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Old 02-14-2016, 09:05 AM
 
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I've been thinking of leaving the corporate world for a few years now; i'm an engineer in the med device biz and getting tired of the daily stress, etc. Wife and I are throwing around the idea of a personal concierge business, catering to older folks. These businesses can offer everything from food shopping for folks to transportation to appts, home watching, companionship and more. I'd like to add handeyman type services to this mix as well.

What do the retired folks think of this? I know there are many variations of this type of business, but I believe the population would support it. Do any of you use this type of service currently? I'm 50 years old, if that matters and looking at the SW region of FLA.

Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:39 AM
 
Location: R.I.
980 posts, read 607,475 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetto View Post
I've been thinking of leaving the corporate world for a few years now; i'm an engineer in the med device biz and getting tired of the daily stress, etc. Wife and I are throwing around the idea of a personal concierge business, catering to older folks. These businesses can offer everything from food shopping for folks to transportation to appts, home watching, companionship and more. I'd like to add handeyman type services to this mix as well.

What do the retired folks think of this? I know there are many variations of this type of business, but I believe the population would support it. Do any of you use this type of service currently? I'm 50 years old, if that matters and looking at the SW region of FLA.

Thanks!
I work with a guy in his late 40s who relocated back from FL to R.I. two years ago to care for his elderly mother. He did exactly what you are thinking of in The Villages. He lived with an elderly aunt who owns a home in The Villages, and his little business started with doing some home repairs for his aunt's friends. This guy didn't even own a car, had a golf cart with a small hitched trailer on the back for his tools. He said from word of mouth he had more work than he could handle and made a decent living at it. Since he was a Veteran he was able to get all his care at the VA Clinic located in The Villages so having health insurance was not an issue for him as it is for many below Medicare age. There is a web site affiliated with this community and can easily found with a google search which is a good place to do some research on what you are considering. Good Luck.
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:41 AM
 
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Sounds like a great idea, and Florida would be a good place for it, but so would the mountains of North Carolina, where there is a retired demographic called "half-backs" - people from the Northeast, who moved to Florida, found they hated it (summers, bugs, politics, bugs, mold, bugs...lol) and moved back north (somewhat) to Western North Carolina. So, see if you can vacation in Florida in July or August for as long an amount of time as your job will allow, to get a good taste of the air you could wring out like a washcloth.
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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When my MIL retired to Scottsdale she used to hire a fix it guy who came around in a van. He could change fluorescent light tubes, fix electrical outlets, fix door locks, repair tile etc. His rates were reasonable.

I'm sure there is a market for those types of services.
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crusinsusan View Post
Sounds like a great idea, and Florida would be a good place for it, but so would the mountains of North Carolina, where there is a retired demographic called "half-backs" - people from the Northeast, who moved to Florida, found they hated it (summers, bugs, politics, bugs, mold, bugs...lol) and moved back north (somewhat) to Western North Carolina. So, see if you can vacation in Florida in July or August for as long an amount of time as your job will allow, to get a good taste of the air you could wring out like a washcloth.
Haha I hear you on the weather thing... I've been to Florida in the summer quite a few times and it is OPPRESSIVE! My wife loves this weather and thrives in it, I can tolerate it when A/C is readily available, which is pretty much everywhere! I've been reading about the halfbacks, but my demographic would likely revolve folks living there full time and snowbirds from the northeast.
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
I work with a guy in his late 40s who relocated back from FL to R.I. two years ago to care for his elderly mother. He did exactly what you are thinking of in The Villages. He lived with an elderly aunt who owns a home in The Villages, and his little business started with doing some home repairs for his aunt's friends. This guy didn't even own a car, had a golf cart with a small hitched trailer on the back for his tools. He said from word of mouth he had more work than he could handle and made a decent living at it. Since he was a Veteran he was able to get all his care at the VA Clinic located in The Villages so having health insurance was not an issue for him as it is for many below Medicare age. There is a web site affiliated with this community and can easily found with a google search which is a good place to do some research on what you are considering. Good Luck.
Thanks! Places like that are great examples of what I'm thinking about.
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Old 02-14-2016, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
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I think you could do well, lots of potential clients.
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Yes the business should work. I think in the Villages there is a company that does grocery shopping for "free". Well not free but they charge you the store price and they use coupons. The coupons cover their expense. They also will go to other stores for a fee.

You need to find an area with a lot of over 55 communities and figure out how you will get customers. Word of mouth will help but you have to get the first customer in the area.

Handyman maybe a little bit of a problem. I would contact the county you are thinking of doing business in and check on licenses needed.

You will also find that the better over 55 communities will require you to have insurance before they will let you into the community to do work. You will also have to learn the HOA requirements, if any.

Some work such as putting in fans might require an electricians license.

But in general I think your idea is good. There are also home watch businesses and you could add this service.

A lot of homes have 10 foot high ceiling so changing smoke alarm batteries, Furnace filters etc might be a good service.

Good luck
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:11 PM
 
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Many of the retired people in Boca R live in complexes that run a shuttle to medical appointments and to the Publix grocery store; so home repairs might be a better bet here, though in SW FL there may well be a demand for concierge services.

I believe that Publix itself offers free grocery deliveries in my area; I suppose a tip is customary but I don't think they charge for the delivery per se. My cat sitter here is very busy also walking dogs and minding homes when people travel. She was originally a vet tech and is great with animals, but she has branched out and now also does the grocery shopping, errand running, etc. that you describe. She is kept very busy--my impression is that her business is very successful.
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Old 02-15-2016, 06:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ladyalicemore View Post
Many of the retired people in Boca R live in complexes that run a shuttle to medical appointments and to the Publix grocery store; so home repairs might be a better bet here, though in SW FL there may well be a demand for concierge services.

I believe that Publix itself offers free grocery deliveries in my area; I suppose a tip is customary but I don't think they charge for the delivery per se. My cat sitter here is very busy also walking dogs and minding homes when people travel. She was originally a vet tech and is great with animals, but she has branched out and now also does the grocery shopping, errand running, etc. that you describe. She is kept very busy--my impression is that her business is very successful.
Thanks for your input; It sounds like your cat sitter is a go-getter, an important trait to success!
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