Trying to find an idea for a new business can be challenging. For those that want the freedom of being a small business owner without reinventing the wheel, a delivery business may be a good fit for you. Starting your own delivery business is a great way to be your own boss and make a respectable living without a lot of hassle. With low start-up costs, especially if you already have a vehicle, starting a delivery service is a very achievable goal, and here are a few tips to get you on your way.
1. Get a Truck or a Van
There is a large market for both new and used trucks and vans. Finding the right one can be difficult without any guidance. Luckily for you, there are several resources out there reviewing the top choices for cargo vans and trucks. Cargo vans, box trucks, and pickup trucks are the best vehicles to use for this business. Fuel efficient vehicles are recommended as you will be racking up a lot of miles on your delivery routes. The Ford Transit Cargo Van and the Mercedes Sprinter are popular options for delivery drivers.
2. Get Equipment
Once you have your truck or a van you are half way to starting your local delivery business. Now it’s time start thinking about what type of equipment you need. Depending on the job, you may have a need for all of these tools that make moving large items simple. One of the main tools for delivery drivers is a hand truck or a dolly. The are different types of Dollys such as furniture dolly or appliance dolly. The more tools you have, the more jobs you will be able to accept. Securing the cargo is very important to ensure that you don’t damage the items that you are carrying for your customers. A set of $10 ratchet straps from Pep Boys will surely come in handy. It may also be a good idea to have a blanket or towels to make sure the cargo is not damaged by the straps. If you have a truck, using a tarp to protect from rain and a red flag to attach to the end is recommended. Check your states requirements to make sure that you are within the law pertaining to overhang.
3. Name Your Business
The name of your business is very important. It has to be creative and unique. Once you name your business it’s time to set up your company from a legal standpoint. This may sound difficult but there are resources to make it easy such as LegalZoom. You will need to determine which business structure is best for you. Many people who are the only owner of the business will choose a sole proprietorship. If you have partners an LLC may be better. Consulting with an accountant and an attorney before making this choice is recommended. LegalZoom is also a good source of info on these types of business structures.
4. Marketing Your Delivery Business
You got your truck, your equipment now you just need customers. Getting your name out there is an important step when trying to get your business of the ground. Let your family and friends know that you are open for business using Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Build yourself a website and make sure that the site is easy to find when people are searching on Google. This is called search engine optimization. Another way to get your name out there is through local small businesses. Personally stop in and let them know that if they have customers that need help transporting large items, you are available. This means you will need to buy some business cards and flyers to leave behind. Follow those basic marketing tips and you are well on your way to securing your first job.
5. Build Your Reputation
Once you have your first job set up, it is time to execute. Keep in mind that although the customer may not know it, they are most likely going to need your services again. Establishing repeat customers will help to build a sustainable business. Providing a high level of customer service is very important. That means communicating with the customer every step of the way. Dress professionally and make sure you keep your vehicle looking and running clean. If you do a great job, they will use you again and recommend you to their friends.
Business owners should always consider the appropriate type of insurance to protect your business in case of an accident. In the delivery 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 delivery company that is under 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.
7. 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 a same day delivery 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.
8. Save Your Receipts
As a small business owner, tracking your expenses is very important. Some expenses related to operating your 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.
Written by: Bradford Mannion & Shaun Savage