She’ll Run Your Errands
Thursday, June 1, 2006
By Jodi Blasé
Wendi Dellemonico has always wanted to help people, but never had the stomach for a medical career. “I was a healthcare and staffing recruiter for 15 years. It was a way for me to be in the medical field without having to be on the front line,” she said.
Dellemonico left her job with her first pregnancy, opting to work as an on-call coordinator from home. After 12 years the company closed, leaving Dellemonico to reflect what it was she wanted to do with the rest of her life. She began researching opportunities that would allow her to work from home and to continue to raise her children. While online, she happened upon an article on concierge service. Dellemonico soon found various websites across the country that discussed errand and concierge services.
“I researched and then filed the information for a year. About three months ago it hit me that my oldest was going to be going to college in three years, and perhaps this was the right time to go back to that folder,” she said.
After three more months of research, Dellemonico found that the concierge industry had grown even more. The fairly new service seemed to be on the rise and Dellemonico wanted to be at the forefront of its growth.
“Concierge work incorporated everything that I love to do. I’d still be working with people, I could set my own hours, and I could help people relieve the stress of their everyday life,” she said.
Dellemonico attained the proper insurances and legal forms necessary to begin her business. She printed brochures, business cards and built a website. Dellemonico then purchased magnetic signs for her car and began networking. “I named my business “A Better Way Errand and Concierge Service” meaning there is a better way to make life easier,” she said.
Dellemonico worked day and night to get the business off the ground. When she was ready to make her first contact, doubt crept in. “I was so excited that I worked nonstop, but then suddenly the thought of cold calling made me apprehensive. I began to wonder if this was a good idea. Then the business rolled in and with it, positive feedback. I knew I was on the right track,” she said.
“A Better Way Errand and Concierge Service” provides pet sitting, grocery shopping, deliveries, gift shopping, dry-cleaning pick up and delivery, car maintenance and while you’re away home management. According to Dellemonico, the options are endless.
“I’m slated to take care of three dogs and a lizard from one family for a week this summer. As a lifelong animal lover, I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy a variety of animals that I don’t necessarily own, but would love to spend time with. I can provide reasonable services that people don’t have the time to do themselves”, she said.
Another aspect of A Better Way is that it provides services to companies, as well as to individuals. “These services are not only for individuals, but also for companies who want to offer a benefit to their employees. Taking the burden of certain tasks off employees will allow them to be more productive at work,” she said.
Dellemonico’s first phone call came a week after she officially opened for business. “Everything I had read told me it would take three months to get a call, but it was only a week. I was thrilled. Everyone thinks this is a great idea, and Burlington is a perfect town to begin this type of business,” she said.
A Better Way also offers gift certificates. “Gift certificates are a great way to say thank you to the busy mother, friend or co-worker. A client told me that she was having a surprise 40th for her girlfriend and they were thinking of pitching in for a gift certificate for her birthday. They wanted her to enjoy some free time and thought that someone running errands for her would be better than a spa. Better yet, I told her, if someone’s running the errands, she can go to the spa,” she laughed.
Eventually Dellemonico plans to hire independent contractors to help her with the business. In the meantime, she will continue to market A Better Way. “My goal is to give people back the gift of time, an affordable luxury we often don’t have.”