Starting a New Business

Starting a business can be a daunting task but forward planning will help the process go more smoothly. Unfortunately many start ups will fail in the first few years but that shouldn’t put you off if you have a good business idea.

You will need to be fully committed to your business as it will end up taking a lot of your time. Study your market and make sure you have enough money put aside to cushion you for the first few months.

If you are setting up a limited company you will need to register it but there will also be aspects of employment law and health and safety law you will need to comply with so you should seek legal advice.

When starting a new business you will need a start up business plan. This is to ensure that everything stays on track in terms of goals and budget. Having a credible business plan means that any bids for financial support that you put forward to banks are as professional as possible which will help you to secure the money that you need to progress your business. You may be able put a comprehensive plan together by yourself or you may need the services of a business plan consultant.

You will obviously need to source some suitable premises if you are not able to work from home. You will need to weigh up whether being in a central location with high rent and possible parking issues is better than being further out of town with cheaper rent and easier parking but further away from the business hub of the area and your customers.

Many start up companies will be one man bands but others will need to think about employing staff. Personal recommendations are good but an employment agency can help you get the right staff. Seek legal advice if employing anyone.

If you make products you will need to ship them out to your customers and will have to consider worldwide logistics. Using a regular postal service may work well for you but you may also want to look at a business courier for important items.

Security is an important and sometimes overlooked consideration. This involves the security of your premises but also for your data handling. Information security is essential. The practice of managing information-related risks is called information assurance. Companies offering this service seek to protect and defend information and information systems by safeguarding confidentiality and authentication of information in storage, or that is being processed, or transit. They safeguard against accident or malice.

With good planning, setting up a new business can lead to great success.

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Setting Up A Courier Business

Setting up a business always brings with it a whole load of questions and if you’re currently looking at setting up a courier business, the following are three of the most frequently asked questions.

1. Can I work from home?

In a nutshell, yes, you can work from home if you’re planning on setting up a courier business, as you’ll be in your vehicle for most of the time making pick ups and deliveries.

However, it’s worth understanding that if you’re going to be storing items overnight for your clients before you deliver them, you’re going to have to have a safe and secure area where the goods can be stored.

OK, this might not be a particular chore if you’re only delivering a small parcel, but if it’s a large item or there are numerous goods to be delivered, this could prove to be troublesome.

Couple this with it being difficult to hire people when you’re working from home, as you have no real business premises and you have to be particularly strict with yourself if you’re home based, although working from home is a possibility, it’s not generally recommended.

2. What insurances do I need?

The type of insurances you’ll need for your courier business will depend largely on whether you’re going to work from home and if you’re going to employ staff, but one piece of insurance that you need regardless of any factor is courier insurance.

Different from other vehicle based insurance, such as your standard car insurance or even HGV insurance, you’re legally required to hold a suitable courier insurance policy if you’re planning on being paid or rewarded for the carriage of goods or services for business purposes.

And although you may not have heard of it before, courier insurance is actually widely available and easy to arrange.

3. How do I compete with the market leaders?

When you’re in the process of setting up – or thinking of setting up – any type of business, one of the most important procedures that needs to be carried out is market research to look at both whether there’s an actual demand for the services or products that you’re going to offer and the level of competition that you’ll be faced with.

This is exactly the same when you’re setting up a courier business and so before you even open for business, you should have a good idea of who your competitors are and simply put, if the competition is too fierce, you should be thinking about whether or not you should actually be opening at all.

Competing against established businesses is always difficult, but in the courier industry, where demand can be high in places but which can often be met by just one courier company, it can be particularly difficult to succeed, so you either need to have extremely competitive prices or offer something that the other companies don’t.

A popular business that suits a lot of people, these three questions and their answers should be fully understood before you set up your own courier business to ensure that you are as successful as possible.

Kick Starting Your Courier Service Business

If you have a courier business you can measure your sales a variety of ways, but it will always boil down to money and how much of it is coming in and how much of is profit.

So what do you do when you don’t have enough? How do you grow your existing client base?

When you don’t have enough business, that is the time you review your business plan. If we are being honest with yourself, you should review it at least quarterly. You can see where your business is compared to your targeted sales projection. You can then start looking at reasons why your sales have dropped off. In this article we shall touch on a few reasons, but it’s not a comprehensive article, let’s face it it would be the size of a library as there are so many variables.

  1. Change of staff, staff who move on in key sales roles may cause a sales dip this can sometimes be avoided by forward planning.
  2. Change of vehicles. If you have upgraded or downgraded your vehicles capacities recently you may find that has a significant impact on sales.
  3. Change of a website, changing your website or email address if done by an amateur can cost you sales simply by not being found.
  4. Competition – in two ways the competition can affect your sales. Your failure to differentiate from it and your failure to notice it.

Competitors can actually help grow your courier business, if theyhave different methods of business don’t think by copying them you will get their business – it doesn’t work like that. But there is nothing to stop you subcontracting their work and helping them grow, as you will also grow. Love thy competitor should have been the 11th commandment.

Talk to your customers, find out what their market conditions are like, if they are having a tough time think on what you can do to help.

  • Promote them on your website, write a customer profile about what they do and promote them to your website’s readers.
  • Think about who you interact with that may be looking for that kind of service and make an introduction.
  • Be genuinely interested in their business, they are your customer after all and helping them where you can creates a stronger bond.

Of course the easiest way to grow your courier business is to sell to your existing customer base additional services, the fastest and most economically viable way is through a newsletter – when was the last time you sent one out?

Hopefully this article will have given you some ideas on how to boost the sales in courier business es. Let me know how you get on.