As a personal grocery shopper, you thrive on helping others. Personal grocery shoppers do just that – buy and deliver groceries for other people, like seniors and the homebound, who are unable to shop for themselves. It’s a great way to bring a smile to someone’s face while also earning a solid income.
Those with a grocery shopping business often do other errands for their customers, such as picking up mail at the post office, a prescription at the drug store or dry cleaning. Best of all those side errands also bring good money. The national average for grocery shopping/delivery is around $27 per hour. Here are a few secrets that can make your grocery shopping business prosper.
1. If you have several customers in the same area, consider combining their grocery shopping trips together to save time and fuel. For example, Mondays and Thursdays for one area and Wednesday and Friday for another. One personal grocery shopper on Long island serves several small communities this way, with a different day for each town.
2. Charge a cancellation/rush fee. It’s customary for a customer to give 24 hours notice when ordering grocery delivery, or canceling an order. If they need same-day rush service, consider charging them a fee. The reason for a cancellation fee is that if someone cancels at the last minute, it’s often too late for your to find another customer for that time slot, costing you lost income. If a customers wants it right away, say within 2-4 hours, an additional fee, such as an additional 50% of the regular fee is usually charged. You should mention this on your rate card, or explain it to them.
3. Don’t forget to claim the 55 cents per mile (current amount) tax credit from the IRS when you file your tax return. Over the course of a year, those grocery shopping and delivery trip miles can add up to real money. In fact, many grocery shopping businesses have used the money saved from claiming the deduction to pay for a new delivery vehicle.
4. Pay for orders separately. If you’re headed to the grocery store for more than one customer at a time, remember to pay for each order separately. Each customer will want their own receipt, and you will find it much easier to get paid and keep track of the money.
5. Keep grocery orders separate. In addition to paying for each grocery order separately, be sure not to mix up the bags at the grocery store. Have the bagger keep each order apart from the others, and bring a felt tip pen to write the customer’s name on the bag after the order is rung up to avoid confusion and order mixups. It’s also a good idea to have a supply of plastic totes in your vehicle so you can load all a customer’s groceries in one tote.
6. Repeat your advertising. If you run classified or small display ads in local publications, run the ad in each issue. Some prospects will spot your ad, but not be ready to call that week, but will remember the ad and look for it when they do need a grocery shopping service.
These are just a few of the secrets that can help you start a successful grocery shopping business. They are time-tested by pros in the field, and can help your business thrive. To learn more success secrets of grocery shopping pros, read: How to Start a Profitable Grocery Shopping Business.