Have you ever wanted to become your own boss, work your own hours, and become financially independent? Here are some tips to help you start your own courier service. It’s never easy starting your own business and we hope that we can show you how you can get off to a smooth start by making smart choices and avoiding common mistakes. The startup costs are relatively low and your success will mostly be determined by your own efforts and perseverance. Follow these seven steps for the fastest way to start your own courier business:
1. Choose The Right Vehicle
To start your courier service you will need a reliable source of transportation. Many couriers choose cargo vans for this type of business as they provide the largest amount or cargo space to transport the items that you are carrying for customers. If you don’t know much about buying a cargo van you can read some reviews for the 2016 models here. If you want to lower your monthly payments we suggest trying to lease a van or you can shop for a used cargo van. Alternatively, a pickup truck with a covered bed can also be a good option.
2. Buy The Right Equipment
Having the right equipment will make your courier business more efficient and save your back from the pain of carrying boxes. The type of equipment that you need will depend in part on the types of items that you will be carrying for your customers. If you are mostly delivering packages or boxes a simple dolly or hand truck is essential. You can buy a standard dolly for about $20 at Home Depot, Lowes, or Target. If you are transporting furniture you can get a furniture dolly and if you plan to transport appliances you should buy an appliance dolly as well. Other items you may need are cargo straps, blankets, and tape to make sure the items are protected and delivered in the same condition you received them.
3. Name Your Business
This is one of the most rewarding part of creating your own courier business because the name the you come up with is representative of your business values and mission. Before you decide on a name make sure you check with the secretary of state in the place that you want to do business to make sure the name is not already taken by another business. If your first idea is already in use, take your time and be creative, your business name will be with you and your business for a long time. You should also check sites like GoDaddy to make sure you can get the domain name of the business that you want. If the .com is not available try buying the .co version of your domain such as www.goshare.co. After you name your business you will need to set up a legal entity. If you are the sole owner of the business a Sole Proprietorship may be best. If you have business partners an LLC (limited liability corporation) may be a better fit. LegalZoom is a good resource for finding out if your business name is taken and registering your business entity with the state.
4. Insure Your Business
Courier business owners should always consider the appropriate type of insurance to protect your business in case of an accident. In the courier business you will need insurance for your vehicle, cargo insurance and possibly liability insurance as well. Having an insurance policy is also essential for building trust with customers. Many businesses and individuals will avoid working with a courier service that is not properly insured. Contact a local commercial insurance broker to find out how much it will cost to insure your business. This cost may vary based on location, types of deliveries you make, and the perceived risk.
5. Marketing Your Courier Services
Now that you have your vehicle, equipment, and a name for your courier service, it’s time to start marketing. You can first communicate to your friends and family to start off using your social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. You should create a business page on each of these social media properties. Most courier businesses will need to market to other businesses who are looking for a courier. This can be done by making a list of businesses that may need a courier service and then cold calling and emailing prospects to let them know about your new service. Online marketing and advertising can also be a low cost and effective way to target business owners. Google Adwords and Facebook both have easy to use self serve platforms. You can target customers based on keywords they search for or their interests/demographics/location. Craigslist can be a great resource to post free ads to let people know about your local courier business.
6. Join The GoShare Team
There is only so much you can do operating by yourself. Some common challenges you will face are building trust, accepting payments, and finding new customers. GoShare is a platform that connects drivers with trucks and vans to people and businesses who need an on demand courier service. GoShare is a trusted partner that handles payments, provides supplemental cargo insurance, and has an expert team of marketers generating demand from new customers. You can learn more and apply to become a GoShare driver by clicking this link.
7. Save Your Receipts
As a small business owner, tracking your expenses is very important. Some expenses related to operating your courier business may be used as a tax write off. This can include this like: gas, equipment and your mobile phone (We are not accountants and this may not be true in all cases. Check with your accountant for details). Using an app like Expsensify is easy and useful for keeping track of your receipts and expenses. You should also keep track of the miles you drive as this can be used as a tax write off as well in some cases. MileIQ is a good tool for tracking your mileage.
Written By: Benny Do and Shaun Savage