start courier business

How to Start a Profitable Courier Business

The gig economy has made the prospect of becoming your own boss as enticing as ever, but starting a courier business requires more than computer and typing skills. If you want to be financially independent and work your own hours as a courier, you’ll have to put in the work.

While it’s never easy to start your own company, the process of becoming a business owner and hiring courier drivers can be simpler if you make smart choices and avoid common mistakes.

Profits on Wheels: Advice on Starting up and Managing Deliveries

A courier business can be a lucrative venture with low overheads. Still, knowing where to start can be tricky, but our 6 step guide should put you on the track to success in no time.

Step 1: Choose the Right Vehicle

Every courier service worth its salt needs a reliable source of transportation. Otherwise, you won’t be able to deliver packages on time and intact. Most full-time couriers drive cargo vans as they provide ample amount of cargo space, minimizing reloading amount and maximizing time.

Alternatively, you could buy a fleet of pickup trucks. You can choose to cover your truck box, but if you leave it open, you can deliver large items, like mattresses, if they’re protected and secure.

Step 2: Buy the Best Equipment

Most of your employees will be strong enough to deliver small packages, but if you’re transporting awkward boxes or heavy loads, you’ll need equipment. It’s better to buy dollies and hand trucks right off the hop to save your couriers from back pain or prolonged fatigue.

Don’t forget to buy courier management software and GPS tracking. With these systems, you and your customers will benefit from fast delivery and an up-to-date tracking number.

Step 3: Name and Brand Your Business

Branding is essential for all businesses as it tells others what you value. Before deciding on a name, check with the secretary of state to make sure your business name isn’t taken. Then, start buying your domain name and social media slugs to stay consistent across platforms.

After becoming a sole proprietorship or LLC, you can start focusing on the small details. Think about which colors, fonts, images, and slogans you want to use to represent your brand.

Step 4: Ensure You’re Insured

Get business insurance as soon as possible. Some banks or insurance companies will offer a full package plan that’s specific to your industry, but you may need to mix and match depending on your needs. Search for deals on vehicle and cargo insurance, as you’ll definitely need these.

If you don’t apply for insurance fast enough, you’ll soon notice that other companies won’t work for you. That’s because you’re considered a liability risk or a customer relations nightmare.

Step 5: Market Your Service

Without marketing, how will others know about your company? Start your marketing journey by asking your friends and family to share your courier service on social media like Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram. Make a business page specifically for this purpose.

Online marketing and advertising is an effective, low-cost way to target business owners. Place marketing material on your delivery vehicles, so everyone can see you’re looking for employees.

Step 6: Save All Receipts

Self-employed individuals are responsible for tracking their expenses. Set up a separate business checking account to keep your personal purchases separate if you haven’t already. This will make tax time much easier as you won’t have to sift through one account yearly.

Keep your receipts, even ones you think won’t be used as a tax write-off, because you never know. Track miles you drive with a tracking app, as they can be written off in some cases.

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.