Tips for running your own delivery service

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Tips for running your own delivery service

With online shopping you can buy anything from clothes to furniture, groceries to electronics, and so much more. And if you would prefer not to be in the online retail business, but still want to benefit from the booming industry, you can try your hand at running your own delivery service.


Find the right vehicle for your business

You can’t expect to run a delivery service without a vehicle to carry and deliver the goods, so having the right vehicle is important. And finding the right courier vehicle will be dependant on the types of deliveries you will be doing.

  • Food or grocery run: If your service simply picks up take-away food orders or collects and delivers online groceries, you won’t require a very large vehicle. A van or even a motorbike would do the job (depending on whether your pick up capacity is one-by-one or not).  
  • Miscellaneous: For those mostly clothing but also a little bit of everything else deliveries, you may want to invest in a medium-sized truck.
  • Frozen goods: It’s quite simple, all you’ll need is a refrigerated van or truck. Size, again, depends on the volume of orders you deliver at a time.
  • Furniture: This is where the big wheels and containers come in so that you can fit as many items in as safely as possible.

That is just to give you an idea of the different sized vehicles used in the delivery service. But, quite honestly, you could make deliveries in your everyday Ford Focus or Opel Astra if you wanted to. Look at UberEats for example, with everyday drivers in their everyday vehicles. As long as you have the space you need, carrying capacity for multiple deliveries and special protective requirements for certain products, you’re good to go.  

And when it comes to financing your business vehicles, you should look at the benefits of renting, buying and business car leasing options specific to your industry and your courier needs. Compare your findings and finally sign the contract for the vehicle (or vehicles) that will keep your business going.


Be prepared for roadside accidents

Now that you have your vehicle(s), you need to be prepared for the roadside accidents. Those little accidents that happen along the way to a drop-off or when one of the trucks won’t start.

You need to make sure you have procedures in place for your drivers to follow in the event of a breakdown. Customers aren’t too fond of having to wait longer than necessary for their online purchase to arrive and you don’t want to become one of the unreliable delivery services.

That’s why, when you buy your vehicle(s), you need to keep them in the best condition possible, take them for regular services, have a backup car to complete the delivery if necessary, and have all the basics of jumper cables, extra fuel, water and oil on-hand – just in case.


Know your boundaries  

If you want to be a great delivery service, concentrate on a realistically manageable area for your service team. You can’t be in every corner of the province in an attempt to get more customers under your belt. Focus on being the best courier service in a specific area where your vehicles are able to travel to easily and in a timely fashion.

You’ll end up saving money on travel costs, building loyalty with your customers in that area, as well as keeping your vehicle’s mileage in-check.


Have a motto you can stick to

This is where your service promises come into play. Your motto is your word and clients will expect you to stick to it. “Fastest in the Ville”, “Cape Town’s coolest courier” or “ There before you can count to three” are only great mottos if you can live up to the promise.

Your service is your only product and that is what will be criticised or loved by customers. And it’s their experience of your service that will make or break your reputation.


Advertise and become a “lifestyle” brand

As there are a fair number of courier businesses around, you need to make sure you spend time and money on your marketing and advertising campaigns. Creativity and promoting performance statistics are key to grabbing the attention of online businesses looking for the right person for the delivery job.

And if you have the resources, go a step further and make your delivery service a lifestyle brand that concerns themselves with their customers and their community. Find a cause that will encourage clients to choose you because they will not only receive quality delivery service, but at the same time, they'll be buying into a brand that has green practices, for example.

The people of today are looking for a product or service that changes their perspective on something or helps them contribute towards bettering a situation, simply by spending their money. So give it to them.

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