This week, we’re excited to speak with Ralph Ercolano, owner and operator of Surrogate Son, a senior advising service. See how taking care of seniors can lead to a lot of miles on the road.
Tell us about your business. What does a typical day look like for you?
My business is called Surrogate Son. I do, for older folks, what a loving son would do. I shop for them, help them keep their finances moving, get them to their doctors and help them understand what the doctors say, keep their affairs clear and organized, get their car maintained and keep ‘wolves’ away from the front door.
I will do almost anything that is not illegal, immoral or requires licensure.
How many miles do you drive in a typical week? Where do you drive as part of your job (cities or regions)?
I drive about 100 miles/week for my work. And I am insured to transport my clients to their destinations. Most of my work-driving is confined to Monroe County, New York … the Rochester area.
What’s changed since you started using MileIQ?
The biggest change for me is the complete absence of a written, daily mileage log. What a pain that was! MileIQ does EXACTLY what I need … every day!
What’s a tip for using MileIQ you’d like to share with others?
Not so much a tip as a heads-up. When MileIQ is activated, any trip you make in any motorized conveyance is recorded. That can sometimes be confusing but as long as you’re staying on tops of drives, you’ll be fine.
What’s the biggest challenge you face running your business, and how do you address it?
I have a very difficult time finding new clients. Traditional advertising is much too expensive in this market. Social media is, more or less, ineffective. Most of my clients come to me from other professionals. This could be attorneys, accountants, financial services providers, geriatric care managers and the like. But they’re busy, too, so referrals are hard to come by.
What do you enjoy the most about the kind of work you do?
The sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Most of the time, my clients get to stay in their homes 2-3 years longer than they would have if I wasn’t working with them.
When not working, what do you like to do?
I like to act, model and work as a ‘living crash test dummy’ at a local medical school. I also do some volunteer work and hang with my grandkids.
Where can people learn more about your business?
Simple. Right here: SurrogateSon.com.
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MileIQ’s blog does not constitute professional tax advice. You should contact your own tax professional to discuss your situation.