The benefits of becoming an owner driver are well known: you gain control over your working life and have the potential to become very successful. However, when you are just starting out on your own, the transport industry can seem like a daunting business. Although you may have plenty of courier experience, you might not have had to compete for jobs before or deal with not being able to find work.
If you are in love with an independent lifestyle but concerned about finding enough work to keep you going, buying into a courier franchise could be a great way for you to gain more experience, perfect your skills and ensure a consistent workflow.
What is a Courier Franchise?
There are two basic kinds of franchise that you could buy into. In the first, owner drivers are assigned a certain region and work there alone, but under the name of a brand. The second is depot-based, meaning that you run a fleet of vans and drivers with the assistance of a regional franchisee.
Could I Do It?
· Experience: Any owner driverhas the skills and experience needed for these posts. For example, you are used to working irregular hours and you understand the courier industry. The ability to present yourself well in a confident and professional manner is also important. A sprinkling of business know-how is handy, but a franchise may offer support or training for those who lack experience with self-employment.
· Costs: An important factor to consider is the cost of buying into a franchise. Firstly, don’t worry. It may surprise you, but it is often cheaper to set up as a franchise than to make your way as an independent owner driver. Costs vary depending on the brand you work with and the area that you want to cover, but banks are often happy to provide start-up loans to cover initial out-goings.
· Vehicle: Do your research before you set your heart on working with one specific brand. Some insist that you own your vehicle outright, while others are willing to loan you a van.
What are the Benefits?
With franchising, you have all of the benefits of becoming an owner driverwith less of the worry that comes with self-employment due to the administrative support secured from working with a large company. You can also make the most of operating under a well-known brand name in order to quickly build a reliable customer base.
Where to Look
If you are interested in finding out more about courier franchises in the UK, you should check out the three companies below. These are among the most profitable franchises in the country and provide their members with a variety of support.
· Mail Boxes Etc
· World Options
With marketing tools, training opportunities and funding available to members, these brands have a lot to offer if you’ve decided to start a new venture in the courier industry.
If I have inspired you to consider buying into a franchise, then I encourage you to do some more research and explore your options so that you can make this exciting change in an informed and professional way.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.