Thanks to the advent of e-commerce, there is a bigger demand for courier services than ever before. Last year, parcel deliveries broke the one billion barrier, with retail parcel numbers finishing 2.7% higher than the growth forecasts at the start of the year. Despite all of this demand, though, is there a place for SMBs in a marketplace dominated by big names? Read on to find out what the solution might be.
Start Your Own Business from Scratch
Like any other industry, establishing a business from scratch comes with its fair share of risks. With so much competition out there, it can be difficult to get noticed. Start by advertising your services to local businesses through flyers and joining any relevant social media groups. Fortunately, compared to many other kinds of business, the courier industry is remarkably low-cost. You likely already own a vehicle and a driving license, so your next step is taking out the necessary insurance policies to protect your business. You’ll need some form of contents insurance on the goods you’re carrying, public liability insurance, as well as personal insurance to cover for you if you become ill and can’t work.
Become a Lifestyle Courier
The term “lifestyle couriers” refers to non-professionals taking advantage of the huge boom that the logistics industry in the UK is currently experiencing. These individuals are using their own vehicles to make deliveries in their spare time, typically around their own neighborhood. According to recent figures, lifestyle couriers like this now make up anything from 5-8% of logistics workers in the country. While this can be a useful way to make a little extra cash on the side, it can be difficult to make a full-time business in this field. According to a recent report, many lifestyle couriers working for much larger delivery companies are actually earning less than minimum wage.
Consider the Franchise Opportunities
Finally, you may want to consider franchising the business from an already-established name. This gives you many of the same benefits of being a self-employed, like defining your own hours, but with many of the advantages not usually afforded to a new company. As with many industries, reputation is one of the most important factors in the delivery business. Operating under a trusted brand will give you the legitimacy you need to start building customer relationships from the start, without having to worry about investing in some kind of large marketing initiative. Franchisers like InXpress also offer comprehensive training programs and support, perfect for anyone new to the industry.