Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on April 21, 2022 Updated on November 28, 2023
$2,550 - $6,100
$78,000 - $292,000 p.a.
Time to build
0 – 3 months
$70,000 - $117,000 p.a.
Personal concierge services are similar to a hotel concierge’s services but go beyond that, adding elements of personal assistance work. Used by more and more professionals, as well as busy moms, a personal concierge might do your grocery shopping, pick up your dry cleaning, and make restaurant and travel bookings. The concierge services market is forecast for strong growth in the coming years, so you could start your own personal concierge service, get in on that market, and make a good living.
But first, you need to understand what’s involved in launching a business. Fortunately, the entire entrepreneurial process is detailed in this step-by-step guide, which will prepare you to start your successful personal concierge service.
Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.
Growth forecast – The global concierge service industry is projected to expand by nearly 44% by 2025 to reach $773 million.
Trends and challenges
Trends in the personal concierge industry include:
More and more companies are contracting with external personal concierge services to their upper-level managers as a benefit. This broadens the opportunity for personal concierge businesses to target a whole new market.
While concierge services used to be for the wealthy, they are increasingly being used by busy families and seniors. Many concierge businesses offer specific packages of services for those groups for one monthly charge.
Challenges in the personal concierge industry include:
When the economy faces challenges such as the current inflation situation, personal concierge services are often among the first expenses to be cut.
Personal concierge services may involve a lot of driving, so rising fuel costs can cut into profit margins.
Average level of education –The average concierge has a bachelor’s degree.
Average age – The average concierge in the US is 45.2 years old.
How much does it cost to start a personal concierge business?
Startup costs for a personal concierge business range from $2,500 to $6,000 assuming you already have a car. Costs include a computer and a website.
You could also get a membership in the National Concierge Association (NCA) for about $300 annually. After you have some experience and meet a few other qualifications you can become an NCA accredited associate and later a certified concierge, giving you added credibility.
Setting up a business name and corporation
$150 - $200
Business licenses and permits
$100 - $300
Business cards and brochures
$200 - $300
$1,000 - $3,000
$500 - $1,000
$500 - $1,000
$2,550 - $6,100
How much can you earn from a personal concierge business?
You can earn about $75 per hour for personal concierge services. Luxury concierge services, meaning more extensive services like event planning, can cost between $90 and $125 per hour. Your profit margin should be about 90%.
In your first year or two, you could have two clients for whom you work 10 hours a week, bringing in $78,000 in annual revenue. This would mean more than $70,000 in profit, assuming that 90% margin. As your business gains traction, you could have five clients at 15 hours a week. At this stage, you’d hire employees, reducing your profit margin to 40%. With annual revenue of $292,000, you’d still make an impressive profit of $117,000.
What barriers to entry are there?
The only barrier to entry for a personal concierge business is breaking into the market and finding your first clients.
Related Business Ideas
If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
Now that you know what’s involved in starting a personal concierge business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market.
Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.
Why? Identify an opportunity
Research personal concierge businesses in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a luxury concierge service or a corporate concierge service.
You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as event planning concierge services or an errand service for busy people.
This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.
What? Determine your products or services
You can offer any number of services as a personal concierge such as:
Restaurant reservations or travel arrangements
Errands like grocery shopping, putting gas in cars, picking up from the pharmacy
Dog walking and pet sitting
Appointment making and scheduling
How much should you charge for personal concierge services?
Prices for personal concierge services are $65 to $75 per hour. Luxury concierge services rates can go up to $125 an hour. Your costs will be limited to fuel, insurance, and marketing, so you should aim for a profit margin of about 90%.
Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Who? Identify your target market
Your target market is likely to be more established people and professionals, whom you can find on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Where? Choose your business premises
In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office. You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist, Crexi, and Instant Offices.
When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:
Central location accessible via public transport
Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Step 3: Brainstorm a Business Name
Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:
Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better
Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
Including keywords, such as “concierge” or “personal concierge”, boosts SEO
Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Personalized Concierge Services” over “Travel Concierge Services”
Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these.
Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.
Step 4: Create a Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
Executive Summary: A brief summary outlining the personal concierge business, including its mission, key objectives, and potential for success.
Business Overview: An overview of the personal concierge business, detailing its mission, vision, values, and the problem it aims to solve for clients.
Product and Services: A concise description of the specific services offered by the personal concierge business, such as errand running, event planning, and lifestyle management.
Market Analysis: An analysis of the target market for the personal concierge services, including demographics, needs, and trends that present opportunities for the business.
Competitive Analysis: An examination of competitors in the personal concierge industry, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and unique selling points to position the business effectively.
Sales and Marketing: A plan outlining how the personal concierge business will promote its services, attract clients, and generate revenue.
Management Team: A brief introduction to the key members of the personal concierge business team, highlighting their skills and expertise.
Operations Plan: Details on the day-to-day operations of the personal concierge business, covering tasks, schedules, and client interactions.
Financial Plan: A comprehensive overview of the personal concierge business’s financial projections, including revenue forecasts, expenses, and profit margins.
Appendix: Additional supporting documents or information, such as resumes of key team members, market research data, or legal documents, to provide a more in-depth understanding of the business.
