Cash in on festive errands for others

Tuesday December 4 2018

A woman with shopping bags. During this festive

A woman with shopping bags. During this festive season, some people are too busy to embark on some errands and would be willing to pay someone to do the job. NET PHOTO 

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

It is a beehive of activities in the central business district. Around this time of the year, there is usually more work to do in addition to shopping for the holidays. Yeah, it is that time of the year where all people no matter the class and age feel the need to shop or buy something new.

Shopping can be a hassle, that’s why venturing into festive errands can offer some reprieve for those who find it difficult to navigate through the busy shopping malls or those who are too busy to do so.
Due to the congestion, many fear going to these places. This is an opportunity for you to explore by carrying out festive errands for others.

Ideally, festive errands are those short journeys you undertake to deliver or collect something, especially on someone else’s behalf. In this case you could do shopping for others at small commission.
So today, we are going to take you through on how you can carry out festive errands for others and grow the business.
Mr Reagan Ssembatya, manager operations - House of Wealth – a local firm offering business advisory services, in an interview with Prosper Magazine, said this business may not require a lot of money to start as long as you have an address.
“Your charges should be restricted to the volume of products you are going to buy. Say, if you are given Shs500,0000 to buy groceries, let your charge be 5 per cent (this is Shs25,000) to cater for transport and your commission.

Ideally, experts in business advisory services, say the first thing one needs to do, is to start by checking out with people within your neighbourhood.
“Try door-to-door checking and letting people know of your services,” Mr Ssembatya shared.
Make sure your contact details are well written to be used as referrals as and when you are needed to deliver your services.
This is a business that you can start during the festive season and depending on how well it catches the eye of the clients, it can grow into a bigger business all year around.
To attract more clients coming, you can give a festive offer. This can start early and let people sign up for daily supplies.

Creating a catalogue of products and their prices in the different places like markets or supermarkets is very important.
So then what kind of errands are you going to offer? These range from doing the usual shopping of groceries to helping out around the homes. This is because around this season a lot of activities are done like parties and this when your services become handy.

Mr George Mangeni- a specialist in errands business with eight-year experience explaining the dos and don’ts said respecting clients demands and needs is very important.
“There are clients who are particular on where they want their shopping to be done, depending on how far the place and the total amount of the items to be bought, will determine the cost of your service,” Mangeni explains.

Average rate
Usually within the central business district, each errand is rated at Shs20,000 as commission. If it is not bulk, we buy and are reimbursed. If it is beyond Shs500,000, we would ask the client to send the money and then we buy.
Doing all this and for trust purposes, one should have a permanent address (office) with fully operating phone.
“It is easier to trust someone with a permanent office and having a registered company will help you to grow your business,” Mangeni shared.
Just like any other business, running errands for others is not exception some will come with difficult tasks and their offers were very negligible.
The other challenge is trusting people to work with and can deliver within and in time as per the clients’ requests.

The money
On a daily during the festive season Mangeni says they get more than 20- clients to do errands for and on each trip they do charge a Shs20, 000 as commission. Outside Kampala the rate goes up to Shs30, 000 or Shs50, 000.
This means that on a daily basis he earns about Shs400, 000 from commissions and a weekly turnover of Shs2.8 million.
Ideally this kind of work owning a car or a motor cycle is handy and if you do not have them, then make use of the services of Uber or Safe Boda to do the deliveries.