Have you been thinking about leveling up your love for shopping and starting your own personal shopper service? As more people rely on others for specialty and everyday shopping needs, starting your own personal shopper service can be an excellent side hustle to boost your monthly income or can be broadened to create a fun and full-time employment opportunity.
Running your own business can be rewarding. You get to be your own boss and set your own schedule. You call all the shots. Knowing how to get started and keep your business running can lead you toward creating the career and life you want. In this article, we'll go over how you can set up, run, and manage your personal shopper business successfully.
Personal Shopper Qualifications
With personal shopping, qualifications depend on the type of shopping service you plan to offer. For clothing, you need an eye for style and a passion for helping clients look and feel their best. Other types of personal shopping services may include running errands, such as selecting a birthday present or dropping off dry cleaning, planning special events or trips, or picking up groceries for the week. While you don't need specialized training or education to get your personal shopping service going, it is good to know how to plan, market, and run your business effectively.
Planning Your Personal Shopper Service
As with any great venture, starting your own business takes a bit of planning. There are several questions to consider while planning. What types of services will you offer? Who is your ideal client? What are clients willing to pay for your service? What are the costs associated with running your business? You can outline these questions in a business plan.
With a personal shopper service, there are several types of service offerings from which you can choose. From a virtual assistant for busy executives to someone who handles personal styling, choose something that hones in on your unique strengths and skills and strikes your interest. Once you have your service niche in mind, consider who your potential client might be so that you can think about the best ways to market your service.
Not all personal shopping services are equal in regard to cost. On average, personal stylists charge $50 to $75 per hour, personal shoppers hover around $120 to $200 an hour, and virtual assistants charge about $60 an hour. The costs people are willing to pay for your services depend on the type and level of service and what your competition is charging.
When marketing your personal shopping business, include your areas of expertise to justify your fees - especially if they lean toward the higher end. For a stylist or image consultant, let potential clients know your expertise in the fashion industry, such as fashion-forward trends and your ability to work with all body types to create a unique personal style for anyone. If your services fall under administrative tasks like data entry or document editing, highlight applicable certifications and timesaving skills you offer. When offering personal services like grocery shopping or running errands, include special considerations like home visits for senior citizens or in-depth knowledge of dietary needs.
Now that you have narrowed down your niche for your personal shopping service, let's go over how you can get your startup running.
Setting Up Your Personal Shopper Service
Setting up your personal shopper business is relatively straightforward. With these simple steps, you can be on your way to doing what you love. Here, we'll go over ways to legally form your business, how to market your startup, and how you can run your business efficiently and effectively.
Legal Formation of Your Personal Shopper Service
As a one-person operation, you may consider a sole proprietorship as your business structure. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), a sole proprietorship is the most common and simplest type of business structure. It offers several advantages for freelance personal shoppers, including minimal costs to set up, complete control over all business decisions, and lower tax rates. For greater protection, you can also choose to form a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or partnership. The SBA has more information on these primary business structures.
What about your business name? If you choose to operate your business under your own name, you are set. If you have a name for your business in mind, you can register it with your state's secretary of state. Be sure your name is unique and not already taken by another business before registering. Your secretary of state's website should have a search tool that you can use to do this.
Once you have your business structure set up, it is a good idea to open a banking account for your business-related income and expenses. This will help you keep track of business-related spending and profits and will make tax time much simpler. Other benefits include added protection for yourself and your clients, merchant services (e.g., the ability to accept credit cards), and being able to establish a credit history for your business.
Marketing Ideas for Your Personal Shopper Service
Behind any successful business is a well-thought-out marketing plan. This can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
Social media accounts are an excellent start to marketing your business. Regularly posting can help you reach a wider audience, which can turn into new clients for you. When posting, vary the content from day to day. Focus on the needs of potential clients more than selling your service. This can be in the way of helpful articles, weekly tips, and content blurbs in your voice.
Be sure to include great visuals; people love to see pretty pictures when they're scrolling. An appealing or entertaining visual will grab their interest and make them want to "hang out" with you longer. With a little practice, you can get your social media routine down and your audience will appreciate what you have to offer.
A professional website is a great tool for getting your business at the fingertips of potential clients. Here, you can describe your services in detail, list fees, and include a blurb about you so prospects can get to know you and your business better. These days, numerous companies have simplified website design to make it user-friendly for just about anyone. There are several low-cost and even free options, such as Wix and Squarespace, that you can use to create a professional-looking website for your personal shopper business. If you're not much of a DIYer, there are many talented designers that can help you through freelance platforms like Upwork.
Another option for getting the word out about your personal shopper service is to introduce yourself. As a personal stylist, you may want to visit local department stores or smaller boutiques. For running errands or grocery shopping, visit businesses that have a large number of busy employees, such as law firms or executive suites. Leave your business card at the front desk or ask if there is a board to pin your information.
Marketing your small business may feel like a lot of work - and it is - but the rewards are well worth all of your efforts.
Running Day-to-Day Operations
Paperwork, unfortunately, is essential to running your business. It not only keeps track of your costs and income but it helps you out tremendously during tax time.
As a personal shopping service, you need to bill your clients to get paid. Invoicing software like Skynova can help you with this. With Skynova invoicing, you can look professional, stay organized, bill at any time, and get paid faster.
Skynova's invoice template is simple to use and can help you keep track of your day-to-day operations. Completely customizable for your business needs, you can add a company logo, enter a description of the service, and calculate costs easily. You can submit invoices online, through email, or print them out to hand-deliver. You never need to worry about whether your invoice was received.
Skynova helps small businesses like yours get paid faster. Our all-in-one invoicing and accounting software helps you keep accurate records of your earned income, fixed and variable expenses, and payments.
Simplify Your Personal Shopper Service With Skynova
Starting your own personal shopping service is an exciting venture. Whether you are going all out or beginning part-time, opening your own business is an exciting career move. And with the multitude of changes in our world, personal shoppers are a growing industry that won't be going away anytime soon. With a little planning, a marketing strategy, and a working plan of action to tackle your business paperwork, you can be on your way to being your own boss and doing what you love.
Keep your paperwork simple and straight with Skynova's invoicing and accounting software for small businesses. You can easily manage invoices, create client lists, and manage accounting tasks with Skynova's business templates and software products. Get started today.