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Do you need an entourage?

image2 mar2020

You’ve probably seen them lingering discreetly in the background – the housekeepers, agents, personal assistants, general factotums, or even the cleaners. It might be easy to dismiss the entourage as an indulgence of only the very rich and famous.

In practice, though, having people around and about to help you with everyday chores is likely to make life rather more comfortable. They don’t need to be permanent or live-in members of your household – some might not even be present at all – and the cost may be less than you expected.

Of course, you may simply hate ironing or don’t always have the time to walk the dog – again, there are people who can do this for you.

In any walk of life, a support team of one or two domestic helpers may be a comfort or even a necessity – so, how might you pick the members of your entourage?

Personal assistant

Life is to be enjoyed – and that means packing precious moments with all the things you like doing. Paying bills, arranging dinner dates, organising trips to the theatre and holidays are all domestic chores that tend to get in the way of actually enjoying the moment. Who could claim to enjoy the administrative hassle?

When you were at work, you might have had the benefit of a personal assistant, so already know what a vast range of duties such an individual might perform.

If you needed any gentle reminder, recruitment agency Randstad explains how a personal assistant might rapidly become the crutch on which any busy person comes to rely. Thanks to them and the routine, time-consuming tasks they take on, you are free to get on with the things that really matter in life.

Virtual assistant

It is rarer these days for your personal assistant to share your home with you. Thanks to the power of the internet, many of the tasks can be done remotely - so you don't even need the physical presence of such an individual.

In the workplace and just as easily and competently in a domestic setting, a virtual assistant – working from any remote location – can take care of many of the administrative chores of daily life.

Virtual assistants (VA’s) offer a more flexible and affordable solution to the need for such help – which is why an estimated 24% of all digital workers will soon rely on at least some input from virtual assistants, argued Small Business on the 7th of October.

Freelancer websites such PeoplePerHour have by-the-hour VA’s, or you can visit specialist VA companies online.

Driver

Driving might once have been a pleasure. You took the car out just for the sake of it. As you grow older – and the roads still busier and more congested – the fun seems to have been taken out of driving, and you'd prefer to have someone else do it for you.

You might not want a full-time driver for every journey – there are still times when you enjoy driving yourself – but consider employing a part-time private driver on an as and when basis as a member of your entourage. The website Ready Mag offers a series of tips on hiring a private driver in the UK.

Personal trainer

Recent years have seen a huge awakening to the benefits of personal fitness. Whatever your age, it pays to keep body and mind as fit as possible through regular exercise. A whole fitness industry has sprung up, with gyms and health clubs aplenty, and most of them offering access to a personal trainer. The Train Fitness website suggests several reasons for hiring such a personal trainer.

But perhaps you’d prefer individually tailored sessions from a personal trainer who visits you at home. Once again, you do not need to retain your personal trainer on a permanent retainer but add one to your entourage simply by paying by the hour whenever you feel the need. The National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) can find one in your area and suggests that hourly sessions are likely to cost from £15 to £50 and upwards.

Companion

Back in the day, The Lady magazine was brimming with classified advertisements for “ladies’ companions”. Some might argue that times have moved on, and the role has become obsolete in this day and age. But many still look to include a full- or part-time companion in their entourage.

So, The Lady continues to list many positions for companions – and the less sexist "man Friday" or "houseman". The demand continues, and the range of duties have extended to include the roles of housekeeper, cleaner, cook and carer.

Going for gold

In our brief round-up of domestic services, we have suggested ways in which you might assemble an entourage to suit your needs. For many of those roles, you can avoid any permanent retainer, do not need the staff to live in your own home, but “mix and match”, paying by the hour, for services as and when you might need them.

Depending on your circumstances and aspirations, however, there are certainly more elaborate – and expensive – solutions available. If you want to live like the seriously rich and famous, with a full entourage to match, you might see how that can be done by visiting a website such as the Sincura Group.

This data and information cited in this article is correct as at the time of writing.

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