So how to start your own delivery business? There are many ways to do it. Depending on how big of a business you want to run, and how involved you want to get with the day to day operations, the different methods will work differently. We’ll discuss a few of the main types of methods below.
- Back-office orders: These are the small jobs your delivery service sends out that require little detail preparation time on your part. Examples of back-office orders would be telephone book orders, product orderovers, and order pickups. Many times these types of tasks don’t require much more than a quick phone call to the company. In some cases you may only need a few employees in a small town, so you could run this type of business as a sole proprietor with minimal overhead costs. Last-mile delivery services: These are how your delivery service gets the final orders from your customers.
This type of operation can be done solely by yourself (as in a sole proprietorship), but you can also use other forms of outsourcing. Many delivery businesses outsource last-mile delivery to larger companies that have contract drivers for a fee. A company like United Parcel Service or UPS can sometimes make last-mile delivery at a cheaper rate than you would be able to do it yourself, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with last-mile delivery. If you don’t have a dedicated van or large truck to use as a last-mile driver, however, you may still be able to get this method of how to start your own delivery business. Some delivery businesses don’t require drivers, and can instead send the packages right to the door of your customer.
There are also many delivery businesses that offer their wares online. These services can be convenient, but are not suitable for your how to start your own delivery business. Online services like UPS and DHL often charge delivery fees for the service, which makes it more expensive for the company. You can, however, get packages sent directly to your customers for a discounted rate on the total cost. Keep in mind that if you want to offer this service, your company probably has its own delivery vans or trucks. It’s just a matter of finding a company that offers this type of service and setting up an account with them.
- Delivery franchises: Some delivery businesses, such as those through DHL or United Parcel Service, are franchises of larger delivery businesses. In these cases, you will only need to find a large warehouse or facility that can hold all the boxes that are needed to start your business. You then register your company with them, pay a fee (usually a percentage of the shipments) and agree to provide service to their customers. Many delivery franchises have their own trucks and drivers.
- Delivery contracting: If you own a fleet of trucks and vans, you might be able to franchise the entire business to someone else, similar to buying a truck and driver. This works best with small local businesses that only make a few deliveries a week, because you will only have to pay the franchisee a percentage of your gross sales. However, this can be a challenge because your profits would be cut if you had to make deliveries to small local businesses.
- Freight forwarders: A lot of couriers like GSA Mediage, Inc. sell shipments to individual consumers or companies. If you want to own your own delivery business, you can become a freight forwarder. The only other thing you have to do is find out where to find people who need deliveries and how to arrange for contracts with these consumers. Some freight forwarders work solely on their own; others will partner with other delivery businesses.
Freight forwarders provide small businesses with last-mile delivery services that can help small businesses get their products to consumers within the shortest possible time. As a delivery service manager, you are responsible for making sure that all of the necessary paperwork is in order, your drivers are fully insured, and that you have contracts with your consumers that cover all of your responsibilities. You must also keep up with the competition, which can be tricky. Luckily, there are many other delivery management professionals that can help you be more efficient and create better business strategies. All you have to do is find them!