Creating a courier and parcel business is profitable from the moment it starts operating, and who has not used this service either by sending a package or receiving it in the comfort of their home?
The services that can be provided with a courier business range from carrying something small and valuable, such as keys, cell phone or a charger that someone forgot. And could not pick them up due to lack of time, distance or forgetfulness, to great packages or documents, as well as sending money and many other additional services.
Below you will find nine tips that will help you in the entrepreneurship and creation of your courier company. Which by the way will serve as a guide to start your profitable messaging business.
The primary responsibility of a courier business involves transporting goods and documents from point A to B, but that is the natural part. A successful home-based business opportunity depends on much more. Many who enter this business take baby steps at the beginning, acting as subcontractors to established carriers before leaving on their own.
Email and other digital means of transmitting documents have kept this industry in a non-growth mode for a while. Still, a courier’s ability to handle a variety of delivery jobs and the flexibility to work at irregular hours can counteract this trend and determine success. You will have to deal with fluctuating gas prices, and it helps to work in an urban area rich in deliveries and with a lot of trade. The distribution of hazardous and medical materials can increase profits, but this usually requires special licensing. The transport of simple packages is recommended at the beginning.
A courier service software package to help you run the business side of your operation, often available for free online
A GPS device to help you locate your customers and chart the most efficient routes
A dedicated cell phone number for all business operations, including calls in transit, as well as a reliable cell phone and headset.
How To Start Courier Business
Develop a business plan:
- The first thing you should do, as in any business, is to have a business plan, which includes, in this case, an office where you can take calls, keep the list of potential customers. Control the couriers, the transport you are going to use, as a bicycle, motorcycle, van, car, either own or rented vehicles, or also contracts with motorcycle couriers or with external personal vehicles.
- It will also be necessary to establish, which will be the work implements required to create a messaging business. It may be a desk, a chair, a landline telephone, a computer (in which you will carry out all the commercial and financial movement). Also, a program that you will use to carry the database of all clients and printer to print the invoices of users.
- Your business plan must include detailed investment, which must contain all the calculations of what you need to start, as well as the costs and profits that you will obtain in each operation. It can serve as a guide informing you with other companies on how to send mail or packages and what is the delivery time.
- Remember that your courier and parcel company must carry it out with responsibility, inspiring trust from the outset and focusing on offering excellent customer service. Keep in mind that you must set the goal of surpassing your competition, and customer service is one of the most vulnerable points in most courier companies, so it will be a point that you can take advantage of a lot in your favour.
- Do not forget that from the first courier service (pick up and deliver), you must keep track of working hours.
- Establish a competitive rate. Call to find out what other post offices in your area are currently charging. Many charge a fee per mile plus a fee for gasoline and vehicle wear and tear, but others only charge a flat fee. A rush job usually costs more. The right formula based on traffic, distance, vehicle wear, and competition from courier services will give you a leg up.
- As in any business, you must have your workplace, in this case, it will be your office and to begin with, you can create it at home, which will make it easier to deduct taxes and rental expenses.
- If you are unexpectedly presented with a transport business in which you must use a truck or van, and you do not have it, then you can rent a vehicle or contract that delivery with someone who performs this type of work, it will be a good option. In contrast, your business Messaging grows, then you can already buy the right vehicle for your business needs.
- Prohibitions: This same government office regulates the ban on transporting some articles or materials, such as a) Live or dead animals not dissected. b) Narcotic drugs (morphine, cocaine, etc.). c) Explosive, flammable or dangerous materials; d) Cash and other valuables, such as coins, platinum, gold and silver manufactured or not, representative currency notes or any additional bearer value, beautiful stones or any precious object; e) Toxic or poisonous chemicals, f) Weapons, ammunition and war elements of all kinds, among others.
Identify residential and commercial customers:
- You must choose what type of clients you want to provide the services: residential, commercial or both. What kind of shipments are going to be made, collected and delivered, such as personal gifts, letters, checks and payment orders, utility bills, small, medium or large packages, perishable items such as fruits, flowers or others. Everything you decide must be following your transport capacity and with time well distributed.
Establish the advertising:
- So that they know you and know where to locate you, you must carry out good publicity for your business. For this, I recommend that you have your website, that you appear in the printed Yellow Pages and online, and that you create a presence on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t know how to make a website, then you can hire a designer to create it for you.
- Your website should contain cards, flyers, brochures, and advertising material. Also, you must have this stationery on hand to deliver it to your clients or to distribute it in warehouses, hospitals, office buildings, companies and where you can leave it. Put your website on Google.com and Yahoo.com as well as you must register it in the online business directories. The more you publicize your courier business, the higher the impact you will generate in the market.
- It offers personalized service, emphasizing the attention that your company provides to customers, and leaves a business card, along with a brochure that broadly describes your services, this you can do with managers or owners, whether they are a company or a residence.
- Visit office buildings, schools, clinics, hospitals and leave your advertisement there with all your information: Address, Email, Website and description of the services offered by your courier company.
- Make compliance, responsibility and timely attention a hallmark of your business.
- In the same way that your business grows, you will need to expand it and hire people who perform the functions that you are no longer able to perform, for example, drivers, receptionist, an accountant, people who answer the phones, assistants of various trades, etc.
- Your job at that time is to create the Accounts of your essential clients as corporate companies, with which you will stabilize your income, offering them a discount for regular deliveries and, like any good manager, be aware of the operation of each and all areas that make up your courier business.
- It’s the deal for you if you love driving. Your startup costs should be minimal if you already have a reliable vehicle but review your auto insurance policy to make sure that you have adequate liability coverage and that it covers you in the course of doing business.
- Pick-up and delivery at any time – not just during regular business hours – gives you an edge over franchises that have set times, but can disrupt your personal and family life. Unpredictable gas prices and traffic problems can affect your profits. City driving can age a vehicle quickly, and you may need to replace your wheels long before you get ahead of yourself.
Former IBM salesman Rob Johnstone co-founded Priority Express Courier in 1994 to serve New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Priority has a list in the Inc. Magazine’s list of fast-growing companies and in its Inc. 500, according to an entry on the Messenger Courier Association of the Americas website.