How to Start a Courier Firm in Your Town

If you’re looking to start your own business as a courier then now is a great time to be making it big in the industry. Across the country increasing numbers of people are using their vans and setting up as a self-employed owner driver picking up packages for companies and ordinary people alike. While the industry is still dominated by the big global companies like DHL and TNT, there are consolidators that offer discounts on companies’ services by taking thousands of bookings every day and then passing on the discounts to customers.

Courier service in Venetia, Italy
photo credit: Ryan Taylor

There is also great demand for local couriers who are known and trusted within a town or city and who can take packages from one location in the area to another quicker than large firms who would have to take it to some distant central store first. If you want to make a start in this game, then here is what you should consider.

Getting Started

Many who have trodden this path will tell you the hardest part of the job is finding your first customer. Researching the market for businesses with urgent requirements to send packages a short distance will pay off and win you the trust of potential clients.

When developing your business plan think carefully about how many jobs you can do in a typical day and how you will keep your customers up to date about the job. When it is completed you will have to invoice the customer and collect payment, so giving excellent customer service every step of the way is crucial. This will also enable you to gain from word of mouth market as you build your client base.

Local parcel delivery service
photo credit: Stephen McCulloch

Costs and Requirements

The biggest cost you will face as you launch your firm is the cost of transportation and work clothes. You will need to get a van if you plan to be a van courier, as well as the necessary business insurance to cover your contents and yourself.

You will need an excellent breakdown cover policy, and you should build into your business plan the cost of maintenance and loan vehicles as appropriate. Alternatively if you are a motorcycle or bike courier you will need some protection from other road users as well as from the elements.

As a business you should look into public liability insurance in order to safeguard against misplaced or late packages and to protect your firm. For a quote on your courier insurance head online where you can find out how much this is likely to cost you. Then you can get out there and make your first delivery and get your business on the road.