The numbers of people shopping online has increased dramatically in recent years and this has been matched by a similar rise in small businesses selling goods from their homes. With more and more people turning away from the high street, there is also an increased demand for courier companies to step in and help deliver good to people’s homes.

If you have been considering starting up your own courier firm, now is the time to get started and take advantage of the increased demand for your services. However, there are some common pitfalls and issues which often arise with start-up courier firms which you need to watch out for.

Getting the right insurance

It is not enough to simply insure your courier vehicles with standard insurance. If you have between 2 and 5 vehicles which are used for your business then you will need to look for specialised mini fleet insurance to ensure that your drivers, vehicles and third parties are all insured whilst the vehicle is being used for business purposes. Courier fleet insurance is essential should your drivers be involved in an incident on the road.

Investing in the right vehicle

You will need a reliable vehicle to start off your courier business; one which won’t break down and is also economic to run. You want a van which is big enough to take plenty of deliveries but is also inexpensive to fill up at the petrol station. If you do not have the funds to outright buy your first fleet vehicle then you can consider leasing options. If you do decide to buy your courier van, then ensure it is checked over by a reputable mechanic before you hand over any money.

Managing costs

With small businesses, you are often working with a small budget and, so it is vital that you stay on top of your costs, budget and pricing structure. Take in to account the varying price of fuel and look for any predictors that this cost may increase. Decide on a pricing strategy for your deliveries and consider possible vehicle maintenance costs.

Delivery options

When you first start out, you may be tempted to accept any delivery fare offered to you, but this could mean you end up spending more in petrol than you earn for the delivery. Set out a delivery radius and stick to this until you have a set of reliable contracts. Decide on the types of delivery options you will provide, such as next day or express same day, and only consider accepting more delivery types once you have established your business.