There are many different ways to make money. Some are simple and easy, while others take more work and planning. Running errands is one interesting approach and there is considerable variation in the work involved and how much money you can make. For that matter, this can be a fairly easy direction to consider, as you don’t need any special resources or skills (that being said, you probably want to have a car).
Without a doubt, running errands has potential. After all, many people don’t have the time and energy to do all the tasks that they need to. Likewise, some people may be unable to do specific tasks, such as if they don’t have their own car or experience mobility issues.
This level of demand alone means that you can make money running errands. Nevertheless, the approach that you take is important, with some options being more profitable than others. It’s also worth thinking about what’s actually involved in earning an income this way, to figure out whether the idea is right for you.
Apps, Websites And Opportunities
The simplest way to earn money through errands is to rely on the various apps and websites that are currently out there. Many of these allow people to run errands or to do related tasks, such as making deliveries. Relatively few focus on errands specifically, with most offering a range of different tasks that you can do.
There is a large number of apps that fall into this category, although some of these are region specific. One of the most common is TaskRabbit. The app allows you to perform a range of different jobs for actual clients, with errands being one of the job types available. Individual jobs on the app look like the image below and you have the ability to interact with the client and confirm details.
I’ve actually reviewed TaskRabbit in the past and the app is fairly decent. Some of the tasks do pay more than you might expect. Nevertheless, only some of those jobs are errands and some tasks may require a specific skill set.
The effectiveness of the app also depends on your location and how many jobs are needed. For example, larger cities may offer a wide range of chances to make money through TaskRabbit, while smaller locations may have fewer opportunities. So, the idea can work but you may have to branch out from errand running to make the process worth it.
There are also sites like Postmates, which are somewhere between an app and a job. Postmates promotes that you can earn $25 per hour and is a type of food delivery service. So, it’s not quite errands but the idea is close.
Nevertheless, reviews for Postmates are mixed and the same is true for similar companies. In most cases, you’re not making nearly as much as the company implies and there is considerably more hassle involved.
In fact, many of the apps and sites that have you running errands are variations on one of these two ideas. For example, another option is Door Dash, which is a delivery service as well.
Regardless of the app, the general patterns are the same. So, you can make some money but there is often a considerable amount of legwork involved. In many cases, the actual income that you make is low and the process can get frustrating fast.
Additionally, the income estimates for many of these apps assume that you’re getting tipped. Yet, that often isn’t the case, which dramatically reduces any potential for income.
Working For Someone Else
Along with using apps, websites and the like, there are also companies that specialize in running errands. In this case, I’m mostly talking about businesses in your local area. After all, there is considerable demand for errands and some companies have taken advantage of this. Likewise, there are also specific job descriptions for errand runners.
If you are interested in this area, it’s important to read all of the information carefully. For example, some jobs may not be errand running in the sense that we’re discussing here. Instead, you may be responsible for whatever small tasks that the company has to offer – a pattern that is very common in personal assistant positions.
You also need to be careful about misleading advertising. For example, some sites will suggest that they have errand running jobs but will actually be promoting one of the apps that were discussed earlier.
Actual errand running jobs do exist but they’re fairly rare. If you do find a legitimate one, then it would be basically a regular job – with all the associated advantages and disadvantages.
The idea can work but it may not be worth the effort. After all, errand running doesn’t seem like a powerful career choice and is unlikely to have much growth potential. Still, if you’re passionate about helping people out, this is one other approach to consider.
Creating Your Own Business
The final direction to consider is to build your own business where you run errands for other people. By far, this method has the most income and growth potential. However, creating a business does also involve a significant amount of extra work, especially as you have to pay close attention to the laws and regulations in your local area.
You would also need to find ways to promote the services that you offer. One key approach is to build your own website and market your business using this and social media. You might also use local resources, such as handing out brochures and talking to businesses about partnerships.
Now, without a doubt, the highest income potential comes from starting your own business. But, this is also the most challenging approach and you would have to do much more than just running errands.
The marketing that I mentioned before is one aspect of this – as you need to get the word out about your business and keep people interested. You also have to be good at interacting with customers. After all, even one negative review can be enough to seriously harm a new business.
