While harried individuals are finding they need personal concierges, even more businesses are hiring them to help ease busy employees' loads. A pampered employee is a happy employee who will want to stay with the company--an important consideration in today's tight labor market. Consulting firms, high-tech companies, accounting firms, advertising agencies, law firms, hospitals and other businesses where employees work long hours are providing plenty of opportunities for corporate concierge services, according to Janet Kraus, 33-year-old CEO and co-founder of Circles Inc., a 3-year-old corporate concierge service in Boston. Some college campuses are hiring concierges to perform services for students and professors, such as scheduling car repairs or buying concert tickets.
Many concierges find the corporate market is their best bet, as big businesses welcome them with open arms--and open checkbooks. Stephen Filing, 31-year-old president of Corporate Concierge Services in Minneapolis and a former concierge for Pillsbury Corp. and Dayton Hudson department stores, concentrates on providing concierge services to office buildings, office parks and corporations. Started in August 1998, his company garnered $125,000 in sales in 1999 and provided suite management for the Minnesota Vikings.
Jeanne Clarey, 34, owner of Concierge Atelier, also in Minneapolis, was a teacher and day-care center director when she decided she wanted a profession that would allow for more personal growth. Her company, launched in 1996, assists other companies in putting together concierge programs for their staffs and even provides concierge services itself.