With many companies still recovering out of the global recession, now more than ever is there a need logistics services. A courier company can be a low maintenance start up with huge potential for growth, if you are willing to sacrifice the hours and build yourself a long term business plan that will yield results.
It isn’t an overnight success business, but in the long run can be a sustainable business that is able to service all types of industries, from medical transportation services through to legal logistics, and therefore can adapt in times of volatile markets. However, as with any start up company, your courier company needs to expert research and concise strategy before it yields success, and with this article you’ll have a lot to consider before you get into that van to sign that courier company contract.
1. Choose your area of service carefully
This will often determine how much money you will need to invest to make your business a success. Rural areas may not have a huge need for courier services and you may struggle to secure contracts. When looking at your delivery area, please note the larger area that you are prepared to service will mean longer hours on the road and perhaps more staff as drivers will be tied up in longer delivery times. Generally, the bigger the service area, the larger capital investment needed.
2. Pick and research your initial market to service and plan to meet their needs
If you are only delivering documents for law firms or planning to gain business form a medical logistics company, you will need completely different equipment to service your clientele. Often niche markets also may be easier to secure clients in and offer expansion opportunities later. Make sure you comply with industry standards and that you can service any parcel, large or small for your clients.
3. Make your rates competitive but focus on service
The key service is making sure your packages arrive on time to your clients and in the same dispatch condition. Having cheaper prices may land you the contract, but making sure all packages are on time and secure means that you will be recommended to others through word of mouth. Focus on your client skills and you will be landing more business each month.
4. Make sure you have all the regulation permits and excellent insurance coverage
If you are going to need a commercial vehicle licence for your transport, make sure your staffs are qualified and able to comply with industry standards. Since your drivers might be moving heavy objects and are on the road for most of the day, chances of vehicle accidents and possible personal injury from lifting is high, ensure that you have specialist cover for your business. If you need extra insurance on perishable transports, incorporate that into your budget.
5. Choose your costing in accordance with the way your deliveries function
Choose either a delivery based on time, distance travelled or flat rates for certain zones and make sure your service model reflects this. Do not charge by the hour if you are delivering by foot or by bicycle and make sure that your practices are transparent.
In addition, you might want to offer special service to add value to your existing services. Here’s an example; Interlink parcel delivery offers customers a service called Predict, in which they will send a text message to the receiver one hour before arrival.
These are a few of the aspects to consider when starting a courier company. Customer service focused and with low start up capital needed, a courier company may be the smartest choice of new business this decade, with increasing demand across the board and the need for efficient deliveries each and every day.
Dave Tucker is a freelance journalist with a key interest in business and strategic thinking. He hopes to provide entrepeneurs with sound business advice to help them succeed in their endeavours.