How to Start a Grocery Shopping Business For Seniors

grocery shopping businessWith 40 million Americans over age 65 and 6 million over 85, the senior service business has become a cottage industry, requiring everyone from home health care workers to gardeners to fall prevention specialists. One of the fastest growing senior service businesses is grocery is a grocery shopping business, offering shopping and delivery for those in their golden years.

As seniors age, they often have difficulty getting out to shop for groceries, especially those who no longer are able to drive. By providing a service that takes care of grocery shopping and other errands, seniors can continue to enjoy an independent life at home rather than in a care facility. It is also a wonderful way to make a living while making a difference in the lives of our elders.

 What services to offer: Most grocery shopping businesses specializing in seniors offer grocery shopping and delivery, and other errands like picking up prescriptions or dry-cleaning. Many offer a wider range of senior services, such as help with household chores, meal preparation or pet care.

 Cost to start: The basics are a dependable car and a cell phone. You’ll need business cards to hand out to prospective clients, as well as a simple flyer or brochure to leave at places like the local senior center. If you’re doing a lot of personal shopping for clients, you’ll want to have a camera built in to your cell phone to take pictures.

 Skills required: This is a simple business, but you should be a well-organized person, as you’ll often be grocery shopping for several clients at the same time. If you’re a “people person” who enjoys helping others, you’ll do well. Folks over 40 do better, as seniors tend to trust those closer to their own age than a much younger person.

 Marketing your services: In the senior marketplace, trust is everything, and your first customers will tell their friends after you’ve gained their trust, and soon your grocery shopping business will have all the customers you can handle. Pass out business cards to everyone you meet, and consider having a 25% off coupon printed on the back of the card for new customers only. This accomplishes two goals. First, people will keep your card rather than throw it away because of the coupon. Second, your cost of getting new customers with this method is zero, as you’ll still make money when they hire you the first time.

Every community has a senior center and over-55 communities. Most will allow you to run an inexpensive classified ad in their monthly newsletter. Do that every month until you’re too busy to take any new clients.

 Legal requirement: You’ll need to get a business license for your grocery shopping business from your local town or county. If you plan to use a fictitious business name, find out what’s required by your town, county or state. If you’re using your car for business, check with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right policy to cover your activities, as well as liability insurance to cover unforeseen events.

Working with seniors can be rewarding, both financially and in making a positive difference in their lives. If you’re ready to explore this growing field of senior service, and be well paid, consider starting your own grocery shopping and delivery business. You can pick the amount of hours you work, making it an ideal part-time business for retirees or stay-at-home moms, or go full-time for an above-average income. To learn all about this growing field, read How to Start a Grocery Shopping Business.