Nowadays, more and more British citizens buy products online and want them delivered to their doorstep. According to Office for National Statistics business registrations for logistics, transportation, courier type of services are on the rise exponentially. As a result, more and more entrepreneurs are starting up and or investing in a courier business in United Kingdom.
There are several different types of courier businesses that you could set up, such as next-day/overnight/same day couriers, or even specialise in particular industry deliveries such as deliveries of medical items (including life critical aspects of health industry) or delivering important documents for UK Law firms.
Basically, the list can go on because couriers in general can deliver just about anything under the sun, from flowers to documents to goods ordered online.
If you are thinking about setting up your own courier business in United Kingdom, but don’t know where to start, then this article will provide you with a list of fundamental information that most courier companies need to consider before going in to operations.
Basic Understanding is a Great Start
Unlike other type of businesses, a courier company consistently struggles with time. At its core, time really is of the essence for couriers because almost always you are being paid per successful delivery. The more items shipped and delivered, the more you’ll be paid. Surely, anyone thinking of starting a courier company would be aware of this. However, what you may not know as of yet is the fact that certain aspects of a courier operations handles time much more efficiently. For example:
Delivery Vehicles for Your Courier Company in United Kingdom
Perhaps the most important aspect in a courier business will be the vehicle you use to ship the parcels. First, think about what type of parcels you will be delivering. If you’re planning to transport larger items, then you are better off getting a Van. On the other hand, if there is a lot of traffic in the area where you live and you are only planning to ship small packages, then you might want to consider motorcycles which can save you a lot of money on fuel costs.
Another critical element most start-up courier companies face is the "newness" of the transport vehicle. Because as you know, purchasing a brand new Vans can be highly expensive starting from around £20000 in UK. If you are thinking of purchasing a used van, then, strongly consider its reliability and mileage since the last thing a courier business would want is to see their vehicle stranded on the side of the road while in transit for deliveries.
Sort Out Storage Space for Packages
Most courier services need to store parcels somewhere before they deliver them to people’s homes. Accordingly, you will need to have a space where you will keep those packages. As word-of-mouth spreads and your logistics business starts to grow, you will need bigger and more space.
Consider the location of your warehouse accordingly to the areas you will deliver to. Making sure to keep the long term storage rent money in mind when you are creating your business plan. Should rent amount around the area you will setup your business at be expensive, it may be a smart idea to research nearby locations to find storage space where cost of rent may be much cheaper. Of course, you would need to weigh up distance to deliveries because that will affect time and fuel costs as well.
Equipment and Tools for Your UK Courier Company
Other than vehicles, you will obviously need some other equipment and materials in your office to operate a courier business. You’ll need equipment such as computers, printers, mobile phones and or office furniture. You don’t necessarily need to purchase top of the range equipment in the beginning, but make sure that whatever you do end up buying doesn’t break down very often because that will cause the orders to back up and the late deliveries may frustrate your customers and harm your bottom line. Reliability, presentation and reputation is critical to maintain for repeat customers.
Use Technology to Your Advantage from the Word Get Go
Can you imagine a time where a courier company needed to write down the details of ALL orders (yes, using a pen and paper)? Today, you can skip most manual processes because you can automate them using a courier management software such as Delivery Master Same Day Courier Software. Just imagine the ability of order inputs through the comprehensive booking wizard which will guide you through booking entry, with automated mileage calculation for pricing and costs. Also features postcode lookup integration which will help correct data input eliminating failed deliveries due to address errors.
Another feature you’ll love is the ability for your customers to place orders online through your web portal fully integrated into the Delivery Master Back Office System. The Customer Web Portal allows your customers to book jobs online and to receive real-time status updates of jobs held on their account without having to call your office. To learn more about other great features our software can provide, simply call 0333 30 55 250 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Anticipate Challenges Ahead
Almost all types of courier companies face challenges on daily basis, whether we are talking about established large companies or those who have just started in our industry. Its never a smart idea to bury our head in the sand and hope that you’ll avoid problems. Problem solving is important because it will effect the long term success of your business.
Anticipating the challenges before they occur will at least allow you to handle them more effectively and quickly. For example: cash-flow till you start making consistent profits must be dealt with (especially if you’ve hired drivers and office staff), or let’s imagine that your company is providing same-day courier service either in London, Manchester or Birmingham, peak hour traffic, unfortunate car accidents or vehicle breakdowns, roadworks in busy locations can be a big headache.
Some of the hurdles can be planned for whereas some may not be. And yet, preparing for such events in advance will save time, money and energy while providing you a great peace of mind.
Branding Will Set You Apart
If you have a small courier business you may think that branding is not that important for growth of your courier company. But nothing could be further from truth. Creating a memorable logo and choosing an unique name for your company will help you stand out from the competition to begin with. Consider thoroughly the name you will give your courier business as it will stay with you as you progress.
When you are picking the name, try to go for something simple and clear; do not choose the phrase that is too long or ambiguous; the logo should be instantly recognisable as well. In addition to this, try to choose an appropriate uniform for your staff and drivers as part of your branding effort. Once again, presentation and reliability is what your potential customers will see and recognise.
Make Your Courier Business Official
This one goes without saying, once you have determined what type of legal structure your new UK courier business has (be it a Sole Trader, LLP, Ltd or something else), then you should go ahead and register your business officially. In addition, you should open a business bank account and use the money from that bank account to cover all of the business-related expenses for reducing your business tax obligations. Keep your business purchases, expenses and profits separate from your personal accounts so that you can oversee business expenses much more easier.
Start Your Courier Business in United Kingdom Now
At this stage we’ve tried to share basic concepts about starting a courier business in United Kingdom. And surely, there are many other things you will need to take care of, plan and execute to begin. And yet, what we can say is this "the sooner you start better it will be" because its going to take bit of time to establish your business and see returns for your investment.
The truth is that operating a courier business in the UK is becoming more and more lucrative despite the competition in the market. This is due to increased demand and ever changing consumer behaviour of Britain citizens who are getting accustomed to having products delivered right to their door, quickly.
Just like in any other business, your determination and consistency of can do attitude is required to establish your own courier company in United Kingdom. As the saying goes "to know the road ahead, ask those coming back". This is when you can connect with our team who bring to the table 25+ years of experience in the logistics and courier software industry in UK. Whatever the size of your courier business is, from start-up to large enterprise, we can help you by providing the right answers and proven solutions. Simply call 0333 30 55 250 or contact us