Recession Sparks Boom In Personal-Assistant Biz

Imagine if you could hire someone to do all those pesky chores that you always hate to do — pick up the dry cleaning, make the kids’ lunches, finally set up your online bill payments, asks WalletPop.

The good news for those of us who aren’t Brad or Angelina is that the recession — the one that has basically eliminated the middle class — has created an ever-more eager pool of personal assistants, many of whom were recently laid off from a corporation near you and who have already swallowed a big old chunk of humble pie. What better use of an ex-middle manager’s skills than to allow them to manage the project you call your life?

A bulk of the industry’s growth has occurred as laid off workers try their hand at starting their own business, says Katharine Giovanni, who owns Triangle Concierge in North Carolina. Starting a personal assistant business offers a low barrier to entry, as well as low overhead costs. All you need is a home office, phone, voicemail and insurance. Of course, having a web site is nice, but word of mouth and recommendations on LinkedIn often prove more effective.

Plus, there are many possible revenue streams. One woman who started a personal-assistant business in the South targets recently-divorced men who were used to having their wives manage the home. Then there is the Beverly Hills, Ca.-based personal assistant who works with the height of discretion taking care of those who need post-plastic surgery care. She runs to the drugstore, fixes meals, and in general lets the newly face-lifted rest out of the public eye.

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