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Avoid These Mistakes When Starting a Delivery Business

By: Aaron Lee

 

Courier In Red Uniform Takes The Delivery Package From Woman s Hands. Brunette Woman Takes Her Parcel In Cardboard Box From Polite Courier Standing Near The Yellow Delivery Track. Open Door Of The Yellow Delivery Van With Many Delivery Parcels Inside. Top

It’s an excellent time to start a delivery business, but those entrepreneurs who don’t have a solid game plan to rely upon will quickly discover that the market eagerly devours companies that don’t have a robust strategy to guide them. Staring a delivery business is no small feat, and while it’s an incredibly alluring opportunity it can also backfire if you don’t know which mistakes to avoid and how to spread the news of your brand.

Here’s how you can successfully start a delivery business, and which hurdles you’ll need to overcome to achieve lasting success.

Start thinking about your equipment

The average delivery company relies upon its equipment more than most businesses. That’s why one of your chief responsibilities as the business owner will be ensuring that your equipment is capable of getting the job done. It also demands constant maintenance, too, so you’ll need to have a budget prepared so that you’re ready when equipment inevitably breaks down and thwarts your commercial ambitions. Failing to think about the equipment you’ll need in the long-term is one of the most common business mistakes that new entrepreneurs make time and time again. You may think this is only a small slip-up, but it could come back to haunt you for years to come.

Acquiring vehicles is going to be an important step in this process. Cargo vans, pickup trucks, even regular cars can be utilized for your business; which vehicle type you end up relying upon will largely depend on what kind of delivery business you’re hoping to establish. Fuel-efficient cars will be imperative to your success, as the costs associated with constantly buying fuel will quickly add up and become a detriment to your business.

You’ll also need assorted equipment to work with; dollies to help you load and unload your vehicles, ratchet straps which can be leveraged to secure precious cargo, and miscellaneous moving equipment will all be helpful and at times necessary for your business to turn a profit. After you’ve successfully accrued the equipment your company will need, you can begin to focus on the workforce that will compose the backbone of your business.

Hiring a delivery driver won’t be a quick or easy process – after all, these are the people you’re entrusting not only with the cargo of your customers, but also the integrity of your brand.

Building your workforce and brand

Building your workforce begins with carefully vetting drivers to ensure that no bad apples end up working for you. It only takes one lackluster employee for your company to suffer from a serious PR crisis; videos or doorbell-camera footage of your employees haphazardly tossing packages onto customers’ property could end up tanking your reputation, for instance. Hiring delivery drivers is something that you should dedicate plenty of time and resources towards as the business owner, as these important decisions can’t really be delegated to anybody else.

When hiring employees, remember that pristine driving records and clean criminal histories are essential. You don’t want to put into a situation where you’re forced to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer, and slipshod workers are the easiest way to end up embroiled in a lawsuit. As far as business liabilities go, a delivery business won’t incur as many risks as a medical business, such as pediatric dentistry clinics or a spa facility. However, it is important to keep your legal liabilities in mind and get adequate insurance.

You’ll want to take out business insurance and consider fleet insurance for your budding delivery business, as having a massive fleet of vehicles which are uninsured isn’t only legally dubious in many areas but also asking for financial calamity to strike. Adequate insurance coverage for your company property and enticing benefits packages for your workforce are the only way that you can guarantee your delivery company can survive financial shocks and retain its crucial workers in difficult times.

Getting the word out

Finally, you need to begin scooping up as many customers as possible. Don’t think that all marketing and advertising measures as going to cost you an arm and a leg, either, as there are a number of free ways to advertise your delivery business. Familiarize yourself with cost-free ways of promoting your business if you want your couriers to be renown throughout the town, as you’ll never earn a profit if customers don’t recognize your brand name.

Designing an excellent logo and having a grassroots digital marketing campaign can help you attract a consumer base if you’re struggling to take off. Sometimes, however, you may need to pay for advertising – not everything that’s free is as effective as means-tested mechanisms for advertising success. You’ll nevertheless discover time and time again that good workers and equipment are worth investing in first and foremost, as advertising is important but should always play second-fiddle to business efficiency.

Published: March 10, 2020
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Aaron Lee

Aaron Lee is a serial entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. Since the age of 17, he has started and sold five businesses before creating Dash Serviced Suites--Hong Kong’s fastest growing asset-light, tech-enabled, serviced apartment community operating over 100 apartments. Aaron focuses on investing in technology to build industry disrupting startups.

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