If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.
Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business!
Choose where to register your company
Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to personal concierge businesses.
If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.
Choose your business structure
Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your personal concierge business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.
Here are the main options:
Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)– Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have.
The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.
It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.
Step 7: Fund your Business
Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:
Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.
Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding a personal concierge business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits.
You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more.
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your personal concierge business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.
Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.
Step 10: Get Business Insurance
Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.
Here are some types of insurance to consider:
General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.
Step 11: Prepare to Launch
As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business.
Essential software and tools
Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.
You may want to use industry-specific software, such as Blackbell or FCS, to manage your tasks, orders, payments, personal calendar, and customer support.
If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.
Develop your website
Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.
You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.
They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.
Starting a Personal Concierge Business can be a rewarding venture, offering tailored services to busy individuals. Beyond creating a website and networking, here are effective marketing strategies to help your business thrive:
Targeted Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses, such as high-end restaurants, hotels, or event venues, to establish mutually beneficial partnerships, expanding your reach and credibility.
Referral Programs: Encourage satisfied clients to refer your services by implementing a referral program, offering incentives like discounts or complimentary upgrades for each successful referral.
Community Events Participation: Attend local events, trade shows, or community gatherings to showcase your services and engage with potential clients face-to-face, building trust and a personal connection.
Social Media Engagement: Leverage social media platforms strategically by sharing valuable content, client testimonials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses to build an online presence and connect with a wider audience.
Loyalty Programs: Implement loyalty programs to reward repeat clients, fostering long-term relationships and encouraging them to consistently choose your services over competitors.
Content Marketing: Create informative blog posts, videos, or podcasts that highlight the benefits of personal concierge services, addressing common challenges faced by busy individuals and showcasing your expertise.
Local SEO Optimization: Optimize your online presence for local search by ensuring accurate business information, obtaining positive reviews, and utilizing location-specific keywords to enhance your visibility on search engines.
Specialized Packages: Develop specialized service packages tailored to specific needs, such as corporate concierge services, vacation planning, or event coordination, to attract diverse clientele with unique requirements.
Testimonials and Case Studies: Showcase success stories through client testimonials and case studies on your marketing materials, highlighting the tangible benefits and positive outcomes of your personalized services.
Promotional Events and Workshops: Organize promotional events or workshops to demonstrate your skills and services firsthand, allowing potential clients to experience the value you bring to their lives.
Focus on USPs
Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that set it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your personal concierge business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire.
Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your personal concierge business could be:
Luxury concierge services to meet your every need
Need a helping hand? Let our attentive concierges carry the load
Corporate concierge services to take the pressure off your team
You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a personal concierge business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in personal concierge services for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections.
The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in concierge services. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership.
Step 12: Build Your Team
If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a personal concierge business include:
Concierges – perform concierge services
General Manager – staff management, accounting
Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media
At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need.
Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.
Step 13: Start Making Money!
If you want an inexpensive business that you can start from home, look no further! Starting a personal concierge business is a great way to break into a market that’s set to expand by more than 40%. And at $75 an hour, you can make quite a nice living while helping people in your community. It’s a simple business to start and can be quite gratifying.
You’re off to a great start having learned about the entrepreneurial process, so now you’re ready to get your personal concierge business up and running!
Personal Concierge Business FAQs
Is a personal concierge business profitable?
A personal concierge business can be very profitable, bringing in up to $125 an hour. The key is to offer outstanding services to clients, who may then give you referrals.
How much can I charge for personal concierge services?
Rates for personal concierge services are $65 to $75 per hour. Luxury concierge services that are more extensive and include things like event or party planning can run up to $125 per hour.
What does a luxury concierge do?
A luxury concierge provides personalized and high-end services to affluent clients. They assist with various tasks, such as making travel arrangements, securing reservations at exclusive restaurants, organizing special events, procuring luxury goods, and providing general lifestyle management.
What does a private concierge do?
A private concierge offers personalized assistance and support to individual clients. They cater to their specific needs and preferences, managing tasks like running errands, booking appointments, arranging transportation, handling household management, and providing personal assistance.
What skills do you need to become a concierge?
To become a concierge, essential skills include excellent communication and interpersonal abilities to interact with clients effectively. Strong organizational and time management skills are crucial for multitasking and handling various requests efficiently.
How can I differentiate my personal concierge business from competitors in the market?
To differentiate your personal concierge business from competitors, focus on providing exceptional customer service and building strong relationships with clients. Tailor your services to specific niche markets or specialized needs, such as corporate concierge services or luxury travel planning.
What types of services can a personal concierge business provide to clients?
A personal concierge business can provide a wide range of services based on client preferences. This can include travel planning, hotel and restaurant reservations, event and party coordination, personal shopping, home organization, appointment scheduling, transportation arrangements, pet care, and household management.
How to Start a Personal Concierge Business
Decide if the Business Is Right for You
Hone Your Idea
Brainstorm a Business Name
Create a Business Plan
Register Your Business
Register for Taxes
Fund your Business
Apply for Licenses/Permits
Open a Business Bank Account
Get Business Insurance
Prepare to Launch
Build Your Team
Start Making Money!
Personal Concierge Business FAQs
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