69% of Americans have shopped online once and 25% of them are buying items off the Internet every month: the need for fast and reliable delivery services has never been higher. With Covid-19 distancing the space between buyer and seller even more than before, starting your own courier business has never been more profitable and in-demand.
The Delivery Services industry is a thriving business, counting more than 171k registered and licensed companies, employing more than 720k people and generating $ 86 billion in revenue every year.
If you are planning to start your own delivery company, these 10 steps will guide you through the whole process and help you get started.
1) Develop a Delivery Commerce Business PlanThis is one of the most important steps, which is often overlooked, and will act as a guide for you in the first months of developing your delivery business. A solid business plan is the foundation stone of your business success.
A great place to start is the U.S. Small Businesses Administration site for a step-by-step guide on how to create your own business plan.
2) Raising Money and Getting Yourself a Vehicle
A well thought out business plan should include a detailed funding plan: what finances are you going to use to help your business get off the ground?
The most common way is often the use of personal savings, but it isn’t the only possible source, so check out other ways of funding:
There are different kinds of delivery businesses you can choose from, and depending on what you want to deliver and how fast you deliver the goods, you have a wide range of (choices) possibilities.
A vehicle is the basis on which you are going to build your business on. Here is a breakdown of the cost of the most common means of transport used by Delivery Businesses:
The Ford Transit Courier is the smallest model in the range, but still possesses a great cargo capacity with a class-leading load length and a payload of 660kg
A competitor to the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Vito, this van has established itself as a staple of courier services.
The van against which all other courier vans are compared, the Ford Transit has become the go-to van for most Delivery Services.
3) Arrange for Storage Space and Extra Equipment
Once you start your deliveries, you will need a space to store packages and parcels. Finding a space, like your home garage or a rented facility before you start working is key to your success.
Vehicles aside, you will also need equipment and tools to help you during your delivery service. Examples may include:
4) Sign for a Business Insurance
If you want to avoid unpleasant surprises down the line, the next step should be that of insuring your business, in case you or one of your employees is hurt while transporting goods, or the goods themselves are damaged or lost.
The type of policy business owners usually choose in the USA is what is called ‘general liability insurance’ (or CGL). The average delivery business in the USA spends between $450-$1,500 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.
The risks CGL insurance covers include:
Having a business insurance also helps build a feeling of trust with the client, and some will not deal with uninsured businesses at all. After all, would you trust an uninsured delivery business with your purchases and personal property?
5) Give Your Delivery Business a Name and a Logo
The name of your business is the way of presenting yourself to your customers, and will be the name you will be remembered by.
A successful choice of a name for your business is a crucial step and should aim at making you stand out from the competition and stick in the mind of your customers.
A great Forbes article gives the following guidelines for a successful name choice:
The logo, too, is of great importance, but don’t worry if you are not computer-graphic savvy: there are many ways of getting the logo designed for you by Digital Branding Services such as
The cost of a logo design can go anywhere from a few dollars to tens of thousands, but for a small company just starting, like yours, a price between $300 and $1300 is more realistic.
The logo is one of the most important elements, which (alone) represents the company as a whole and promotes your business more efficiently than any other form of advertisement.
6) Choose a Legal Configuration of your Business and Register it
It is now time to register your Business along four models:
For a small company, just starting out, the choices are often between Sole Proprietorship and a Limited Liability Company, with more than 70% of American businesses today being sole proprietorships.
Setting up a Sole Proprietorship will only cost from $ 10-20, while creating an L.L.C., the second most popular choice when choosing to start a delivery business, can cost anything from $ 750 to thousands of dollars. It is important that you make a choice after having checked out both options.
7) Open a Business Bank Account
Once you have registered your company, the next step will be that of opening a business bank account: this will help you keep your personal savings separate from your business earnings and will save you headaches in the future.
To set up a business bank account in the US, all you are going to need is proof of your business’ registration and a form of identification. Opening a business account is very easy, and the costs vary from state to state. But on average you will be spending:
The incorporation fees will cover most of the documents needed to legally start your Delivery Business, and include but are not limited to:
The Small Business Administration suggests you look for the following things when choosing a bank for your business:
8) Scope Your Market and Choose Your Pricing Competitively
Now that you are ready to get your business rolling, it’s crucial that you check out the competition operating in your area, by looking at both the big names in delivery, and your local competitors. The main companies that you will be up against will beOnce you have chosen what your business will specialize in and have checked how much the competition in charging and come up with a competitive pricing that will make the customers choose you over the giants listed above.
Be sure to check their rates for the services you will be offering to get an idea of how much you should charge: will you want to offer next day delivery? Air delivery? Will you stick to your local area and offer standard delivery?
These are all questions you will have to find an answer for before you start your delivering activities. Here are a few examples of services you can choose to offer:
A Gallup poll has shown that small business are still the most trusted institutions and that 67% have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust in smaller businesses and “because they are more likely to be run or owned by citizens in local communities, they are often seen as more in tune with the needs of local communities than are larger corporations”.Good news for small companies starting local!
9) Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
A this point, all you have to do is get news of your new business out into the world and attract clients: sure, you could stick with the old methods, by placing an ad on your local paper or your local radio station, by dropping flyers in mailboxes, but online presence is where it’s at: you should definitely
Online and local marketing combined will help you raise awareness of your brand, which in turn translates to more clients for your business.
