Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Ho.
Susan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I previously worked in biotech/pharma before I became stay-home parent. My Aha moment was when people approached me at the grocery store on a few occasions requesting help with understanding ingredient labels or reaching up to high shelves to grab a food product while still a stay-home parent.
My spouse recognized my love for helping others and suggested I start an errand service. Researched this service and discovered the personal concierge concept, joined an organization of professional concierge business owners, and took the necessary and legal steps to start a home-based business.
Initially did a lot of networking to build my brand, did my own marketing (website, blogs, emailing, brochures, etc.), did advertising, made stumbles along the way but eventually found my own comfort zone.
Today, the vast majority of my business comes through via my website and word-of-mouth referrals, with most of my clients in Boston and many surrounding communities, some out-of-state and a few abroad.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
– Web marketing … too many “professionals’ out there promising to get my site to the top of search engines but delivering next to nothing (and one of them even had me do the bulk of the work).
– Relying on advertising that led me nowhere — no leads, just a thinner wallet.
– Dealing with spammers, scammers and everything in between.
Please tell us about Good Neighbor Concierge.
Good Neighbor Concierge is a Boston-based personal concierge, lifestyle management, and personal assistant Services Company that strives to give people back their gift of time, so they can focus time on the things that matter most: time for family, friends, or themselves.
My services include (but are not limited to): taking cars in for servicing, standing in line at RMV, merchandise returns, grocery shopping, gift shopping, gift wrapping, house sitting, dog walking, meal prep, washing dishes, doing laundry, making the bed, receiving shipments & re-shipping, cake or food purchases & delivery, waiting for the cable guy, relocations assistance, etc., etc., etc. … if it’s legal, moral and ethical and found in the Yellow Pages, I can do it. Any task we all have to do, but either don’t have time to do or don’t want to do…
Personal concierge services are NOT for everyone. There’s a perception that only the rich and famous are the users of our services. Most, if not all, of my clients are hard-working everyday folks who know time is a priceless commodity and they equally understand that quality, personal attention built on a TRUSTING relationship comes with a hefty price tag. I am always the only person who works one-on-one and directly with my clients, not a new stranger or a new face coming to the door each week delivering their groceries or walking their dog.
I would say I am known for my genuine personality — what you see of me online is what you get in-person. For this reason, I freely share photos of my work as they happen on my site and on social media — unedited, raw, with wrinkles and laugh lines included — because I believe it’s as authentic and as real as it gets. This willingness to be “out there front and center” in the public is what I believe differentiates myself from the rest. It builds on trust, which is the hallmark of my industry.
I am most proud of what my business has become … it will be 6 years this year since I started with an idea … and through many, many long nights (some all-nighters too) and lots of tears and frustrations, I am grateful that this business is still my very own, solely managed by me as I like it. I have wonderful concierge colleagues throughout the US that I learn from and connect with and I have met some wonderful clients along the way, a few famous ones too!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Wished I started the business sooner.
- Address: PO Box 35852
Brighton, MA 02135
- Website: www.goodneighborconcierge.com
- Phone: 617.209.9311
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goodneighborconcierge
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoodNeighborCon
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/good-neighbor-concierge-brighton