Businesses need things delivered in order to complete their day-to-day tasks. There are traditional courier services out there, but the best that most of them can provide is overnight delivery. Those that can deliver in a matter of hours are usually restricted by package type, weight or size. Starting a delivery service can be easy and a fun way to make money outside of a traditional office setting. And the best part is, you don’t have to spend much in initial start up expenses in order to get started.
Obtain a business license. This is usually a simple process. Visit your local municipality’s business license office and apply for a business license. They will probably ask you a few questions regarding your business type, expected gross income and your organization structure.
Obtain a suitable delivery vehicle. You may already have this vehicle. Depending on what you plan to deliver, you may want a vehicle that has a cargo area that is protected from the elements. A van or a truck with a camper will probably work best. If you do not have a vehicle that meets your specific needs, you will need to find one. Of course, you can always purchase a new one, but purchasing a used vehicle will save you tons of cash on your initial start-up budget.
You do not have to have a CDL, or commecial drivers license, in order to start a delivery business. Commercial drivers licenses are only required if your vehicle weighs more than 26,000 pounds. Passenger vehicles don't even come close to this threshold, so you will not be required to obtain a CDL.
Obtain insurance. You will need a couple of different types of insurance. The most obvious is commercial vehicle liability insurance, which protects another person’s property in the event you have an accident. The limits of liability for a commercial vehicle are much higher than those for a personal insurance policy and protect your business against potential lawsuits. The other type of insurance you will need is general liability insurance. This protects you against claims of damage to the items you are delivering and any damage caused during the course of you doing business. These insurance policies are imperative to protecting you from personal losses stemming from a car accident or incidental damage to your cargo.
Obtain a few tools of the trade. The key to a successful delivery service is to get the package to the right destination every time, on time. The will require intimate knowledge of your entire delivery area--or a GPS system. You should purchase a good quality GPS to prevent getting lost and missing delivery deadlines. You also need a cell phone, mileage log books and a notebook in order to take deliveries while out of the office. All of these tools will help you keep your business organized and efficient.
Get customers. Engage some of the local businesses in your area. Face-to-face interaction makes a far better impression than making phone calls, so get out there and sell yourself and your new business. A positive attitude goes a long way. Also, advertise on the Internet through forums and social media. Place ads in the phone book and engage your friends and family to start talking about it. Buzz is a great way to generate new customers.
Provide excellent customer service. Getting a job is a great thing; getting repeat business is the life of any successful business. You need to provide a great service and make your customers feel confident that choosing you was the best decision they could have made. Taking care of your customers, making them trust you will ultimately make them depend on you, ensuring the continuation of your business. Always under-promise and over-deliver.