Get My Batsuit, Alfred!

Getting Personal

While the personal concierge service industry is very new--most current businesses were launched in the mid- to late-1990s--its ranks are growing rapidly as the public becomes more familiar with the services a concierge can provide. That means concierges spend less time educating potential clients.

"In the past three years, the market has exploded. We've had requests on how to start a concierge business from as far away as London and Brazil," says Kasner. No one is sure exactly how many personal concierge services exist, but Kasner says the NCA's membership has quintupled in the past year and is now up to 100.

Not only is the market ready, willing and able to accept personal concierges, but the business doesn't require a great deal of start-up capital. Clarey launched her business with $200 spent on brochures and direct mail. The average start-up costs, however, are $2,000 to $5,000, which covers basic office equipment (computer, printer, business phone line, fax machine, basic software) and marketing tools.

Filing says he spent about $25,000, which also included a two-line phone with voice mail, a car, a cell phone, presentation materials for clients and the media, and six types of insurance (general liability, auto, worker's compensation, employer's liability, umbrella liability, and employee crime and property coverage).

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This article was originally published in the March 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Get My Batsuit, Alfred!.

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