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Building a Business on Busy Schedules and Making Errands Pay TaskRabbit lands $5 million in funding, as it banks on its errand service to help you get stuff done.

By Gwen Moran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Making errands pay: Leah Busque of TaskRabbit.
Making errands pay: Leah Busque of TaskRabbit.
Photo© Eva Kolenko

After a long week, Leah Busque and her husband, Kevin, were waiting for a cab to take them to dinner when a quick search of the pantry revealed a problem: They were out of dog food. Running out for kibble on a cold February Boston night wasn't in the plan, but their 100-pound yellow Labrador Retriever, Kobe, had to eat.

At the time, Twitter had just entered the scene, but location-based platforms like foursquare were nonexistent, so there was no way to quickly put the word out to neighbors. Seeing opportunity, Busque quit her job as an engineer at IBM a few months later to build the first version of TaskRabbit, originally called Runmyerrand.com, in September 2008. The service matched people who needed errands run, domiciles cleaned, groceries bought and the like with people who were willing to lend a hand in exchange for a few bucks. The service makes money by tacking on an average of 15 percent to every task fee. The launch focused on Busque's community of Charlestown, just north of downtown Boston, and expanded throughout Boston and into Cambridge within six months.

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