers the impression that their satisfaction comes first.
7. Create a Website-: Distance is no longer a barrier in business. You can live in New York and offer personal shopping services to someone who lives in Florida as long as you have a way to get your payment and get the items delivered. But before you can run your business online, you would need a website with enough reviews to encourage new customers to patronize you as well. You may think that you don’t need an online presence for your business since you would be working with senior citizens but you do because a lot of senior citizens use smartphones and are internet compliant. And even if they don’t, at least their relatives do.
8. Offer commission for referrals-: If you want to increase your client list faster, you should consider offering attractive rewards and commissions for referrals; this would encourage your customers to go through the pain of telling as many people as they can about your business.
9. Be transparent-: Honesty and transparency are key attributes you must possess if you desire to go far in this business. Let your clients perceive you as someone who is there to help and not solely to make money. You must also be patient because dealing with senior citizens requires a lot of patience and understanding.

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