There was a time when getting a parcel or important document delivered left you at the mercy of the courier company. Delivery times were dictated by the couriers, rather than by customers and if you wanted to take receipt of a parcel, it meant waiting in all day.
Times have changed though and these days the customer is king. The result is a rising demand for tailored and personal courier services that are fast, efficient and reliable. Smaller courier companies can now have as much success as the bigger players. If you’re considering setting up as a courier, then here are four tips to getting the business success you want.
1. Setting up takes time and planning
It may seem that getting started as a courier service is as easy as pie. A vehicle, a phone and somewhere to store the parcels and paperwork and you’re off and running. Well, actually, if you really want to make a success of things, then it is important not to underestimate the extent of the effort needed to get going. There will be initial start up costs, but also the day to day costs of running a business. Insurance is a must, in case of breakages or loss of items. Planning ahead is vital and you will need to research what the business needs are in your locality when it comes to delivery services. It’s a competitive industry, so make sure you get it right first time and you will have the advantage over some of the other cheap courier companies.
2. Start small, think big..
It may be a good idea to keep things small to begin with. Specialising in specific cargo types, such as confidential or medical documentation or perhaps fragile or perishable parcels may be a good starting point. Build your reputation and your client base and then you can consider expanding the business later on. The key to your success may well be your attention to detail, your reliability and your courtesy to your clients. Quality courier services find success in being prepared to go the extra mile. Do the same and your clients will return to your business again and again.
3. To go it alone or not to go it alone?
Small businesses often begin as a one man band. It’s the most straightforward way of getting started. However, going it alone means taking sole responsibility for everything. To keep things running smoothly and to maintain a good business reputation, it will be necessary to put the hours in. This could well mean working evenings, weekends and bank holidays and your life may not feel like your own for a while. Be prepared for the business to take priority for some time. Once you have developed a strong client base, you can consider employing other drivers to share the workload.
4. Choose your pricing structure
When setting your prices, don’t forget the costs of your overhead. Factor in fuel, vehicle maintenance and servicing costs, together with other expenses, such as advertising costs, phone and internet charges if you want to make a profit.