by Amy Daniels
Don Lancaster is no stranger to hard work. His self-starter, entrepreneurial nature has helped him find success in business and personal goals alike. Lancaster is the owner of Carolina Concierge & Courier, a service-based business with the goal of making people’s lives easier by getting things done and solving problems.
“I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my working life,” says Lancaster. “I enjoy working with people and taking care of things for people.”
A Family Business of Entrepreneurship
Lancaster grew up working in his family’s diesel machine shop and auto parts store. The experience instilled a desire to not only run his own business, but to make it one in which he could include his own family. In 2014, Lancaster’s son, Andrew, joined his father’s business.
“Having the opportunity to start Carolina Concierge & Courier was an opportunity not only to further my only own business interest but opened the opportunity for my son to work with me,” he says. “Having the opportunity to work with my son is something that I really enjoy. He’s a big part of my life. We have a very close relationship.”
Even when his son was very young, Lancaster encouraged him to find something that he loved to do. Echoing Mark Twain’s wisdom, he advised his son to “find something you would be willing to do for free, but figure out how to get paid for it. That way, it won’t seem like work. You’ll enjoy getting up and doing what you do and you will be really good at it because it’ll be fun.”
Lancaster points out that part of the beauty and challenge of entrepreneurship is that the business you start isn’t always the business they originally envisioned.
“You really never know exactly how it’s going to turn out. Ultimately, a lot of people wind up with a different business than they anticipated in the beginning. I’ve had to tailor my business to what other people need,” says Lancaster. “I look at each need as a unique opportunity to help someone to solve a problem and also to grow my business.”
Concierge for All
Traditional concierge service has its roots as an upscale hotel amenity. Enterprising business owners have created an industry around the concierge concept, bringing services to people in all walks of life.
“I have a lot of potential clients call and say, ‘I don’t know if you do this, but…’ and then they’ll explain what they need.”
Lancaster prides himself on helping people solve a diverse range of problems. The father and son duo are typically able to handle the tasks their clients request. When clients simply do not know who to call to solve a problem, Lancaster is able to refer his clients to vetted professionals who can help with their need.
“I thoroughly enjoy what I do. I just enjoy helping people. Every client wants something different, and it’s a challenge to not only find a way to take care of something unusual, but to get it done in a timely manner so they’re happy with it. One of the most gratifying things is when you have a referral from someone who is happy with your work.”
The clientele calling on Carolina Concierge & Courier are just as diverse as the needs they present.
“I have clients who are busy professionals, attorneys, and business people. I also [work with] housewives and retirees who are finding themselves either too busy to get things done or they have physical limitations that create problems for them and they’re not able to take care of things that they used to be able to take care of,” explains Lancaster.
It’s not uncommon for Lancaster to receive calls from out-of-town clients who need assistance for an elderly or disabled family member. “So they will call and ask if I can take care of picking up prescriptions for them or take them to and from a doctor visit.”
Busy parents, moms in particular, find the services offered by Carolina Concierge & Courier to be helpful and freeing. Lancaster’s vision for Carolina Concierge & Courier is to make people’s lives easier. By taking mundane and challenging tasks off of their to-do lists, Lancaster wants his clients to spend more time on the things that matter to them.
“We help take care of things for people so that they can spend more time with their families and focus on things that are of personal value them, civic activities or other things that they would like to participate in.
As Carolina Concierge & Courier continues to grow, Lancaster wants to be of assistance to busy medical professionals who have recently relocated to the area, work long shifts, and are often unavailable to handle personal tasks during regular business hours.
“These people are busy. They’re not familiar with the area. I would like to help doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel, who, because of the nature of their business, lack time for things that they need done,” explains Lancaster.
Learning Through Personal Growth
More than most, Lancaster understands what it is like to have a never-ending list. As a result of his strong work ethic and dedication to his helping his clients solve problems, Lancaster found himself facing health problems of his own. When his doctor prescribed blood pressure medication, citing excessive weight as the main culprit, Lancaster realized that he needed to make some changes.
“I decided in December of last year that 2019 was the year that I was going to get my health back in line and take care of some personal things. So, I found a weight loss program. I also joined Fit Body Boot Camp. I go there three days a week to work out. Between the diet plan and working out, I’ve managed to lose 87 pounds.”
In addition to the rewarding feeling of surpassing his weight loss goal, Lancaster has learned that his blood pressure is back within normal limits, he is able to work harder without getting worn out as quickly, and painful osteoarthritis in his knees has been significantly reduced.
Lancaster says that he used to the same approach to weight loss as he used to build his business.
“You have this big picture of where you want to be, but you have to take it a little bit at a time. Each day, you do something that is beneficial. You do that every day and you repeat the things that work and discard the things you realize are not working. And you stay with what works and build upon it a little bit at a time. So over time, you’ve built a business that is not only solving problems for people, but it’s thriving and growing same time. It’s the same way with weight loss, with a little bit of progress in the beginning but it’s cumulative and its effective. So over time you, you get where you want to go.”
There’s no limit to what Carolina Concierge & Courier can do for you! Carolina Concierge & Courier is like having your own personal services assistant to help you take care of life’s details and reduce your stress.
Carolina Concierge & Courier provides the following services and more:
• Take pets to the vet, kennel, or groomer
• Dry Cleaning drop off/Pick Up
• Prescription Pick Up.
• Grocery shopping and/or pick up
• Take your vehicle to service appointments.
• Wait for plumber/electrician/cable repair during a 6-hour window of your work day
• Deliver lunch to an office or meeting
• Go to the bank for you
• Make sure important documents arrive to the correct office across town
• Schedule lawn care
• Arrange for transportation to and from doctor appointments
• Office errands
• Set up for business meetings
• Find a trustworthy professional service to help with almost anything
To learn more about Carolina Concierge & Courier, visit carolinaconciergeandcourier.net. Call 252-531-1436 and realize how much more you can accomplish when you let a professional take over your to-do list.