Saturday, December 20th, 2014

What You Need When Starting Out

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With just a few essentials, you can start your own courier and delivery business in no time.

When starting a courier service, concierge service, or other delivery service, there are certainly a few things that you will have to have in order to get off to a good and profitable start.

Some of these things are physical, but many are intangible.  All are crucial.  Without further ado, it is time to take a look at the things that you absolutely must have to get your business started.

When it comes to tangible goods, there are a few obvious things that you will need.  A car is the key element of a delivery service, and is certainly a necessity.

If you will be delivering large parcels or items, a truck may be a good choice for you.  When starting, though, you will easily be able to work with what you have by accepting jobs that fit these parameters.

Pay careful attention to your insurance, however, as you will need to ensure that your policy covers business use of your vehicle.  You will also want to ensure that you have the money needed to cover gas for your first few weeks of work until your clients have paid their invoices.

With the vehicle covered, you will also need a few other basics, such as a cell phone, a clipboard, and a map or GPS system.  A GPS system, even if you use the one integrated into many cell phones, is an invaluable tool that can offer directions even while you drive, which saves you both time and overall money.

You will also need access to a computer and printer so that you can create invoices, tax records, and other important documents.  While owning your own computer is preferred, you can make do simply with access to a computer and printer when you are starting out.

In addition to these physical things, there are also some intangible items that are absolutely essential to any starting business.  You have to have the free time needed to do the job and to do it properly.  If you are planning to make great money without having enough time to do the job, it simply isn’t going to work.

You also need to have a positive and friendly attitude and approach.  You aren’t going to become a millionaire overnight, but with friendly, quality service you can build a client list quickly.  You will also need persistence and the ability to keep going until you reach the level of success you are seeking.

This is all that you need to start a great business.  While you may run into more needs as your business grows, this is what you really need to start.  Don’t go overboard with expenses until things are absolutely necessary and you have earned the cashflow to pay for them. If you keep expenses low, you can keep your business profitable.

Comments

44 Responses to “What You Need When Starting Out”
  1. sencee blamco says:

    I am trying to start a messenger or courier service. . But my fear is I don’t really sure the company that use these services in new jersey, Philadelphia, new york and ct..Please help me

    • Russell Tellefson says:

      Sencee,

      Couriers are essential to most businesses. Your most important skill is being comfortable in dealing with people. No amount of education is as important as this talent. I’ve been on the road for 42 years and love it more now that I’m in my 60′s than I did in my 20′s. Please feel free to email me anytime. I love to teach. I’m fluent in Spanish and English and am studying other languages while I drive. Being in San Diego County, we have over 160 languages spoken here. It’s a fabulous opportunity for those of us willing to learn.

      Russell Tellefson
      russelljt14@gmail.com

      • born says:

        I read your comment and feel confident that you are one who knows about the business. I am doing courier service now, but I trying to know how do you price the deliveries according to weight or distance. You can email me at anytime and if you have a number please send and I will call you and ask about the business, since I am seriously trying to open up a courier business.

  2. Charles says:

    I am trying to start up my courier business and need some help. I am unsure of what companies use courier services every day in delivering mail, boxes, etc within their own company. For instance Houston to Dallas, or Houston to San Antonio and back. Same day service but on a daily basis. Can you advise?

    Thank you
    Charles

  3. CHRIS says:

    HELLO
    I HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED TO START THIS DELIVERY SERVICES,BUT HOW DO I GO ABOUT GETTING CLIENTS OR CUSTOMER? AND COULD YOU GIVE ME SOME INFO THAT I NEED ON MY INSURANCE TO COVER THE BUSINESS?

  4. jerry martin says:

    i wanna start up a parkour courier serves what should i do

  5. spiro says:

    Hi,
    I am wanting to break into the courier business. I have ample secured storage space at home (enough for 24 pallets, plus a pallet jack and manual forklift) and a 1 tonne mitsubishi express van, an office set up from an existing electrical business which I also run from home.

    I am wondering if you would have a business model or any information I could use to get started.

    thanks

    • Sam Knowlton says:

      Spiro,

      That sounds like quite a set up! I don’t think my wife would let me keep 24 pallets at home! ;)

      Your set up sounds slightly more a freight shipping/warehousing business than what we focus on at CourierPros.com, which is more to do with local, same-day deliveries of parcels and documents. However, some of the fundamentals are the same.

      Will you be shipping primarily locally or across state lines?

      Best regards,
      Sam

  6. Joseph Wallace says:

    I want to start a courier delivery service local and need help getting clients. I and looking for jobs I have a truck and a 6 by 12 enclosed trailer to work with. I need help please.

  7. Brian Leng says:

    Thank you for your advice. I have requested your free report.

