Personal concierge a time-saver

ELLE HUNT
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012
Sarah Grealish
DIEGO OPATOWSKI/FAIRFAX NZ

Leave it to me: Sarah Grealish saw the birth of her son, Elvis, as the perfect time to act on a business idea she had years before.

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When her son Elvis was born, Sarah Grealish was faced with the decision that all new mums have to make - how soon to go back to work.

But instead of putting her career on the back burner, she saw the birth of her son as the perfect time to act on an idea she'd had almost a decade ago.

While living in London seven years ago she came across personal concierge services for professionals who resented having to run errands in their precious free time. "There's a lot of scope for it there as people have money but no time. I found I was doing it a lot for my friends for free - helping them book travel, organise parties, source information - and they said I should do it for a job."

She bought a web domain, but put the project on hold until she came home to New Zealand and had Elvis.

"Then I thought, well, there's no time like the present."

She launched her new personal concierge service, Leave It To Me, six months ago and juggles it with a part-time job as a legal secretary.

In her role as a personal concierge, Ms Grealish offers to make people's lives easier be it picking up dry-cleaning, making reservations for a restaurant, or obtaining quotes for an odd job about the house.

"Some people think it's quite extravagant to have someone do these things for you, but life is just getting faster and busier.

"People think they'll just get a quote online, but then they end up on Wikipedia looking up the size of the iceberg that the Titanic hit. The next thing they know, three hours have passed and they're totally off-track." Ms Grealish's average commission was one or two hours at $39.50 an hour.

"But I've got a couple of clients who write me a to-do list every week, which I get done in one go, saving them 10 trips."

And it's a business that suits new motherhood.

"It's something I can do now, even with a baby. He's pretty flexible."

For more details on Ms Grealish's business, see sarahgrealish.wix.com

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