Sometimes we all wish we had a sidekick, or least an assistant.  There’s always so much to do and we all feel starved for time.  With all the busyness of today’s culture, you can actually make a living running errands for people who don’t have time to do it themselves.

Dry Cleaning

Earn money doing common chores for clients.

You can offer all kinds of different services.  Some ideas:

  • Accepting deliveries or meeting repairmen
  • Taking packages to the post office
  • Organizing or cleaning houses
  • Picking up dry cleaning
  • Preparing for a party or event
  • Standing in lines to obtain or turn in paperwork

You can literally perform any task that your clients want you to, as long as you’re capable and comfortable with it.

The Good

If you like variety, this job will be great for you.  You’ll be performing many different types of tasks for your clients, which will keep the job interesting.  You’ll have a lot of freedom in how you organize your day and complete your tasks.  You will also be able to exercise your problem solving skills as you figure out the most efficient way to get everything done.

The Bad

You must have a very flexible schedule for this business, which makes it difficult to get into if you already have a full-time job.  You also have to be willing to do just about anything that you’re asked to do.  You could get stuck with some pretty mundane tasks.  When you’re first starting out, the pay is not going to be spectacular, though you can eventually charge more when you get good and your services are in demand.

Skills required

You need to be organized, creative, dependable, and someone who likes to solve problems and get things done.

Equipment required

You will definitely need a car for this job so you can run around town to perform your client’s errands.  You also should have a cell phone so you can be easily reached and you will probably need a computer to perform some of your tasks, or at least to manage your business.

You won’t need any specialized equipment for this job.  If a client ever asks you to do a special job, they should provide the tools.


When you’re not at a client’s house or running around town doing errands, you can run the rest of your business from your home.  You can manage finances, keep track of clients, research tasks, make phone calls, etc. from your home office.

Startup costs

The main startup costs will be associated with advertising your services.  You may need to print fliers, make lots of phone calls, build a web site, etc to promote yourself.  If you build a simple web site with something like WordPress, you can probably get this business going for less than $1000.

Legal / Insurance issues

If you’re going to be using your own vehicle to make pickups or deliveries, you may need to purchase additional insurance.  You will also want additional insurance if you are going to be driving anyone around, especially your client’s children.

How to start

Get started by posting fliers, handing out business cards, placing ads in local newspapers, and asking friends and clients to spread the word.  Try to get references and letters of recommendation from previous or current clients.

If you are currently working a full-time job, this may be a hard self-employment idea to implement.  The problem is that you will be expected to run errands during times that you will be at your full-time job.  I recommend saving up a cushion of money that will pay your bills for at least six months.  Start by taking on a few small jobs to gain experience and reputation.  As the business grows and you obtain more clients, you can eventually quit your full-time job and use your cushion of money to pay your personal bills while you devote yourself to growing your business full-time.


Most errand runners charge an hourly fee and transportation expenses.  Of course, if you have to pay a price to perform the task, such as paying the plumber or picking up the dry cleaning, your client should immediately reimburse you.

When you’re first starting out, you may need to charge a low rate, such as 10 to 20 dollars per hour.  As you gain experience and reputation, you can start increasing your fees.  Also, you can always experiment with different rates to see what brings you the most customers.

Further reading

How to Become an Errand Runner