Business & Careers

The Small Courier Business: Can You Boost Your Profits?

BY Laura Bartlett

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Just like every other field of business in general, the delivery industry is highly competitive. However, there are still huge opportunities for growth here. That is only true though if you know how to manage your finances, where to cut costs and where not to. To understand why small courier startups have huge opportunities right now and how you can use that to improve the performance and bottom line in your own business, read on.

The Rapid Growth of eCommerce Websites Presents Enough Opportunities for Growth in the Delivery Sector as Well

Despite the current political and economic turmoil, the UK is still a perfect breeding ground for new businesses. At the same time, given the high rental price for business properties in major cities such as London, Aberdeen or Bristol, for example, most of these start-ups are choosing to operate online and cut out a major expense from their business model.

This, of course, has created the perfect opportunity for the delivery industry to flourish alongside the eCommerce sector. After all, the products bought online will still need to be delivered to the customers and, therefore, there’s a growing market demand for new courier services in all parts of the UK.

The courier business itself is actually a fast-growing industry with plenty of entrepreneurial opportunities for the same reasons, so whether one already has an established business in the field or is just starting out, there’s definitely money to be made here.

Increasing Profits by Cutting Expenses

The maths is quite simple – the less you have to spend on the business, the more you will profit from it. However, the key is in being able to differentiate between avoidable costs and necessary expenses. Mixing up the two, or even failing to acknowledge one or the other will have a serious impact on your bottom line, especially in the long-term.

The Avoidable Expense: An Unnecessarily Costly Van Insurance Policy

Commercial van insurance policies can be quite expensive, which is why it’s even more important to shop around. Smaller courier services are often surprised by the amount of money they could have saved by opting for a more suitable and affordable insurance policy from the beginning if they had only compared their policy options from the various insurers right from start. 

You can still do so by visiting to find a policy which is more suited to the needs of your courier business. In case you are only starting out, this is actually an even more important step for your business.

Comparison sites like Quotezone let you compare your different options for van insurance until you find the right policy for your business’s specific needs.

The Unavoidable Expense: A Dependable Van

Van insurance costs can be clamped down on, but what you can’t do, is sacrifice the quality of the van/vans which you buy or lease for the business.

These are the main tools and the wheels of your trade, so if you want to build a reputation for reliable and timely deliveries, you just can’t skip on the quality of your van. Go with a Volkswagen Caddy, a Ford Transit or a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and you will never regret the decision for spending a little extra on these top-of-the-line models. They will last longer, give you less trouble on the road, and when the lease is over or when it’s time to change vans again, a quality van from a reputed manufacturer will always have excellent residual value.

Vans also come in various sizes, so it might be tempting to buy a smaller van and start with it, but buy something mid-sized instead, even if you don’t need the extra storage space right now. In a few months’ time, it is likely that you will need the extra space, which could be a problem if you have already bought the smallest and cheapest van in the line-up!

A particularly compact van would, however, make more sense if it’s your own business and you are making your own deliveries because then you are aware of your estimated productive capacity for the foreseeable future. In general, though, it is best to start with a small fleet of mid-sized vans for new courier companies.

It may still take a while for a courier business to break even, but since a delivery business, in general, is considered to be a comparatively low investment venture, it shouldn’t take that long either. The only important thing is that as the company begins to expand, never let it spiral out of control because unsustainable growth can be ruinous for small businesses in particular.


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