Not many people realize the benefits of owning a successful courier business. If you can set one up, it can be one of the most steady and lucrative businesses around. Couriers have tough time going through the requirements to get themselves up and going and acquiring a steady stream of customers, but if you can get past these two high hurdles and you run a good business, you can expect customers that provide lots of repeat business and that do not leave you unless you kick them out of your door.
Part of the reason for this is that couriers are so vital to the businesses that use them, that once they identify one that is efficient, on time, and understands their needs, they never want to leave them for another unproven service. This also means that it is difficult to acquire customers. If you have a desire to get into this type of business you should keep all of these issues in mind. If you are still interested, here are some of the things you need to do to put yourself in business.
Start-up Costs and Requirements
There are a list of expenses that you will incur setting up your business.
Licenses or Permits – Do some research online or call your local municipality to enquire about any licenses or permits you may need to operate a courier business in your area. You need to do this first so you understand the process and have the time you need to go through the process of getting them. This may also require that you have a particular company structure so you should know the needs even before you incorporate your business.
Incorporating Your Business – There are several options for incorporating that may get limited based on the specific type of products you want to transport. You will need to do your research in this area. As such, the costs for incorporating will vary and you may in some cases be able to incorporate completely on your own easily, in other cases you may need to hire someone to do your incorporation which will add an additional cost.
Work Clothes – Everyone who hires you will want to see someone come to their door in an easily identifiable uniform. This will make customers feel more secure about handing you their important papers or valuables and it may put you in line to charge more. So investing in uniforms for your couriers is a smart thing to do.
Transportation – The biggest expense you will incur by far to get started is transportation you’re your couriers. There is a range of options. The lowest end couriers will often use public transportation. However these couriers can expect to charge the lowest fees and have the lowest efficiencies because of the unpredictability of public transportation. There are also courier services who utilize motorcycles for transport. These couriers run around the city and can move in and out of traffic and find short term parking quickly. The downside is their hauling capacity is very limited. The high end courier services who also charge the most, all use vans for their transport. This allows for the highest level of security and also to haul any size package for long distances. As mentioned this is the biggest cost when getting started and new businesses should be smart and look to save costs here. A smart approach is to find yourself a used Ford van. Ford makes reliable vans that last long and are cheap to fix. Remember, this van will be on the road all the time so maintenance costs are an area to focus on and will directly affect your bottom line. So buy cheap but buy good quality.
Hiring employees – With the advent of the Internet and apps, you can run your business virtually from a smart phone. This does not mean you will not have a central office, only that you do not really need a big staff. When you start, someone to run the office, another to coordinate pick-ups, someone in accounting, and another in customer service should suffice and of course your couriers.
Tech – All of your couriers should be coordinated with each other and the company through their phones. There is software that is perfect for this agenda and some of the programs are nearly free or have a small monthly service charge. It is always better to pay the mall fee because you usually get important benefits when you do. The couriers can also use a GPS mapping service to always know where they are and where they are going. This also allows them to know real time about traffic jams and accidents and to seek alternative routes. Also set up an online profile for your company with a nice website and social media presence.