If you can find a dozen or so businesses in your area that need regular, scheduled deliveries, you’ve got a successful courier business. Contrary to what most “newbies” believe, that the money is in rush deliveries or same-day deliveries, providing scheduled deliveries to a few good repeat customers is where the money is.
Local businesses may ask you to pick up the mail at the post office every week day. Florists and pharmacists want someone to deliver flowers and prescriptions every day. Architects need to get plans to clients every day. Attorneys need help delivering legal documents every day. Besides, at $250 an hour, they can’t afford to do it themselves!
In my town, a local caterer specializes in preparing frozen gourmet meals for busy customers who like to heat and eat. She has a courier service deliver a week’s worth of frozen meals to each customer, using large Igloo coolers to keep the meals frozen. With over a hundred regular customers, it’s become a large source of dependable income for this courier.
Visualize a broken slot machine – Ka-ching, Ka-ching _ spitting out payouts over and over again. That’s what you want when you’re starting a courier service. They make it easy to plan each day’s pickups and deliveries and easy to budget and plan with a consistent, predictable income coming in.
Where are these wonderful customers who want to give you money every month? They are waiting for you to call them, as many have never regularly used a courier before. When you explain how you can actually save them money, they only want to know “Where do I sign up?” That is the best reason to use a courier – to save money. When you consider how much money most businesses and professionals pay their skilled employees, it makes sense to pay an outside courier service $35 to $50 an hour to handle deliveries. In addition, the recession has forced many businesses to lay off employees and outsource services like deliveries.
The best way to find new customers for your courier service is to make the rounds of local businesses to let them know about what you can do for them. Take along lots of custom notepads printed with your contact information. Everyone who gets a notepad is reminded of you each time they make a note. You’ll find a list of the 25 best prospects for a courier service in my book, How to Start a Courier Business.
Networking is a great way to meet potential customers. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations to meet business owners and tell them about your new courier service.
Once you get started, each happy customer is a source of referrals for future customers. Word-of-mouth referrals are far more powerful than any newspaper or Yellow pages ad. It may be slow at first, but, like a snowball rolling downhill, you’ll gather speed and new customers as you go! For more ideas to help you succeed with a courier service, read: How to Start a Courier Business.