On paper, getting a courier business off the ground might look like a straightforward process if you already own a car. After all, you’ve theoretically got the transportation, and you probably don’t exactly anticipate lacking enough room in there for Amazon-style parcels. However, becoming a courier is never an “easy” option.
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies demand for online retail – and with it, courier services – you need to think carefully about whether you can provide those to the standard that your customers would rightly expect.
You’ve already got the vehicle you need… right?
Well, it probably depends exactly what you will be delivering – and that, in turn, can depend on the area of the courier market you enter. If you will be tasked with transporting large items, then you will need a van for those. However, a car can certainly suffice for smaller goods, such as pizza boxes.
Even when it comes to the latter items, though, you might find that switching to something like a motorcycle could be more cost-effective in the long run, due to the fuel savings it may bring you.
Is your car fitted with the other equipment you need?
Let’s assume that you’ve ultimately settled on your existing car as the most suitable means of transport for your courier business. In this instance, you might find that it’s still missing a few little extras that would ease your efforts to hit those delivery targets in what is undoubtedly a competitive market.
Small Business Trends reels off a list of what those extras could be – including two-way radios, a GPS unit and mobile phones. You might even be able to use your iPhone through your vehicle’s dashboard, thanks to Apple’s CarPlay system.
Are your courier activities appropriately insured?
Courier firms come in various shapes and sizes, encompassing major global brands like DHL and FedEx tussling with smaller players, including self-employed workers. In going down the self-employed route, you may initially do the actual delivering alongside running the business, as the Start Up Donut website explains.
However, you should be careful not to skimp on the insurance. Both the vehicle and the contents that it delivers will need insuring, usually with separate policies. If your budget struggles to stretch to this, you could always do some online research on ways to lower your goods in transit insurance cost.
Some proven methods for this include routinely tracking your cargo, securing the vehicle with CCTV or an immobilizer, and properly packing the items to minimize damage.
How will you market your business?
Fortunately, once you’ve got your courier business its own name, logo and branding colors, you can put them all on the car itself, allowing it to essentially serve as an advertising board on wheels – and without you having to keep on paying money to keep advertising there, either…
Still, you need to ensure your business’s continued competitiveness with regard to both its prices and service quality – and since your firm won’t be too long-established, you might have to undercut the big boys on pricing in order to compete.
Carefully consider factors like the above, and you will be in a better position to excel if and when you do eventually start a courier business with your vehicle. And let’s face it – in these economically troubled times in which new businesses can be so fragile, it’s vital to be as well-prepared as possible!