By Liz Premo, Atlantic NewsStaff Writer
Atlantic News, Friday, October 21, 2005
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]
HAMPTON -- Her home-based enterprise provides errand running services for residents and businesses in more than a half-dozen Seacoast area towns.
Registered with the state of New Hampshire, she is self-motivated and organized, as well as fully ensured. She has reliable references, believes in building trust with her customers, and offers free on-site consultations.
By the way — the CEO in her title stands for "Chief Errand Organizer."
She's Stacey Andersen of MorningStar Errand Service in Hampton, and she wants to help those people who find themselves short on time and stressed out over having to get all those little things done.
Prescriptions ready? Stacey will pick them up at the pharmacy. Need a roll of stamps or have to mail a package? She'll make a stop at the post office. Going away on vacation but don't want to leave the family pets in a kennel? Stacey will not only "pet sit," but she'll also water the plants, bring in the mail and leave the light on at night — as well as shut it off in the morning.
"A few good friends and a few good references have really started me off," says Stacey, who just recently began her MorningStar business. With several completed jobs already under her belt, Stacey reports she has "gotten really good feedback from people" about the services she offers. "I am really excited about it."
Among the many tasks she'll tackle, Stacey will do the grocery shopping (both large and small orders), transport pets, return store merchandise and videos/ DVDs, provide courier service, make bank runs, and more. She'll even do the gift wrapping for any special occasion, supplying both the wrap and the ribbon.
"There is a need" for this type of assistance, says Stacey. "It's a good idea." It's also an ideal occupation for this energetic, self-described "people person."
A homemaker and stay-at-home mom for the past 18 years, Stacey knows what having a busy life is like. When her children were younger, she found "it was sometimes tough to go out and run an errand." Now, with both of them in high school, she has the time and the willingness to offer assistance to others.
"Sometimes help in one little area of your life can make a difference," she says, acknowledging that "time is a lost commodity. Our lives are so busy, [and] time is the first thing to go."
Stacey aids her customers on a client-by-client basis. Establishing a good rapport right away is a top priority. Oftentimes she will obtain pertinent information over the phone, saving her customers time and money. She will also visit them at their home for a free, getting-to-know-you consultation. This allows everyone (including pets if there are any) "to get comfortable with each other," says Stacey.
"You have to build up a trust because you're handling people's money [as well as] entering their homes," she adds.
Stacey also hopes to reach out to businesses too, providing courier and banking services, and even meal deliveries to busy workplaces. And for those people who do not have transportation readily available to them, having someone like Stacey run an important errand for them is a godsend. The same is true for Senior Citizens who can't leave their homes for any number of reasons.
Rates for utilizing MorningStar Errand Service are typically billed at $20 per hour, depending upon the service performed. The time block begins when Stacey arrives at the first errand location (her travel time to get there is not included) and ends when she completes the service. Vacation services and pet sitting are billed at a per-visit rate.
"I think my prices are fairly reasonable," says Stacey, particularly when compared to what would be spent on cab fare to accomplish the same goal. She hastens to add that Senior Citizen discounts are available.
Stacey, who strives to be "as reliable as possible," notes that "most errands are done in the immediate area." And while she cannot transport people from place to place, she can transport pets. As owner of a one-person operation, she doesn't have to be bonded, but she is fully insured. "If I break the Ming vase, I'm covered," she says, promising "I'm going to be as careful as possible."
Ultimately, says Stacey, "I wanted to provide a wide range of services that I think people will take advantage of." Those who live in the towns of Hampton, Hampton Falls, Seabrook, North Hampton, Exeter, Kingston, Rye, Greenland and Portsmouth are invited to do just that.
To find out more about the services provided through MorningStar Errand Service, call Stacey Andersen at (603) 926-8214; e-mail her at runerrands @comcast.net; or visit www.morningside errands. zoomshare.com.