This guide is for those who are thinking of starting their own courier business. Whether you’re new to the industry or an old hand looking to become self employed, courier jobs are there for the taking. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps and the freedom of successful self-employment could be yours.
Plan to Succeed
Plunging straight into a new venture without proper planning is asking for trouble. Before launching your new business, make a detailed plan covering expenses, pricing and predicted profits and, from that, decide exactly what type of self-employed courier jobs you will take on. You need to be sure you have the capacity to not only build something to be proud of, but to be able to make money as well.
Choose your Vehicle Wisely
Your vehicle is your biggest investment. You’re going to be using it every day, so you need to ensure it’s reliable, the right size for your jobs and has good fuel economy. Do plenty of research before even considering making a purchase. You might even consider hiring a vehicle to begin with, to keep starting costs down.
Be Sure to Insure
Not everything in life goes to plan and an unforeseen accident can put small businesses in serious trouble. For that reason (and many more), it’s essential to take out the correct insurance for your business. At the most basic level you will need:
· Vehicle Insurance (must cover Hire & Reward for the carriage or conveyance of other people/3rd party goods)
· Goods in Transit (10k or higher)
· Public Liability (not compulsory but advised)
Having these in place will encourage clients to trust you and your business should something go wrong.
Equipped for Success
Once you’ve purchased (or leased) a vehicle, it’s time to invest in some other useful tools of the trade. Depending on the size and weight of your cargo, you might want to buy a dolly or hand truck to make loading easier. For larger items, a furniture or appliance dolly will come in very handy. Other useful equipment includes blankets, tape and cargo straps.
Know your Costs, Set your Prices
Tracking costs will enable you to set prices that are fair to your clients and, at the same time, ensure you make a profit. You will need to know fuel costs, as well as estimating the expense of maintaining your vehicle and any administrational or miscellaneous costs. This information will allow you to set a transparent pricing structure that clearly shows clients what you offer and at what cost.
What’s in a Name?
Spend time thinking about the name you give to your business as, ideally, it should clearly reflect the service you offer. You also need to check no one else is using the name you select and ensure you register it legally.
The Magic of Marketing
You may think that once you become self employed, courier jobs will fly in and land on your lap. However, the reality could be very different, so it’s your job to get the word out. Make the most of social media networks, friends and family to advertise your new service to potential clients. Proactively approaching potential clients via cold calling and emailing is also a good way of building up a customer base. Lastly, join an online freight exchange which is an excellent way of growing a network without a substantial outlay.
Although starting your own business can be exciting, it is important to plan properly before diving into a new venture. Keeping these simple tips in mind will go a long way to helping your courier business become a success.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day self employed courier driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,300 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.