Why Hire an Errand Service?   by Mike Weisman

in Business / Outsourcing    (submitted 2012-01-07)

Many people question why they should hire an errand service; however, the answer is quite simple: you want to hire an errand runner when running your errands wastes valuable time, you spend too much time on low value projects, or running errands becomes more costly than paying someone else to run them. However, many entrepreneurs and successful business people never take the time to contemplate, and see if they really could benefit from delegating tasks to others. But once you do that, you’ll probably see you’re wasting too much time, a realization that’ll put you light years ahead of your competition because you’ll get hours back a week, and weeks back every year–and what could you accomplish with a few extra weeks a year?

Running errands wastes valuable time
It’s a harsh fact of business life, but there are a plethora of errands that must be run. And the longer you wait to run them, the higher they pile up. However, running errands is a huge waste of valuable time. After all, many working professionals make $70-200 an hour at work, and generally lose money when running errands because we have to take time off work and pay for gas, additional car maintenance, and other expenses. However,hiring an errand service can save you this valuable time so you can focus on work during work hours and enjoy your free time!

Hire an errand service to alleviate time spent working
Many working professionals, particularly entrepreneurs, have the problem of wearing multiple hats at once. For instance, many business owners are also service technicians. If you hire an errand service, however, they can help you out by taking some of the burdens of work off your hands so you can stay focused on the most valuable 20% of your work rather than the 80% of busy work that must be done to keep up business.

Errand service rates have great ROI for busy professionals
Finally, everyone should be worried about ROI (return on investment) when they consider their time. As discussed above, running errands often costs professionals money. But why take a 45 minute trip to the dry cleaner and back, costing yourself $70+ for the time off work, gas, and the mental expenditure of having to squander time in line and in traffic, when you could just hire an errand girl, keep your money, and get out of work earlier because you got more done today?

So, now that you know why to hire an errand service, save yourself some time and money and call one today! You’ll never question how to save time again.

 

Why Hire a Concierge? 

By Katharine C. Giovanni

 

Why should you hire a concierge?  I can think of a hundred reasons actually. Here are just a few …

People around the world are trying to squeeze thirty-six hours into a twenty-four-hour day, and when you do that you don’t do it very well. If you continue to do it on a regular basis, then eventually your body will resent it and you’ll get sick. Concierge are here to give you your health back. They’re here to give you the extra hours that you have been craving and will do what has to be done, so that you can do want to do like spending more time with your children or spending a few extra hours at work.

Companies around the world are also getting into the act. They are not only starting to use concierge, but they are making them a part of their corporate benefit packages. They are reasoning correctly that the less time people spend running personal errands during the workday, the more time they can spend at their desks and, subsequently, with their families at night.

Still not sure you need a concierge?  Here are a few more reasons why you need to hire us …

  • The average U.S. worker admits to frittering away more than 2.09 hours a day, not counting lunch, on personal business. This costs companies an estimated $759 billion a year.” – Salary.com and AOL Survey.
  • The average worker skips 24 minutes of his or her lunch break every day, the equivalent of approximately two weeks more holiday per year (figures from Data Monitor).
  • Since 1969, family time for a working couple has shrunk an average of 22 hours a week. U.S. Government
  • Workplace stress is costing the Australian economy $14.81 billion a year. Medibank-commissioned research
  • Stress related presenteeism and absenteeism are directly costing Australian employers $10.11 billion a year. Medibank-commissioned research
  • According to the Health and Safety Executive, 6.5 million sick days are taken every year as a result of stress — costing £7m per week and £1.4m per working day.
  • Approximately 13.7 million working days are lost each year in the UK as a result of work-related illness at a cost of £28.3 billion per year – National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

When looking at these statistics, it is easy to see why time has become the commodity of the century and will be even more so in the decades to come. The popularity of concierge services stems from the fact that people are stressed out, overworked, and need help dealing with life so they can spend their free time nurturing themselves and their families. As good workers become harder to find, businesses are looking for concierge services to offer as perks to keep valuable employees happy.

That being said, below is a list of 20 ways you can use a concierge (the real list of what a concierge can do for you is endless)…

  1. Obtaining tickets to concerts, special events and sporting events
  2. Transportation Services – train, plane or automobiles … concierge can get it!
  3. Travel and Vacation Planning
  4. Business Referral Service – need a landscaper or a plumber?
  5. Restaurant Recommendations and/or Reservations
  6. Pet services
  7. Internet Research – need research done and you don’t have the time to do it?
  8. Personalized shopping and delivery
  9. Dry cleaning pick-up and/or delivery
  10. Grocery shopping
  11. Senior care
  12. Picking up or returning a gift
  13. Bill paying
  14. Auto Maintenance
  15. Home Organization
  16. Notary Services – many concierge area a traveling notary and can actually come to you.
  17. Delivering a Meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner
  18. Prescription Pick-up and delivery
  19. Repair and Service Calls
  20. Sick Care – sick in bed? Call a concierge and they’ll do your errands, arrange for dinner to be delivered and can be on hand to help your family out

So get your life back!  Hire a concierge to do what has to be done so that you can do what you’ve always wanted to do.

Good Luck!

