|by Elizabeth Older, Contributing Writer
Don't Stop to Shop
Imagine never having to fight the 5:30p.m. grocery gridlock again to pick up those little essentials of life, like breakfast cereal for the kids.
With an automated home delivery service, you can choose products from an extensive list and order them in minutes by phone or over the Internet, says Tim Hendricks, who runs the service with his wife Anna from their Nashville home.
Customers can also order routinely used items to be sent automatically on a pre-determined schedule, which can be adjusted at any time. The products can be billed to a credit card and delivered to customers' doors, Hendricks says.
"You don't worry about running out of stuff," he explains.
And stuff there is. Some 1,200 well-known companies offer thousands of products through the service, everything from Sony televisions to Snickers candy bars, Hendricks explains. And any concerns or problems can be addressed promptly by calling a toll free number.
"We carry top-quality products," the 40-year-old Hendricks says. The couple makes money on orders from their own customers, but they also train and set up other independent business owners for the business. Then they receive a small percentage from the sales those business owners make, he adds.
Attracting new business owners has not been difficult because many people are looking for financial autonomy in this time of company downsizing, says Hendricks. He was running the business part-time before his hourly pay at a Smyrna manufacturing job was cut when the company made some changes. Hendricks decided to deal with the pay cut by quitting his job and going full-time with the automated home delivery service.
"Technology is going to continue to put people out of business," Hendricks predicts. " Ten years from now, there will be no such thing as a job where you go to work and stay for a lifetime." With Internet access, people will be able to buy goods and services directly from vendors all over the world, creating "global competition" that will put pressure on current delivery systems, he says.
"There is definitely going to be a lot more of this," says Hendricks, who has worked in the home delivery field for about seven years. "The biggest advantage is mainly the convenience."
Customers and new business owners come primarily from referrals, Hendricks says. "It's pretty much spread by word of mouth."
The biggest personal benefit derived from being in the business, Hendricks says, is the freedom to arrange his work around his life, instead of the other way around.
"I basically sleep until I'm done," he says.