September 28, 2022

Description of Job
• Stand in for clients to perform any reasonable assignment on their behalf
when they cannot do it for themselves.
• Perform other tasks within the home, as appropriate.
The Need
Robinson Crusoe had his servant, Friday. Batman had Robin. Sherlock Holmes
had his sometimes-confused but always well-meaning stalwart Dr. Watson.
For most of us, it’s not feasible to hire a household staff to attend to our every
need, but there are certainly many instances when it would be absolutely wonderful to have a man Friday or a gal Friday to help us do the things we don’t have
time for, or that must be taken care of in places we can’t be.
One of the reasons our lives have become so complicated is that there are
fewer stay-at-home moms and greater distances from extended family that
served as supports in the past.

A man or gal Friday can be hired to perform just about any task. A typical set
of jobs includes:
• Accepting deliveries
• Delivering packages to the post office
• Supervising service calls on appliances or meeting a plumber in the home
• Meeting the cable guy or the telephone repair person
• Answering correspondence and returning phone calls
• Picking up dry cleaning and laundry
• Taking a vehicle for service
• Assisting in the organization and conduct of a party
• Organizing closets, basements, and attics
• Organizing book and music collections
• Setting up and maintaining a personal filing system for important papers
You’ll need a flexible schedule and a willingness to take on just about any reasonable request. Don’t agree to perform a task that is beyond your skills or experience, and be careful about accepting liability beyond your agreement and
insurance coverage.
This sort of job is appropriate for someone who is highly organized and
dependable, someone who enjoys solving problems.
Ask your clients to tell neighbors that you will be in their home while they
are away; this should prevent neighbors from calling the police to report a burglar. (It may also help you recruit new clients.)
Know the Territory
This sort of job is in greatest demand in areas where homeowners and renters
commute to work or are otherwise out of their homes for much of the day. You
might also be able to find assignments from seniors and others who may be
housebound or who cannot easily get about.
You should have a good knowledge of the map of your region and be able to
make pickups and deliveries. You should feel comfortable dealing with tradespeople and repair specialists. You will be representing the client and should not
sign off on a repair or maintenance job if it has not been done properly.

How to Get Started
Post flyers and business cards on bulletin boards at community centers, supermarkets, and schools. Place ads in local newspapers and shopping guides. Ask
satisfied customers to recommend your services to others.
You should collect references and letters of recommendation from previous
Up-front Expenses
The principal expenses are for advertising and promotion. If you are called on to
use your own vehicle for pickups and deliveries, you may need to purchase additional insurance for that purpose.
How Much to Charge
Charge an hourly rate for your services, plus a mileage fee for driving. If you are
asked to pay for any services on behalf of your client, you should be immediately
If you will be working on a regular basis for a client, ask to be put on a
retainer; subtract actual hours worked from the balance and give your client a
regular accounting.
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: Discuss with your attorney any prior legal problems you may have
encountered and seek advice about whether they need to be disclosed to clients.
If you will be transporting clients or their children—not something to be
taken lightly—you will need additional insurance.

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