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Hospitality, sans hotel
By Alicia Fabbre | Daily Herald Columnist

Michelle Soesbe of St. Charles has started a concierge business. She runs errands for residents and performs services for business.

 

Rick West | Staff Photographer

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Published: 4/11/2008 12:06 AM

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Need help making all those phone calls at work today? Don't have time to pick up the dry cleaning? Need help managing the house?

Michelle Soesbe wants to help.

Whether it's making phone calls, running errands or helping out a new parent organize the house, Soesbe offers her services to busy people.

"People are on the go," she said. "They're busy at sports events, commuting longer and working longer hours.

"My goal is just to help people organize their lives so they can focus on living their lives and they don't have to spend their free time doing things they don't want to do," Soesbe said.

Soesbe, who lives in St. Charles, recently started her business, Concierge Michelle. The business, run from her home for now, offers a variety of services to help free up time for busy people or businesses.

Prices for her services range from $7 for making a phone call to $30 for running errands --plus the cost of whatever is purchased. She offers package deals and gift certificates.

Soesbe, who has a background in the hotel industry, began researching her businesses more than a year before she opened in February. Since her opening the calls for help have been coming in.

"I've been doing everything from researching insurance and getting quotes to running errands," she said.

One client just had her make check lists for things like expenses. Another had her get concert tickets.

"I'm a lot busier than I thought I would be," she said, referring to calls she's received in the last month.

Soesbe is working to add business owners to her list of clients. For them, she offers services such as helping employees with some of their tasks like making phone calls or running errands. Business owners without an assistant also can call on Soesbe to help out with some routine tasks.

She says offering her services can help set businesses apart, whether it be used as a benefit to help retain employees or as an incentive for a business owner to help land clients.

"The client can set themselves apart from other businesses," she said.

In addition to running errands and helping out with routine tasks, Soesbe also offers specialized tasks, such as moving services. Soesbe can be there to wait for the delivery of new appliances, help pack up boxes and put them away for people who are trying to sell their home, or help unpack when people move into their new home.

Soesbe also offers event planning, wedding day assistance, birthday parties and assistance to new or busy parents with tasks around the house. She also offers holiday services that include shopping, gift wrapping and holiday card writing.

Soesbe hopes to eventually move her business into a storefront.

She serves customers within a 10-mile radius of her home office, including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Elgin and South Elgin.

To contact Soesbe, call (630) 777-6909 or visit www.conciergemichelle.com.