Sunday, August 14, 2005

Idea #4: Butler Service

Business Type: High End Service

Estimated Start Up: $6K. ( marketing, training, advertising, insurance, back ground checks)

Where: Market to affluent areas as a status symbol.

Remember Mr. Belvedere and Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler? If you like old guys with British accents then they are perfect choices, but how can you justify paying someone 60K per year to answer your door and serve tea and crumpets or biscottis?

This new age butler is one that is versed in culture, style, fashion, technology and finances. Lets not forget about the traditional knowledge of teaching gentlemen and lady like behavior, table etiquette and even improving your vernacular. Should you buy Joe and Seven for All Mankind Jeans? Ask Jeeves! Should you lease or buy that Hummer H2? Ask Jeeves! Your husband has dinner in Japan next week and needs to learn basic Japanese. Ask Jeeves!

In other words, when this person has completed getting your car washed, filling up the gas tank, changing the oil and organizing your mail you have an instant "queer eye, tech geek, Jim Cramer, James Bond type" at your disposal for instant advice.

The value added benefit to this service is that the service is paid for on a community pay plan. This means that one butler's salary is paid by splitting the butler's costs and time between 4 households. In order to schedule consultations or services, simply logon to "" see available times and reserve your butler. During training you could even teach Englsih accents!

Cost are to be determined, however each butler receives training based on areas that they need knowledge on. The butler is contracted through the New Butler company and all jobs and pay are handled thru the office.

Any feedback?


Thumb said...

You're suggesting a sort of butler timeshare. Here are the flaws I see in your plan:

1) When people hire professionals to do a service for them, they want someone who is a professional in that service. You need someone to serve, you hire a waiter. You need someone to babysit, you hire a babysitter. While a person who does everything sounds nice, from a branding perspective it's just a guy who can't do anything REALLY well.

2) Figure you split the butler amongst 5 families so they each got him for a day. Then split the cost of the butler (assuming he gets paid $60k a year before the company takes their commission) amongst the 5 families. That comes out to 12k a year which is 1k a month. Would you pay 1k a month for a guy to come over and do things you can do yourself?

Not a bad idea but needs some tweaking.

El Train said...

your point is valid about not knowing how to do one thing really well. I guess the part that I would really like to sell is the "luxury novelty" of having a butler. targeting people that pay to for basketball tutoring by Joe College.

But your observations are good ones. I should note that ill put out the ideas out there, but some holes are left for effect. Critiques and creativity.

Jose Anes said...

A cook and butler service is a great idea.
Sometimes people want to have a "special dinner" or "special event". They want everything, including the nice home made, fresh food to the superb service by someone who has good moaners and dresses well. I bet people would be willing to pay $500 for the service (plus food ingredients) for one night. $500 is about what I earn every day (if I monetarized intangible benefits a company offers).

Money and Investing