Home | TrendTracker | PowerBlog Reviews | The Experts | Newsletter
SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS brings you daily updates on trends that influence the global small business market.
Anita Campbell, Editor
Past life: CEO, corporate executive, tech entrepreneur, retailer, general counsel, marketer, HR ... (more)
email me
free business magazines
Trade publications FREE to qualified professionals. No hidden offers and no purchase necessary.
On Wall Street
The Deal
Computing Canada
Employee Benefit
Oracle Magazine
100+ additional titles. Click to browse.
Previous Small Business Trends articles can be found at the links below:
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
Or, use the search box below to find a
specific post:

Sign up for our FREE Small Business Trends newsletter. (View Current)

We publish regularly and promise we won't share your email address with anyone. (Privacy Policy)
* Don’t have time to read several dozen blogs a day? Pick two or three. Your brain will thank you for it.

Small Business Trends Radio
Tuesdays, 1:00 PM Eastern U.S. time
on Voice America network
Click to listen

November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Personal Shoppers: A Lifestyle Business
Mark Henricks writes an interesting column over at Startup Journal called "Lifestyle Entrepreneurs." The focus is on entrepreneurs who start certain businesses, in part because of the enjoyable lifestyle they offer. The careers he covers are varied and pretty interesting.

His most recent column is about personal shoppers. These are people who love to shop and do it for other people for a fee. They make a decent living and have a lifestyle they love:
Laurie Ely began a grocery-shopping service for elderly residents of Chicago nine years ago while seeking ways to earn a living while caring for her three young children. The divorcee often helped her mother shop for food and found herself frequently approached by other seniors in the supermarket asking for help reading labels or reaching high shelves.

She printed a flyer identifying herself as "Laurie the Shopping Lady," offering to do similar chores for pay, and posted it in her neighborhood store. "Esther told Ethel, Ethel told George, George told Myrtle, and tomorrow I'm shopping for 18 elderly people," Ms. Ely says. She fills phone orders three days a week, towing as many as five carts as she shops. She spends more than $100,000 annually at her favorite chain, which qualifies her for discounts.

She charges a 15% commission on purchases and an $8 fee for each order, which works out to under $20,000 a year. But her services extend beyond shopping -- she often finds herself bringing elderly customers cash as well as changing light bulbs and engaging in conversation -- an equally in-demand service for lonely seniors.

"I'm the most-appreciated person in the whole wide world," Ms. Ely says. "They always say they don't know what they'd do without me. And I don't know what I'd do without them. If I didn't have this work, I wouldn't be able to live in the home I live in. And I'm done by 3 o'clock so I can go pick up my kids."
While you're at it, check out the other Lifestyle Entrepreneurs columns. You'll begin to get an inkling as to why the numbers of self-employed continue to grow.

More news... more trends... more insight...

Home | Privacy | Terms | SmallBizTrends
(c) Copyright 2003 - 2005, Small Business Trends LLC. All rights reserved.