About the Author: Katharine is an award-winning author and the world’s leading concierge trainer and consultant as well as a Certified Concierge Specialist (CCS) and Speaker. She is one of the founders of Triangle Concierge and is the Chairman of the Board and Founder of the International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association (ICLMA) as well as the author of several business books including her award-winning book Going Above and Beyond and The Concierge Manual.

copyright © 2011 by Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

Hands of Time
Using our hands saves you time.

Shopping for groceries online
This entry was posted on January 7, 2013, in Food and tagged Grocery Shopping, Peapod, Stop & Shop. Bookmark the permalink.

As 2012 came to a close I found myself house/wheel chair bound due to a freak accident that resulted in hip repair surgery. I have good friends as well as clients who offered to help me if I needed it – I live alone. Not wanting to burden them, and being stubbornly independent by nature, I decided I would only ask for help if I truly couldn’t get something accomplished in any other way. This led me to try online grocery shopping.

Here in Boston online grocery shopping is done through Peapod which is associated with Stop & Shop. And so albeit reluctantly, I went to the website and established an account. I’ve always preferred to do my own grocery shopping, picking out my produce, browsing the aisles for new and interesting products/brands, bagging my groceries in recyclable bags making sure the tomatoes and other fragile items don’t end up getting crushed on the way home.

My first foray into online grocery shopping was a pleasant surprise. The website was responsive, I found everything I wanted, it was really easy to compare prices, and there were no mishaps with the delivery. I also had occasion to call customer support with a question and found then pleasant to talk to. Unfortunately my second time ordering groceries wasn’t as successful. Maybe it was a timing issue -between Christmas and New Years – but still.

My second effort at online grocery shopping started the evening after Christmas. The web site was so slow I gave up in frustration. When I returned a few days later the site wasn’t as slow, but wasn’t especially speedy either. In general it takes longer to “browse the aisles” online than it does to browse them in-store. In addition, the selection is smaller online and prices even for sale items are not always the same when ordering from Peapod as they are when going to your local Stop & Shop. The difference in selection is due to the fact that when Peapod shops for you they aren’t going to Stop & Shop, they’re shopping in their own warehouse. As far as the price differences go, I’m not sure what accounts for this.porkchops

Instead of selling fruit by the pound, they sell it by the piece. The exception to this is is bagged fruit. Pre-packaged navel oranges will be sold by the pound, while loose oranges, apples, etc. will be sold by the piece. Is this so they can save time by not having to weigh the produce? I didn’t order a lot of produce partially for this reason and partially because I wasn’t sure what the quality would be like. Pictured above is most of the produce I did order and the quality was excellent. I was also uncertain about what size I would be getting of each item. I ordered an eggplant and didn’t know if it would be large enough for the recipe I planned to make. Fortunately it was this time, but will I always get what I need since I can’t specify the weight I want? There was also a price difference for the Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen meals. Stop & Shop had them on sale at 6/$10 with the stipulation that shoppers needed to buy 6 otherwise they would pay $2/box if the quantity was under six or additional boxes were purchased. On the Peapod site the price defaulted to $2/box and even though I ordered 6, I was still charged $2/box.

When I grocery shop for myself I usually buy the family packs of chicken breasts, pork chops, ribs, etc. I’m careful about what I eat and how much I eat. When buying a large package of chicken breasts it can sometimes be hard to get a package where all the breasts are similar in size, making all my portions similar in size. In-store I can pick and choose. Online I can only specify how many packages I want. Peapod indicates the weight range that the package will be, but can’t tell me how big each breast will be. There’s nothing they can do about this, but for me its another negative to shopping online for food.

kashiboxTwo other big negatives are not getting what I ordered because they’re out of stock, and receiving damaged goods. Several of the items I ordered were out of stock – cherry tomatoes, chicken quarters, brussel sprouts, chicken sausages, and one of the Weight Watcher meals. For the latter they substituted a similar Lean Cuisine meal and gave me the Weight Watchers sale price; Nice! For the chicken sausages I ordered they substituted a flavor I didn’t want and the delivery person took it back. However for the chicken, tomatoes and brussel sprouts they offered no substitutes and I was out of luck. I could’ve looked at my order online prior to delivery, but when you’re busy this just adds to the time it takes to order online, and I’m not sure I could add to my order at that point anyway. When sale items are out of stock in-store you can request a rain check so that you can purchase the item at a later date for the sale price, Peapod did not offer me a rain check for any of the out-of-stock items. Of course had this happened in-store I would have substituted another kind of tomato for the cherry tomatoes, another vegetable for the brussel sprouts, etc.

All of my groceries came packaged in single plastic bags. These are bad for the environment and bad for the groceries. They have no structure, are flimsy and don’t hold very much. When I forget my recycling bags or buy more than my bags hold, I put a brown bag into a plastic one when packing boxed, canned and bottled purchases. This gives the bag structure, makes it more sturdy and enables me to pack more into the bag. Produce goes into doubled plastic bags. My groceries then come home in one piece. My first Peapod delivery came to me as it should have, but my second one had several problems: dented cans, a crumpled cereal box, smooshed pork chops. The worst were the pork chops which leaked resulting in a messy package that I had to handle and unwrap. Bottom line – When I’m well again I will shop for myself. Until then Peapod provides a much needed service that I can supplement by going to my neighborhood market.