With e-commerce sales accounting for around 30% of all retail sales, the online market doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, making now the perfect time to start your own courier business.
As a nation, we sent over 4.2 billion parcels between 2020/2021, so there’s more than enough business for you to compete with even the delivery giants like DPD and Hermes.
Here are our top tips to help you get started. Whether you want to be a local delivery driver or have a fleet of vehicles around the country – the important starting steps are the same.
Create a business plan
Like any business, you’ll need to create a business plan. Decide what type of courier business you want to run. Will you be working with local independent businesses, will you be delivering perishable goods or furniture for example?
Getting specific about what it is you’ll be moving from A to B, will help you know who your competitors are, and what type of vehicle and tools you’ll need.
You can then start to put together your business plan. This should include information about the products and services you’ll offer, marketing strategy, financial forecasting, and budgeting.
Choose the right vehicle
When you know what type of delivery business you’ll be operating, you can start to think about choosing the right vehicle. Will you need a large van, or if you’re just delivering locally and live in a rural setting, perhaps a rugged four-wheel drive would be more appropriate?
If you’re delivering fresh and frozen food, then a vehicle with fridge and freezer compartments will be needed. Can you hire a vehicle, or will you be buying one? And if you need a fleet of vehicles, how many will you need?
It’s important to think about the practicalities of your business before you start investing large sums of money.
Get the essential tools
Once you’ve invested in the right type of vehicle, it’s time to get the essential tools sorted. Pocket knives and multi-tools should be top of your list, along with a satnav, and a roadmap – especially if you’ll be delivering around unfamiliar areas.
If you’re planning on having more than one vehicle, you should make sure each one has all the essentials to hand.
Make it legal
But remember, before you start making those deliveries, you’ll need to make your business legal. If you’re planning on just working for yourself, you can register with HMRC as a sole trader, which is what 56% of the private sector does. Or you can trade as a company, and you’ll need to register with Companies House.