If you are thinking about setting up your own delivery business or courier firm, you could not have picked a better time. An estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide purchase goods online, with global e-retail sales set to hit $4.8 trillion this year alone.
Of course, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, with 89% of consumers saying they are more likely to buy products from Amazon than any other e-commerce site. In terms of deliveries, this trusted online retailer employed 175,000 new workers for its fulfillment centers and delivery networks last year alone, and this demand is unlikely to be disappearing anytime soon.
So, what does this mean for you and your potential new delivery business? In a nutshell, there is still plenty of business to go around, and with startup costs for this type of venture being fairly low, you could be making a great profit sooner than you think.
Not sure where to start? Keep reading to find out how you can start up your own successful delivery business in just seven simple steps.
- Determine your USP
Although there is a great demand for delivery drivers at the moment, you still need to find a way to ensure your delivery business stands out from the competition. To ensure you pick the right type of courier business for your area, ask yourself the below questions:
- What is missing in the courier market?
- Which niche is free?
- What can be improved upon in your local area?
- What problems do your future customers currently face?
Once you have answered all of the above, you should have a better idea about what type of courier business will thrive in your local area.
- Focus on customer experience
As briefly mentioned above, and as you are probably all too aware of, Amazon is the main player in online retail. Furthermore, their delivery service is second to none, with Amazon Flex and Amazon Prime offering one-day shipping on over 10 million items.
Therefore, for your new delivery business to succeed, you need to be operating on a “no room for error” basis. This means that you must ensure your packages are delivered on time and in perfect condition. One way to achieve this is through using software that is specifically designed to provide you with better delivery routes for each and every delivery. This type of software will ensure you avoid sending multiple delivery truck drivers to the same neighborhood, reducing your costs and improving your overall customer experience.
- Adhere to safety protocols
Never before has it been so important that you follow health and safety guidelines for all your deliveries. Not only is this to ensure the safety of both your drivers and your customers but also to instill confidence and trust in your new delivery business.
Make sure that you follow all new health protocols such as social distancing and wearing personal protective equipment, as well as ensuring that every one of your drivers knows what is expected of them in terms of health and safety.
You may also want to offer delivery features such as barcode scanning and contactless delivery confirmations and payments to make your customers feel even safer doing business with you.
- Promote your business
Assuming that you have bought your van/s or truck and any other equipment you need, now is the time to market your business so that you can attract customers. Most importantly, you need to get your brand out there and seen by as many people as possible. Don’t worry if you don’t have a large marketing budget. Platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn provide you with a free way to promote your business. Plus, don’t forget to add a local listing on Google My Business.
You should also try and build up a large collection of online reviews as these are invaluable in attracting new customers to your business.
- Build your reputation
It costs, on average, five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. Therefore, you need to be looking into ways to establish long-lasting relationships with repeat customers. One highly effective way to do this is through the use of a customer loyalty program. For example, for every ten deliveries a customer books, you can offer one for free.
Other ways in which you can build your delivery business’s reputation include:
- Go above and beyond what is expected.
- Be consistent in your services.
- Publish testimonials on your website.
- Get your branding right.
- Give back to the local community.
- Offer competitive rates
As with any new business, it can be a challenge to compete with more established companies, and when it comes to courier firms, it can take time to build up credibility. This means that you need to look to other ways to convince customers to stop using their usual company and try yours instead.
One way to do this is by ensuring that you offer competitive rates for your services. However, you don’t want to go too low, as not only is this bad for your bottom line, but it can also make customers believe that they will receive an inferior service with you. As a general rule, have a look at the prices of other delivery firms in your local area and price your services accordingly.
- Create a user-friendly website
Last but definitely not least, no business can be a success in this day and age without a website. As a delivery business, you need to make sure that your website is modern, user-friendly, and boasts super-fast page loading speeds.
You also need to ensure that your website is responsive, which means that it can be viewed on mobile and tablets as well as via a desktop computer.
Other key features that you may want to incorporate into your website include:
- Courier tracking on the map
- Order status tracking
- Different payment options available
- Integration with Google Analytics and Google AdWords
- SEO optimization
- Email subscription service
These top tips should enable you to get started and find success with your new delivery business.