There is a lot of business available for couriers in the UK but many people are unsure as to whether or not they should venture into setting up a courier company or business. Whether you are new to the delivery industry or have been working for another courier company and are looking to branch out on your own, we have put together our ten top tips to help you make those first steps to embark on your new courier delivery service.
1. Make a business plan.
Like any business you need to make a clear business plan of your expenses, competitive pricing and profit margins. You need to have a clear vision of how you will make money and the kind of courier work you are looking for. You need to establish where you will get new business and how you will keep client retentions. Using delivery quote comparison sites like Delivery Quote Compare can get you new business, especially when you have a limited marketing budget and the clients you get can become regular and loyal if you can provide a good customer service.
2. Get your vehicle.
Decide if you will buy or lease your delivery vehicle .You will need a practical vehicle that is reliable, safe and has a good fuel economy. If you buy, have your vehicle checked by a competent mechanic and remember to include vehicle depreciation in your business plan.
3. Organise office space.
If you create a home office, contact the local zoning office to determine if you can legally run a business out of your home. If you rent office space, think of location and cost.
4.Purchase materials and equipment for your courier business.
Materials and equipment include cell phones, two-way radios if hiring one or more employees, office supplies, such as envelopes, pens, pencils, notebooks, a GPS unit and computer software to track pick-ups, deliveries, invoicing and bookkeeping. You may also want to purchase gas cards for employees and ledgers to track gas usage and miles driven each day.
5. Begin marketing.
Contact local businesses to market courier services. Lawyers, banks, corporate offices, notaries, hospitals, medical offices and individuals in your community may all have a need for a courier. Create a brochure that highlights your courier information, such as services, hours, delivery options and contact information. Create business cards, fliers and postcards to send to prospective clients. Advertise your courier services in online and print business directories. Attend local trade shows and small business conferences to network with potential clients. If you can get a simple website up with your contact details and use delivery comparison websites to help generate new leads.
6. Begin hiring.
Hire one or more employees if you want to manage the office and leave the pick-ups and deliveries to others. Conduct a criminal background check and credit check before hiring anyone to work for your company. Make sure all employees have clean driving records and reliable transportation if using their own vehicles. You may want to hire someone to manage the office while you make deliveries, either way check they have the correct qualifications before taking them on.
7. Delivery Options
Decide whether you will offer different delivery options, such as one-hour delivery or overnight service. Also decide the type and size of materials delivered, whether you will be offering specialist delivery services such as confidential material or oversize items.
8. Develop a pricing structure for items delivered.
For example, you may charge less for letter delivery than for a heavier package. If you are offering same-day or one-hour delivery, consider the time and effort it will take to provide these
10. Check your insurance.
An accident or unexpected occurrence can cause major problems for a new business. Check that your insurance is appropriate for a courier company. Don’t forget to insure your office contents as well as vehicles and employees.
Setting up a Courier Business
When setting up a delivery or courier business you need to work out revenue streams and expenses as well as looking at how you can win new business. We have our top ten tips that will apply to most people setting up a courier business but please look at your own circumstances and what is right for you.