With tons of opportunities available for couriers in the United Kingdom, many people may have considered starting up their own venture. No matter whether you’re new to the delivery industry, or you’ve got experience working for a courier company, here are 10 factors to consider before setting up a courier business.
Make a Business Plan
No matter what sort of business you plan to run, it’s always best to have a business plan in place that can help document your expenses, profit margins, and competitive pricing. For your company to be a success, you will need to lay out how you will make money, as well as the type of courier work you’re looking for. Your business plan should clearly outline your business’s objectives and goals for the foreseeable future.
Get Your Vehicle
Once you have outlined your objectives and goals, you will need to decide on whether you will purchase or lease your delivery vehicle. It’s important that you find a vehicle that’s practical, safe, and reliable. If you decide to buy, having your vehicle inspected by a competent mechanic is important.
Get it Insured
Having the right insurance is crucial for your courier business, particularly if you decide to buy rather than lease your vehicle. Websites like Quotezone.co.uk compare courier insurance providers, helping you find the best quote. When getting your quote, you only need to fill in one form that allows you to compare prices.
Find Office Space
Having a space to run your business from is crucial. If you’re thinking of renting out office space, there are various considerations that you will need to take into account, such as the location of your business, as well as the day to day running costs.
Buy Materials and Equipment
There are lots of different materials and equipment that you will need to purchase to get your courier business off the ground and running. These can include mobile phones, two-way radios as well as office stationery like pens, pencils, and notebooks. You will also need to purchase a GPS unit and computer software which will track deliveries.
Before launching your courier business, you will need to have a think about your marketing strategy. Spreading the word about your company to the masses is crucial, so be sure to contact local businesses who can help with the marketing plan. Whether it be hospitals, banks, corporate offices, or medical offices, reaching out to other businesses can really help. You should also create a business card that outlines who you are, what you do, and how people can benefit from your services.
The hiring process can be long and tiresome, however, it’s important that you get the right people for the job. Make sure to carry out a thorough criminal background and credit check before you hire anyone to work for your business. You will also need to make sure that all employees have a clean driving record, as well as reliable transportation. There are other factors that you need to take into account too, such as how many people you’re employing in your business, and what roles need to be assigned.
You need to determine whether you will be offering different delivery options. These can include an overnight service or an express one-hour delivery. You should also decide the types of materials you plan to deliver, and whether you’ll be providing specialist delivery services such as oversized items or confidential material. All of this should be included in your business plan too.
Develop a Pricing Structure
Understandably, you need to develop a pricing structure, so customers know whether to use your services or not. Before you go about doing this, you may want to consider researching into competitors around you, so you can get a clearer idea of what you should be charging. If you are providing same-day delivery, this will naturally cost you more, so you need to set the prices accordingly.
Estimate Your Costs
When pricing your services, you will need to take all expenses into consideration. Whether it be the cost of petrol, or vehicle maintenance, no stone should be left unturned. Cash flow is a huge problem for many new businesses, so it’s important that you estimate your first year’s earnings, which should be clearly demonstrated in your business plan. That way, you can work out how many projects and tasks you’ll need to complete in order to cover your costs and turn over a profit.
Starting any business will require hard work, passion, and commitment. If you’re thinking of opening a courier company, then creating a business plan, checking your insurance, and developing a marketing strategy are just a few things that you need to do to before you start.
John Pearson is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.