How to Launch a Courier Service in 9 Easy Steps

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courier service business

It's all about service

Beginning your own local courier service might be smooth and speedy, or it could be a slow, challenging and discouraging process. Here are nine basic steps to make your courier business startup easy, painless and swift.

Step 1. Find your market. Establish your unique “particular niche” to guarantee financial success. If you live in an urban area with lots of existing courier service businesses, this is an essential step. Even in a small town, it will give you a “quick start” to targeting your new customers.

Speak with your prospects, whether they are lawyers needing same-day document delivery, or caterers needing prepared meals delivered every day at a certain time, to learn what they want, then supply it to them at an acceptable price. That’s the secret of success for any business – giving customers what they need or want. One of the best niches is filling the UPS\/FEDEX gap by providing local businesses with same-day local delivery.

Step 2. Do Don’t spend money. Resist the urge to spend money when you are starting up. If you have a reliable vehicle to make pickups and deliveries, do don’t spend thousands on a new delivery vehicle. Keep your office at home if possible to avoid having to spend unnecessary money on rent, utilities and the overhead of a separate office. Think and act like a miser until you’re making a decent wages from your new courier service.

Step 3. Legal structure. When you start a courier business, it is important to decide on the legal structure for the new business. Will you operate it as a sole proprietorship, as an L.L.C. or as a corporation. You’ll have to get this out of the way first, before you obtain a business license from your town or state and get a federal tax identification number. You’ll find lots of good free information about what structure may be best for you at Nolo.com.

Step 4. Finding Customers. After you’ve created your business and found a niche or two that clicks for you, start hunting for customers. You only need a few good ones, so start prospecting by calling or stopping by local businesses in person to learn how you can help them solve their courier needs and discover what type of services they might need. No “hard sell” is required, just a helpful attitude will do just fine.

Step 5. Referrals. Once you have your “core” customers and have treated them well for a while, ask them for referrals. Tell them you’re still growing your business and could use a few more good customers like them. Offer a free delivery or a discount on a month’s service in return for a referral that becomes a regular, repeat customer.

Step 6. Set your rates. Many new couriers make the mistake of not charging enough to cover all their costs, as they have haven’t been in business long enough to be aware of all the little costs, like a business permit renewal fee, that can add up to big bucks over a year’s time. Other examples include bookkeeping fees, social security taxes and vehicle maintenance, and many more. A good unwritten rule keep in mind is to add about 30-35 % to the wages you’ll be paying yourself to make a reasonable rate that allows you a profit and still makes your customers happy. After a few months, take another look and see if your rates still give you the net hourly rate you want. The current national average rate is $ 36 an hour.

Step 7. Provide exceptional service. If you give customers great service, you’ll prosper and soon have all the customers you can handle. For instance, if you promise two hour service, aim for 90 minutes. Your customers will love it and recommend you to others.

Step 8. Monitor your clients and their deliveries with one of the free scheduling software programs, like checkappointments.com or clickbook.net. Another option is just one of the calendar programs offered by Google or Microsoft. For a small monthly fee, you can also use them to get paid online with Paypal. Of course, it can be used on your smartphone while out making deliveries.

Step 9.  Follow the cash. Like the software programs for scheduling, there are programs to help you do your own bookkeeping. My favorite, which makes keeping track of your small business finances easy, even if you ca can’t add or subtract, is outright.com, which is around $ 10 a month and even reminds you when taxes are due or when you overlook a deduction.

About deductions … the most important one most couriers will enjoy is the business mileage deduction, currently 55 cents a mile. Many couriers have used this deduction to cover upgrading their vehicle to a fuel-efficient newer model, like the Toyota Prius, and found the fuel savings were greater than their vehicle payments! A fringe benefit is that when you do up grade to a fuel sipper, you’ve now become a “green” courier service business, which customers appreciate! For an example of how powerful this is, visit greendelivers.com

Follow these nine straightforward steps, and you’ll be on your way to a prosperous courier service business. To learn more, read How to Start a Courier Business, available at: http://profitsonwheels.com At this website, you can also sign up for a free mini-course about starting your own local courier service

How to Start Your Own Courier Service Business in 7 Days

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Starting your own courier service can be a real balancing act!

Starting your own courier service can be a real balancing act!

If you’re like most of us, you spend lots of time running errands. Driving around town and stopping here and there to complete errands. How would you like to get paid to do that for other people and businesses? As much as $ 36 an hour in fact It’s all possible if you become a local courier. How long would that take? Not at all. It’s possible to start your own courier service in just a week.
First you need to answer some questions. Are you motivated to be a success? Do you enjoy working with people? Would you like to make great money? Do you have a dependable vehicle? Would you like to be your own boss? Would you like to avoid the 9 to 5 rat race? If your answer was yes, you’re ready to get started!

One of the first things you ‘ll need to do is take care of some legal items. The first step is to decide what legal structure your courier service will take Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability company (LLC)? This will determine how you pay your taxes. Next you need to license your business with your state, and get a federal tax identification number.

Now it’s time to get some insurance. Certain states require a special kind of vehicle insurance if you use your car for commercial purposes, which you will be doing as a courier. You should also look into business liability insurance. Anything can happen, and insurance can protect you.

Okay, got that out of the way? Now here comes the fun part. You need to pick a name for your business. Check with your state to make sure the name you want is not being used by someone else. Consider putting your town name or your own name into your business’s name. For example: St. Paul Courier Service or Stevie’s Errand Service.

Now let’s look into some tools. You have to have a reliable vehicle, cell phone and computer. The cell phone and computer is how you ‘ll get most of your business and keep good and accurate records. Next there are some optional items you ‘ll want to consider. First, a GPS unit. This will help you find the pickup and drop-off locations all around town. It’s  easier to use than a handheld map. Next, you ‘ll  want a reliable day planner. You need to keep track of all your appointments and jobs. Whether it’s a physical day planner or something on your computer, It is an essential tool for a courier And be sure to get some business cards while you’re at it. It’s one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing What if you have to transport a heavy load? Then you ‘ll want a hand truck, which will make it easier. Get a hand truck that can haul at least 300 pounds, and you should be good. Now what if you’re asked to transport a fragile item, such as a vase? Always have 2 or 3 mover’s blankets in your vehicle to protect fragile items

Now you’re ready to begin advertising. There are many ways, whether it’s the newspaper, passing out business cards, Craigslist or more. Soon you ‘ll see the business start to roll in.

Starting your own courier service is simple It won’t cost you a lot, nor take a ton of work. In fact, you can do it in just 7 days To learn more, read How to Start a Courier Business, available at: http://profitsonwheels.com You can also sign up for a free mini-course that will show you how to start a courier service.

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