Wow this is a very interesting thread to me, a bazillion years ago I use to design website (which I've mentioned before). I did it for about 8+ years before I went back to my old job that I have now. I got tired of clients! (I know, I know and here I am in a client-centric business). Back then I was not as good at setting boundaries as I am now. I had clients calling me at literally all hours, on any day of the week. But I was newly divorced and had a young daughter and a huge mortgage to support so I worked 24/7. (at least it felt that way).
When I got the offer to return to my current job... I jumped at it, it's in a totally different industry and there is only 1 client at a time. Back then I swore I'd never ever do websites again. I actually liked doing them and consider myself very creative but I just got so burned out with how I let clients treat me. (rough patch in my life I guess).
I don't know Wordpress and feel a bit stifled by it... unless I learn to design my own themes it's really just plugging things in. Not as creative as writing your own code back in the old days. However I do feel that there is a big demand for it's use in my area (my two clients both use it and have expressed an interest in updating their websites down the line) so after reading this thread I think I'm going to make it one of my goals to learn how to use it and use it well this year.
Now that I'm in a better place in my life I have no problems saying "no." So demanding clients won't be a problem this time around.
Mobile notary service.
Though my main niche is executive assistant services, I'm also adding on a service as an eldercare concierge for clients who are taking care of aging parents in addition to their work and home duties. People are BEGGING for that service. Hopefully I'll have it up and running in about two weeks. It sounds like I'll have clients for that right away.
Sure, be glad to. My regular branding is executive support, but I know from experience that the boss on the go might also be caring for an aging parent; they could be in their 30s all the way up to their 70s and caring for their 98-year-old parent. I've been down that road and know that not only is it mentally and emotionally taxing, it's very time consuming. This sort of service may seem like a big deal, but when you have to take time off to call a wheelchair taxi to drive Mom or Dad to the podiatrist, it can save you hours. Or if you're getting ready to travel to DC from Atlanta and Mom's assisted living calls you and says their bus broke down and YOU need to get her to the ophthalmologist. I pick up the phone and get the first bus or cab service that can get her there from the home and back.
Some stats I've been able to pull from AARP is that the average caregiver spends 21 hours a week caring for their mom or dad in addition to work and the kids.
The care is usually assumed by a daughter or daughter-in-law. From start to finish, women may lose an average of $384K in pay and benefits. Woman or man usually have to refuse promotions, take leaves of absence, or even quit altogether.
And it's not just CEO's or higher ranking. I've had requests from hairstylists, shop owners, business owners, and teachers who are just begging for these services. One cried uncontrollably when she found out I did this sort of thing. The need is greater than people realize and caregivers are desperate for any kind of help, as I can vouch.
Most of what I would do is arrange, research, and local traveling. Say for example the caregiver needs to rent a hospital bed. I would have the information at my fingertips as to what's out there for what price and whether or not it can be delivered. (He/she would have to be there for the delivery, of course) I would find supermarkets that would deliver to the caregiver's home. I can arrange transportation to and from dr appointments or adult day care. I can tell them about visiting nurses or assisted living in the area that might fit their needs. I can research state or federal laws regarding something. You'd never believe how many times my mother's assisted living would prescribe some med or equipment and quote state or federal regulations as to why she needed them. I'd send the caregiver a link to the state or federal statutes so they could see for themselves. I could give them a list of attorneys in the area who specialized in anything from estate planning to litigation (a hip replacement prosthesis was recalled just weeks after my father died; we had to hire a litigation attorney; they're not cheap)
My husband and I are both mobile notaries. We have traveled to dozens of nursing homes or hospices when the mother or father had some last-minute signing to do. We got called at 10 pm one night when the son's mother wasn't expected to last the night.
I'm starting to think I'm in uncharted waters here. I was going to start a business that would do these services exclusively, but it would have been too much of a pain to change the business's name and all the legal headaches that go with, so I decided to offer these services in addition. Juggling two businesses at a time is not a good way for me to start out.
My services are pretty generic; I don't want the responsibility of anything that would require a power of attorney or would be subject to HIPAA regulations. I am not a doctor, attorney or CPA and cannot give medical, legal or financial advice.
This is something you might want to look into if you do executive support services. With the aging population, something like this will be more and more in demand. Lord willing, I will have my first two clients this week *YAAAAAY*
Veteran Office Support, that is a great niche but I wouldn't exactly call it unchartered waters. There is even an Association for exactly what you do, The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. You can become certified with them if you meet the criteria. I thought of doing so but have yet to follow through. I meet the "Associate" level as my educational background and previous work experience falls in that category. I believe most of their care managers work in the field, directly with the client, rather than virtually, which is where your unchartered waters come in! You may have heard of this organization, just passing along the info just in case!