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Six Things to Know if You’re Starting a Delivery Business
If you’re thinking of starting a delivery business – congratulations! You’ve made a brilliant choice.
With the number of parcels, letters, meals, and other items being delivered growing throughout the country, courier businesses are a fast-growing market with relatively low start-up costs and great potential.
With a delivery business, you could be able to work your own hours and be your own boss or start to grow your service and begin employing others to deliver for you, expanding the business into a seriously lucrative opportunity.
Still, as with any new activity, there are several things you’ll need to think about and decisions you’ll need to make as you take the steps towards setting up your service and getting out on the road!
Below are six tips and ideas to get you thinking about various factors that will help you start your business with all the knowledge and equipment you desire.
What are you Delivering?
Your first decision, and the one who will have a knock-on effect on everything else about your choice, is what type of courier service do you want to be offering?
You might decide you want to be working in the postal industry or the restaurant industry – but even within these brackets, there are lots of different options.
Some goods can be hazardous and have specific transit requirements; others might need to be kept hot or cold during travel, or some items might be fragile and need extra care.
Choosing one of these areas to specialize in might feel limiting, but actually, it can create your niche in the market and make you the go-to person for anything of this nature.
Decisions decisions decisions!
Onto your next big decision; what vehicle to buy!
Unless you already own your business vehicle, this will be the single most significant cost of starting your company, so it’s essential to get it right.
If you’re only considering local, essential delivery services, then the cheapest option is to go for a bicycle courier service.
This has many advantages, including cost, and being able to market yourself as an eco-friendly business.
It will also help you keep fit – so you can save on that gym membership.
If your catchment area is going to be too big for a bike to handle and you need to invest in a small van, it’s essential to do your research.
Factors like size, driveability, and fuel consumption should all form part of your decision-making process.
Rules of the Road
Once you’ve chosen your vehicle, the next step is making sure you’re up to date with Title 47, Chapter 11 of state statutes – otherwise known as the Rules of the Road!
As a business using the roads, you and any of your workers need to be just as familiar (if not more so) with these laws as an individual driver.
Driving safely will take care of your health and wellbeing, and also lessen the risk of exposure to lawsuits and claims against you from others due to careless driving.
Actions like this can have a dramatically negative effect on your new business, so make sure to avoid them.
As with any new business, you’ll need to research the existing companies in your local area and make sure you aren’t entering into direct competition with any established businesses.
Or, if you are, that you are very confident you can improve upon the service, they are already offering!
Look online for information, or ask around local businesses to see who they use as a courier service.
There is no point setting yourself up as a domestic carrier for a particular item (e.g., hazardous goods, or chilled products) if there is already a known and trusted company operating, and no room in the market for another.
Starting a Delivery Business – Marketing
Unlike a lot of other businesses, your marketing will often be aimed at other companies rather than individuals, so you must target them as such.
A designed, functional website will work wonders, and it’s worth investing in a partnership with an SEO company (Search Engine Optimization) to boost your company’s profile in online searches.
Finally, it’s essential not to forget the little things that will make your job so much easier!
Once you have chosen your business plan, decided on your vehicle, and set up your online presence and marketing plans, invest in a few extra accessories to help your business start out.
If you’re operating as a bicycle courier, choosing the best bag system for your bike will be invaluable, as will safety equipment such as a helmet, lights, and reflective vest.
If you’re working from a van, a dedicated phone or SATNAV system is essential, and it’s worth kitting out the back of your van with straps and fastenings so you can make sure you’re taking care of all your deliveries.
Finally, consider investing in a shirt or jacket uniform with your company logo, so your customers will remember you, and always know exactly who they’re dealing with!