With shopping on the streets at an all-time low and e-commerce on the rise, there is no doubt that the demand for courier services is increasing by the day. If living in the UK, this could be a lucrative opportunity for you to become self-employed. Whether you have experience in the courier sector or simply starting, this article guides you through five vital things you need to consider when setting up a courier business.
1. Research and Planning
For any business to thrive, there has to be a degree of research and planning that goes into it. You will need to know the different types of courier services and how they operate. With this knowledge, you will know what kind of courier service you can offer in your locality and to which clients. Next, you want to have a blueprint for your business. A business takes time to grow, and that will need a business plan that will guide you on how to survive during the challenging early months. It’s not like you will follow everything on paper due to the changing circumstances; however, having a guiding document in the early days of the business is essential.
Check with your local bank as they can often provide you with an advisor, templates and some helpful advice. There is usefull infomration provided by the government on different ways to structure your business. If you are aged 18 -30 you can get help setting up and starting a business from the Prince’s Trust.
2. Mode of Transport
A solid courier business will need a reliable vehicle or fleet of vehicles that will increase customers’ confidence in your delivery ability. A vehicle breakdown in the early days of the business is the last thing you want happening, and some investment might need to go into this. By now, your business plan should have guided you through what kind of courier services you will be providing. For instance, you won’t be needing a carbon-emitting motorbike if your seling point is you are a green courier. You also need to get a mode of transport that will quickly get around your delivery routes. You could go for several options, such as motorcycles, electric bikes, vans, electric mopeds, or drones. The bottom line is that you should choose a reliable mode of transport that best suits your customer needs.
3. Van Courier Insurance
It is also essential to have the correct type of insurance for your courier van, car or motorbike. Push bikes are excluded. Standard car insurance provides cover for social and domestic use and travel to and from your business. Business insurance can be added if your vehicle as part of your business other than commuting. When you start using your van to provide a delivery service, you will need an additional type of cover referred to as van courier insurance. This type of cover will be more expensive as it will pose a higher risk to the insurance provider, but it is important that you have the correct insurance. Driving without the correct type of insurance for the service you are providing is the same as driving without insurance. Driving without insurance can lead to fines, points on your licence and even a driving ban. Also if you ahev an accident you could write off your car, someone elses which you might be liable for and all the damage to the pacjages you were couriering.
Founder of multiquotetime.com, Eamonn Turley comments: “Providing a courier service without the correct level of courier insurance is the same as driving without insurance”. If you then have an accident, the insurance will not pay up, and you will have a criminal conviction and points on your licence. The good news is you can take out fleet courier insurance, which will insure all your vehicles under one policy and should work out cheaper.
4. Business Insurance
Business insurance for your courier service is crucial to cover your business against unexpected shocks and eventualities. Some insurance types include liability insurance, accidental vehicle damage, and workplace injuries. You will experience occurrences in the courier service industry that will call for you to have one or all of the insurances mentioned above and more others. Suppose you aren’t insured, and something goes wrong, you may end up spending on a hefty bill due to damages. Spending on insurance for your courier service business isn’t a hard call for you, since the start-up costs of a courier business are generally low. There are reliable sites online that you could visit to get affordable and best deals for you.
5. Payment Rates
As a new self employed courier service business owner, you want to determine what amount of money you will charge for your services. When choosing the payment rate, some factors are the going rate for such a business in your local area and the service type you will be offering. Profit-making is vital for any business, and that means you will need to know your operational costs to charge your customers accordingly for a profit. Get down to the details regarding hourly rate payments, fuel costs, delivery time, and your location. You will need to develop competitive pricing to get an edge on the local competition.
6. Know how to Handle Customer Complaints
There is no doubt that you will give your customers the best courier service they will ever find. Despite the excellent work, customer complaints will occasionally arise, and the last thing is to ignore them. Customer complaints are a type of feedback that will help your business grow. For example, a genuine customer complaint about an area of your business will help you improve your business operation. Handle customer complaints professionally to avoid losing out on the business.