Erasing Errands

February 26, 2008 8:52:45 PM PST
Many people have a seemingly endless list of things to do and errands to run. For many, finding time to start that list, let alone finish it, can be a challenge, but erasing errands is possible.

Action News has found people who will run those errands for you without breaking your budget.

On of those people is Amy Carpenter, who runs around town making life easier for her clients. Three years ago, she started PhillyGirlFriday.com, a personal assistant, concierge and errand running service.

"I absolutely love helping people," said Amy.

Curious as to what she does for folks, we followed Amy for a day. First stop was Washington Square to pick up a table and stereo system that Amy's client wants to sell.

"She'll pick a place to sell them," said Deb Wolf. "She's a Godsend."

Then it was off to buy rope. After that a trash can.

Adam Schran uses Amy two to three times a week!

"There are too many things that you need to get done relative to the number of hours in the day," said Schran.

During her errands, Amy is constantly on the phone setting up new ones.

Next on the list, a drop off at the Salvation Army, followed by grocery shopping, and then dropping off those groceries.

Running around through the lunch hour and beyond, Amy stops to pick up a check, hunts down humidifiers, drops off a package, delivers a stack of magazines and makes another pickup.

A quick stop back at her house doesn't slow Amy down. That's when she logs her schedule and scans her receipts so she can correctly bill her clients.

Listening to her messages she finds out a client needs some last minute help. She has a guest coming to town and hires Amy to empty the storage items out of her second bathroom.

"They just start realizing that I'm a resource for them," said Amy.

The idea of using personal assistants is becoming increasingly popular with the everyday person.

"It's for the average working person who just needs a little bit of extra time," said Carla Mandell of the International Concierge and Errand Association.

Time that can be used for so many other things.

"That chunk of time you have for your family, for your life," said Amy.

This type of rock star treatment doesn't come with celebrity prices. Amy charges a flat fee of $35 an hour for her services, which is on target for this market.

Others may charge less per hour, but add on mileage, gas surcharges and additional fees for last minute or same day service or for weekend or after-work hours.

Since you're letting this person into your inner circle, do your homework!

"Absolutely check references. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Check with the Chamber of Commerce," said Mandell.

Also, make sure they have insurance and ask how much they have. Life has accidents and general liability insurance covers both parties.

The International Concierge and Errand Association says personal assistants should be insured for a minimum of $500,000.

"It provides that level of credibility," said Mandell.

As for Amy, her days are hectic, but she says she wouldn't have it any other way.

"They have a smile on their face and that's a great feeling," said Amy.

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ON THE NET:

Philly Girl Friday (phillygirlfriday.com)

International Concierge and Errand Association (www.iceaweb.org)

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