How To Get Started
If you do want to create your own errands business, there are various steps to consider.
The first is to simply research the market. You need to know whether there is demand for such a service in your area and what the competition is. Likewise, you should look into any local laws and regulations that could affect your success. For example, do you need any special licenses? You probably don’t if you just plan to bring items to clients. But, there may be additional considerations if you want to help people get around.
The next step is planning. You need to figure out exactly what services you’re going to offer, how you’re going to market them, who your target audience is and how you will address any issues that may arise. In most cases, this will involve developing a business plan.
Other areas to consider include:
- What makes you stand out?
- What physical locations will you serve?
- What will you do if people want additional services?
- What will you charge?
- How will you take payment?
Once you have determined exactly what you want to do, following through is the next step. This may be simple or complicated, depending on your business structure. For example, if you’re operating through a sole proprietorship, formal setup is minimal. You are also likely to need additional insurance, particularly liability insurance.
Making errand running into a business can be effective, especially if you’re in an area where demand is high. Nevertheless, this is a physical business, so the process of setting up and being successful is considerable. What’s more, there may significant time and money involved in doing so, especially if you hope to make full-time income from the business eventually.
Of course, you could just focus on earning a little income on the side, which would typically involve less setup and less time overall. But, even if you were to do so, it would still be important to go through the planning phases and make sure you’re creating a business that will be effective.
Running Errands For Seniors
You can run errands for pretty much anyone and the demand does exist. But, errands for seniors is a particularly interesting area that isn’t tapped into often enough. In fact, many errand services out there simply target a wide population, rather than focusing on a single group of people.
A key advantage here is that demand is high. In many cases, seniors are not physically capable of doing errands for themselves and may no longer be able to drive. Others may simply prefer the convenience of having someone else do their errands, along with the social connection that this brings.
From a business perspective, targeting one age group may seem counterproductive, as you’re decreasing your potential market. Likewise, seniors tend to have less income, which may mean you cannot charge as much.
However, the high demand and lack of targeted errands services for seniors mean that there is considerable potential here. This is particularly true if there are a large number of seniors in your local area or if you have a way to specifically market to them.
If nothing else, this approach is an alternative idea and a way to help you stand out from other people offering errands. You may also be able to approach local senior centers to help advertise your business. If the demand exists in your local area, then this may be very effective and companies may be willing to get on board.
How Realistic Are Errands As A Way To Make Money?
It’s easy to see that you could make a little or a lot of income by running errands, depending on how you go about it. But, the idea may work better for some people than for others.
For one thing, running errands involves a considerable amount of going back and forth. In most cases, you’d be driving to do the errands, which would mean having to pay for gas and any wear and tear on your car. This challenge is also true for other methods of making money with your car and is something to seriously consider. In fact, if you’re not careful, you could end up spending more in gas than you actually earn from your work.
This also means that errands can be pretty time-consuming, especially if you’re servicing a fairly large area. You also need to be able to consistently be friendly with customers. That aspect is much easier for some people than for others.
For the right person, running errands may be powerful, especially if you create your own business. After all, it is a good chance to be your own boss, to help people and to interact with others on a regular basis. But, for many others, the time component and the gas costs may make the idea unrealistic.
If you fall into the latter camp, one alternative is making money online. By doing so, can still be your own boss but you don’t have to establish a physical business or worry about dealing with apps.
What’s more, you get to decide how much (or how little) time you put into the process. Doing so is perfect for anyone who just wants a little money on the side and for people who want to keep their regular job while they are building something better.
Of the various methods to make money online, one of the best places to begin is affiliate marketing. This process involves promoting products from other companies and earning a commission by doing so. As a result, you can also make money from relatively little traffic – especially as you get the chance to promote products that people actually care about.
Affiliate marketing can also be lucrative, especially if you focus on items with a passionate audience. You also get to choose what you’re promoting, so you can pick products that you’re interested in, such as video games, jewelry or even beer. I learned how to make a website and earn money from ads here, and haven't looked back since. After about a year and a half of creating content for the site, I was able to quit my job and do this full time, and now I own several web properties earning passive income.