  8. How would I get started with a hospital contact supplies or cadaver what do I need and what kind of insurance and how much what kind of license

  9. Marvin says:

    Excellent advice on this website. Lot of good free info for a newbie like me (esp. in this positng: http://www.courierpros.com/2010/03/how-to-achieve-explosive-startup-growth/). Thank you very much.

  10. Amol says:

    Hi there, I am looking to start my own courier company in Toronto & really need some tips. I have a Cargo van & business license. Please advice on how to get started, thank you.

  11. daniel says:

    I’m making $1500 per month after SE / FICA taxes in my courier job and I only work 30 hours a week plus I go to school… I’ll tell ya.. a fuel efficient car is the most important thing… being able to do your own maintenance saves you a lot too… the difference between $7 in gas per day and $15 per day is dramatic

  12. Erika R says:

    Hi, I would like to start my own business as an international shopper from US to Peru. I have been reading a lot and I think I have a plan. However, I can’t figure which is the proper way to send the parcels to Peru. DHL, serpost and others are very expensive and fail delivering the goods. To my potential business is it better to arrange directly with an airline? And have someone in Peru to do the final destination? What should I use to deliver the packages ?
    Regards
    And thanks

    • Sam Knowlton says:

      Erika,

      Unfortunately that’s not really our forte. We’re focused primarily on local business-to-business services.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help.

      Cheers,
      Sam

  13. bindresh joshi says:

    Hi sir, i want to start courier service in phagwara punjab, pls tell me wt do i need to do. i have my own shop in very prime location.

  14. Tagera says:

    Hi,

    I am from Paro Bhutan, 52 kms away from capital city of Bhutan.
    I have been doing counterpart business with Aramex here in Paro, as i could not get good support and cooperation from my counterpart i could not run well the Aramex here in Bhutan. Again, Aramex sounds new to Bhutanese customers. DHL is dominant courier service in Bhutan.

    Please advice which International Courier service shall i go with about because Paro is the main Airport terminal town and also have location of many Hospitality Industries, i see very huge flow of tourist entry in this locality. If i can get good international service provider Courier Service i have full hope that we can do better courier business.

    Looking forward towards the positive suggestions and advice.
    Thanks!

  15. Ky says:

    Hi,
    I would like to know what do I need in order to start a messenger service in NYC. What type of license? What time of insurance? Does anyone have a contact? Does anyone know how much these costs are? Also, is there a website that provides all of this information?

    Thank you.

    Ky

  16. prince says:

    Am presently working for a courier service in Austria called Ups and iwant to set up my in my home conutry Nigeria or be a subcontract to Ups over there in Nigeria,i think i got the equipments for the bussiness, eg truks,please can someone give me more advice on how to go about it. thanks and your subjection will be highly apreciated.

  17. Johnson says:

    This site is lovely, i just want you to help me,just in case there is something i missed, i want to start a courier service company and i got the necessary information from this site,please if there is anything i would need to know you can mail it to me spanner800@yahoo.com please. as regarding what the cost would be and any other.thanks and God bless.

  18. seifu says:

    I think I have the minimum basic requirement to start delivery services but I have not identify what kind delivery services because I do not have a single contact with those who need my services. How do I get lists of those business/individual who are potential contract givers?
    Thanks

  19. Linda says:

    Hi, my husband was a courier for 3 years with one of those “big” companies. He and I a both teachers and need to make a little extra money. Since we work during the day, we are thinking about having an “evening” and “weekends” courier service. Do you think that there is a market for that?

  20. kayode kolade says:

    Pls, I need ur advise on howv to partner with an existing courier service provider to help in their delivery.how can I make the approach,and what are the term of agreement?

  21. fauwaz says:

    am plannin to start a courier company in riyadh, Saudi arabia. can some one pls tell me what are the other requirements especially the paper work and how do i build up a local market.my email : shake19619@gmail.com

  22. Ifeoma says:

    I am considering starting as a subcontractor with any big courier company like DHL. What do I need to know about this and how do I go about it.

  23. Dale McLaurin says:

    I would like to know how to start a courrier business. I have a regular F-150 truck and want to get started then later get bigger trucks. Please contact me as to what I am able to do!

    Thank you!

  24. Renu Jaswal says:

    how we can start our own courier service. i want to gat courier agency. plz tell me about it. thanks. where i should try for courier agency.

  25. MOTLHABANE says:

    I AM LOOKNG TO START MY COURIER COMPANY, I HAVE COMPUTER WITH INTERNET, 1.3 TON BAKKIE WITH A COURIER CANOPY AND CELL PHONE AS THEY ARE THE NESECCITY FOR START UP, BUT I HAVE BEEN STRAGGLING TO GET CLIENT. I AM EVEN THINK OF BUYING A COURIER FRANCHAISE. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE ON THAT?