After you have created your site you want to make sure that you have an edge over your competitors: after all, having to carve out a niche for yourself against giants like UPS, FedEx, or DHL is not going to be easy, and you will need to take advantage of all the tool that you may have at your disposal.
There are many ways to do this at a local level: you can advertize your company with Google Ads or take advantage of the advertizing you find on Facebook, for example.
The problem with paid ads is that, even if they are a quick way to put your name out there, they have to be constantly tweaked and monitored and they only last for a very limited amount of time.
Often you will be juggling between creating new ads, dumping ads that didn’t work for you, all the while keeping an eye on your Return of Investment (ROI).
Spending a considerable amount of hard-earned money on advertizement, while a fast way of showcasing your company, does not guarantee returns.
Is there a better way to go about earning online commissions for your Delivery Business?
As a matter of fact, there is: learning how to rank your business website organically and making it rise to the first page on Google will get you many more calls and delivery assignments than any marketing strategy. Local Lead Generation does exactly this.When your company will figure in the top three spot for local researches, you will be able to dominate the market in your local area, and your website will generate leads organically and, most importantly, for free.
10) Expanding Your Business and Recruiting For Your Company
Once (you have established) your business is well established, it will be natural to expand (your business) by hiring employees. After all, if you’re busy delivering all day, you might miss crucial phone calls, or you will need someone to take care of admin once it becomes too much. Some examples of positions you could need in your expanding business are
The more people you employ, the more customers you will be able to take on, and the bigger your business will grow.
By following these 10 simple steps, your Delivery Business will get started in no time!
Creating your own courier business can be a profitable choice: the average income for an independent courier service is around $ 50,495 per year, depending on the area you choose to start your business in.
A city like Chicago, IL sees the average yearly earnings of independent courier services rise to $ 66,663, while the same company would net only $ 36,267 in Houston, TX.
Jobs for delivery businesses have risen by 13% between 2010 and 2020, and with online shopping available even in local independent shops, there will be an ever-increasing demand for local couriers.
Covid-19 has also shown that delivery businesses provide local communities with the vital job of connecting sellers and buyers, and now is possibly the best time to start your own business.
Starting your own company is quite easy, and initial expenditures are relatively low, compared to your projected yearly income.
The amount of deliveries you make, though, is what really will make or break your business. A BBC report has shown that, on average, an Amazon courier delivers between 150 and 200 packages a day.
As a new business, you will hardly be expected to follow up on those numbers, but through specifically targeted lead generation strategies, you will soon be up there competing locally with the big boys.
Considering an average of $ 2 earned per package delivered, and including the expenses like, gas, toll fares and maintenance, things might be tough at the beginning.
Considering a delivery day of 50 packages, you would be earning $ 100 per day, minus an average of $ 10 for expenses. That would mean that to actually reach a point of ROI, excluding the monthly pay for your vehicle, you’d have to only work for a little over 45 days.
Therefore, couriering, especially right now, in these days of social distancing and an increase of the number and variety of goods being shipped and delivered, is a very good idea, and the investment is likely to pay out very early
All boils down to on how effective your online presence is, and how many leads your site manages to generate.
Why Local Lead Generation is better than any other marketing strategy in 2020
As I said before, ranking sites in Google and generating free traffic just by being the first name to pop up during a local search is what Local Lead Gen is all about.
Learning how to rank your site and create other sites to aid local businesses can create a passive income of $ 750-$ 2000 per month in about 3 to 6 months.
Just take a look at what shows up when I search for "delivery courier" in a specific area, in this case Buffalo, NY. The first results that Google will show you are the top three sites in the area, highlighted in an area of the page we refer to as the map-pack (the three best ranked site you see on the Google section on the first page of your local research).
Those are the first companies to show up, and the top listing is going to be the first number someone will call when in need of a courier service in Buffalo, NY.
The magic of Local Lead Gen is that your site, because of it’s prominent position, is immediately seen by customers, who will call the number advertised and will be put in touch with you.
Nobody ever looks for businesses on page 2 or 3 of Google: it will be your primary goal to get your site to be number one in your area, and capitalise on the local leads the website will bring to you!
Once you've solved your problem and your site is ranked first locally, nothing stops you from creating other Lead Gen sites to help other local businesses outside your niche, and profit from them.
Not only is Lead Gen very lucrative, but it is a less saturated market compared to other forms of advertizing, and it is much easier to scale because of its local nature, making it my preferred marketing strategy in 2020.
Local businesses and the internet are a winning combo: neither are going anywhere anytime soon, and by getting local entrepreneurs involved, I am helping them generate an incredible amount of money.
Working with Lead Gen, not only am I not grinding a 9-5 job anymore, but I have the possibility and time to create even more Lead Gen sites, and increase the number of my clients.
If you’re interested in learning more, click here for our Lead Generation coaching program, we now have almost 6000 students!
The course caters to everyone, from the skilled marketer to the person who has no clue on how to build his site or use search engine optimization (SEO).
The choice to join this Lead Gen group was the best decision I’ve made in my life, and if you are ready to work hard and be coached by the best in the field, you too can benefit from this amazing business model.
Success is just behind the corner.
You can wave your 9-5 job goodbye and join our group of entrepreneurs.
All you need is the will to make it happen!