Getting started as a courier

Insurance Revolution Blog , TM

Starting up your own courier business has many attractive qualities: being your own boss, flexible hours, getting to travel from place to place. The possibilities are endless.

But what should you do before starting your own courier business? We’ve put together a handy guide if you’re thinking about becoming a courier.

Do your research

Before setting up your courier business, it’s important to do some research surrounding your local area and what sort of courier business would thrive there.

Even if you feel like you know the in’s and out’s of the industry, don’t be afraid to ask questions to the local community. People’s opinions matter, they will be your customers after all!

Why not create a questionnaire with some key questions on and post them through the letterboxes of local people. Here are some examples of questions you could include:

?     On averages, how many online orders do you make per week / month?

?     What type of goods do you usually have delivered to your home / work?

?     Do you ever buy in bulk?

?     When would you say you receive the most deliveries? (i.e. at Christmas)

?     Do you ever have any valuable items delivered? If so, what items are these?

?     Do you think you would use the services of a local courier business?

What you’ll need

Once you’ve got the knowledge about your courier business, you need to invest in some key items to get you started:

?     A vehicle: chances are you already have one of these. Consider getting a van if you’re planning to transport a lot of items or large goods.

?     A mobile phone: again, you probably already have one of these. You’ll need your phone to be able to get hold of customers regarding the delivery status of their items while you’re on the go.

?     Insurance: the right policy is vital if you’re looking to set up on your own.

Get the right insurance policy

One of the most important factors to consider when setting up your own courier business is which courier insurance policy to go for.

The type of courier insurance that will suit you depends on your circumstances. How many vehicles does your business use? Do you employ any other members of staff? What type of vehicle do you use for your courier business?

Types of courier insurance include:

?     Courier fleet insurance: this type of policy is great if you have a courier franchise.

?     Van insurance with hire and reward use.

?     Goods in transit insurance.

?     CMR insurance: this type of policy is needed if you’re going to be transporting goods to and from mainland Europe.

?     Courier breakdown cover.

Recruitment & employer’s liability insurance

If you’re going to have a large workload right from the off, it could be worth hiring a fleet of couriers.

When looking to employ a new staff member, you need to make sure you get some recent professional references, as well as proof of their right to work in the UK.

Remember, if you hire any staff members, you need to take out employer’s liability insurance by law.

Advertise your services

When starting up your own courier business, it’s vital that you let people know what services you offer, and how to get in touch with you should they require a courier.

A cheap and easy way to do this is to get some company flyers and/or business cards printed (you can do this through various online companies at a reasonable price), and post them through the letterboxes of local houses.

It’s also worth setting up a simple website. There are a variety of platforms that you can use to do this like Wordpress.

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