What You Need To Know Before Starting A New Courier Service
Before beginning a new courier or delivery service, it’s important to do basic market research to ensure that there is demand in a given area for couriers, and to see what sort of services potential customers need from couriers.
It’s likely that other courier services are already operating in the area, so there should be a critical mass of businesses and individuals who already have some knowledge of what services couriers provide. Those entering the courier and delivery business should tap their knowledge, as well as speaking with those who don’t already use couriers about what might make them consider adopting such a service.
Market research should be broken down into two essential phases: primary research and secondary research. Primary research means contacting current and potential customers of delivery services to get their impressions of what the couriers do well, and how they could be improved.
Secondary research means looking through already published literature, like magazines, blogs, and even research studies, to see what others have already learned about courier services.
Since secondary research is cheaper, faster, and typically performed before primary research, this article will discuss it first. There are many excellent sources from which new business operators can get information for their secondary research. Business journals, blogs devoted to start ups and to the courier business, and the local chamber of commerce all should have pages upon pages of information about managing businesses in general, and about running a courier service in particular.
When doing secondary research, new business owners should look into two basic questions. First, what makes a courier service successful? What qualities do reliable, trustworthy, and, above all, profitable courier services share? Second, what volume and pricing will be needed to make the courier service successful, and is the market large enough to sustain a new courier service? In essence, the new business owner will be doing qualitative and quantitative research into the underpinnings of a successful courier service.
Once the new business owner has done enough secondary research to be confident they can successfully start a courier service, they’ll need to move onto the primary research. Primary research means tracking down current and potential customers and asking their opinions about the local courier and delivery companies. This can be done through face to face meetings, online surveys, mailings, and focus groups, and a thorough primary researcher will utilize a mixture of these methods.
The goal of primary research should be first to establish that the target area can sustain a new courier service. The business owner needs to convince himself or herself that enough customers would use their service to make it profitable. Secondly, he or she should use the primary research phase to start formulating a specific business plan. What will distinguish their new courier service from existing delivery services, and win over customers?
Answering these questions is essential to beginning a new business, and secondary and primary market research is the best way to find out the answers.