  26. patricia ken-osazuwa says:

    ajibola christopher, ow’re you doing. i intend to operate a courier business in Nigeria and ineed your expert advise since u have the experience in same terrain. kindly send me your contact details on apiceventa@yahoo.com. i’l sincerely appreciate your response from a busy schedule. thanks

  27. John says:

    I am a college student trying to start my own courier business. I kinda need help on the paper work and everything. So if anyone who currently runs their own courier company email me with the basics of what I need to do? Thank you very much appreciate the help. email: okyemj704@strose.edu

  28. Scott says:

    INSURANCE-I will be leaving the insurance industry to start a courier business to assist my wife’s business, but I thought I would pass these suggestions along: 1) Don’t rely on your personal car insurance policy to provide coverage, most don’t. Even if you have business use, delivery is rarely included. If your agent says it is, get it in writing. 2) I recommend going to a local independent insurance agent who represents a few companies, particulary ones that specialize in the transportation industry. They should also be able to help you with cargo insurance and bonding if needed. 3) Make sure they understand what you are doing specifically. Rates may differ if you have some type of time guarantee in your deliveries. Good luck!

  29. James says:

    I am in the first stages of starting my own courier business. I have all the start up necessities and also just opened a business bank account. I also got a business certificate and business cards. My next steps are to talk to an accountant and do register with my local and state governments. My questions to you are:

    “What specific questions should I ask my accountant during our first meeting?”

    Also, “How do I register with the state and local governments? And, about how much does it cost?”

    I have read through the IRS website and I am not exactly sure what I have to do, who to register with, and how to go about doing so.

  30. Rivo says:

    re: Barry Feb 24, 2011-Where can I find work for the courrier company I am planning to start.

    I too am researching the feasibility to start up a courier company, focusing on Law / notary offices. specialising in legal document delivery.

    I have the marketing to build my clientel list all down pat and don’t mind to share with you as long as you are not in my city. It is a very simple procedure. Feel free to email me, make sure you tell me what city you are in as well. rivoone@gmail.com

    I do have a question to you all, are any of you familiar with the data base software that will keep track of invoices, Who made the delivery, etc…..

    I saw this at a cartage company that receives express air freight and then clears customs and then drives it right to the business or residence of the consignee.

    GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!

  31. Marshall says:

    How do I know if I need to be bonded? How do I become bonded?

  32. Jeremy says:

    I’ve been thinking of developing a delivery services, primarily for certain restaurants that don’t offer delivery services. I actually got the idea from when I lived in Hawaii. There was a delivery service that did the same thing, and they were pretty successful. Since I would be the only service in my entire city that provided such a service(50,000+ population), I think that there’s a good chance that I could become just as successful with this delivery service. My question is, do I have to have some sort of partnership with a certain company to delivery their products. I don’t see why I would need to, but I’m not experienced in this field, so I have no clue. And, if so, how would I go about doing that. Any tips anyone can give me would be very helpful. grayboss@hotmail.com

  33. Sharon says:

    Sharon,
    what state are you located in? I have a guy who sells insurance in a couple states not too sure which ones, however I would be more then happy to pass information along and see if I can get you help. If you would like, if you are still looking vai.guillory@yahoo.com.

    Further more…
    I know I shouldn’t but I just cannot help myself….

    Sorry if it violates posting rules.. I do courier work now as I am working on starting a small design firm.
    So, If you need signs, brochures, business cards, a website at really affordable rates then feel free to email me. vai.guillory@yahoo.com.

  34. Sharon Crosby says:

    My group is trying to get our courier service off the ground. We are having a problem with the insurance, The agents do not seem to fully understand what we need. Your site seems very knowledgeable. Any information that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Sharon

    • Bob Lavendusky says:

      Hi Sharon,

      I am not an expert on insurance but I am pretty sure that liability insurance is not the same as insurance to cover cargo. Any questions of this nature we automatically suggest talking to an Insurance professional. This is such a complex topic and there are so many different types of courier services out there that for insurance purposes you would really have to nail down exactly what it is that you would be transporting. If you are talking about a general business liability policy those are pretty straight forward and relatively inexpensive. I would recommend talking to an insurance broker that specializes in commercial policies. Brokers deal with many different insurance companies rather than just one. I would not go to a stand alone insurance company ie Allstate, State Farm etc. basically companies that deal with normal residential type coverage, house, car, health life are not who you want to go to for commercial insurance.
      I use Willis formerly HRH/Charlton Manley.

      Sincerely,

      Bob Lavendusky

  35. Dale McLaurin says:

    Hi! I am just starting out so I really need to know how to get started. I have a truck. Where do I get insurance and what else is there to do? Please email me the information.

    Dale McLaurin

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