What Research Should I Do Before Starting a Courier Services Business?

man doing research with clipboard

Before starting any kind of business, including a Courier business, you first need to do your research. To help you on your way to starting a courier services business, here’s some important things you should research first:

  • Company Name
  • Competitors
  • What Services You Will Offer and How
  • Customers
  • Start-Up Costs

Once you’ve thoroughly researched all of the above, you’ll be way on your way to starting a successful courier services company! But don’t worry, we won’t leave you there. We’ve given a little bit more insight into each factor so keep reading to learn more!

1. Research Company Names

Choosing a name for your company isn’t the easiest of tasks. A good business name can help your existing customer remember you and can entice new customers to try your services. When coming up with a company name consider using the following:

  • Acronyms
  • Mash-Ups
  • Mythology
  • Foreign Words
  • Your Name
  • Locations
  • Word-Play
  • Story-Telling

A great example of a courier name is Avango Couriers, a courier company based in Manchester, North-West England but willing to go wherever the job takes them. Since that playful brand name is already taken, you’ll have to get thinking of your own. Have fun and great creative!

Remember, when researching brand names make sure it isn’t be used by another company. It’s also worth looking into trademarking to protect your brand.

2. Research Competitors

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important to be aware of your competitors.

Take time to get to know your competitors. Research their services, prices and customers. Look at what they’re doing right and what could be improved then apply what you’ve learn to your own business. As your company grows, your competitor research will like grow too and you can continue to conduct in-depth competitor analysis to make sure your Courier business stays in the fast lane.

3. Research Potential Services (and Vehicles!)

If you’re going to run a successful courier company then you need to know what services you’ll realistically be able to provide. The type of courier services you provide will rely on numerous factors including your costings (more on this later) and the type of vehicles in your fleet.

The majority of couriers operate vans, giving them a lot of freedom and room for growth with the type of services they provide. However, you could also be a motorcycle courier or a pushbike-messenger in a city centre. However you start, there will always be room for expansion so don’t worry about starting small if you have to.

With your fleet decided upon, you also need to work out the services you can deliver. Understanding the logistics of everything and how likely you are to be able to deliver results (terrible pun 100% intended…) is paramount to starting a successful courier company. Remember, it’s best to start small and expand over time rather than trying to do everything all from the beginning.

You can choose between doing multi-drop parcel work (like DPD, Yodel or Parcel Force) or running a dedicated courier service similar to Avango Couriers or City Sprint.

4. Research Your Customers

Once you’ve researched the type of services you want to provide, you’re now in a position to research who your customers will be.

If you choose to offer a multi-drop service then it’s more than likely that your customers will be national brands in need of a large scale courier operation. Alternatively, as a dedicated courier, you can research local companies and find your own customers or you could offer to sub-contract your courier services for a larger company. Whichever you choose, it’s important to know your customers, understand their needs and learn how you can best help compared to your competitors.

5. Research Your Start-Up Costs

Before starting any business at all, you need to know what your budget will be. Be realistic and work out how much you can really afford to spend to get your company off the ground. Remember to have some security-money kept aside for those just in case moments too.

Understanding the type of service you want to provide will really help you to calculate your start-up costs as you will be able to account for proposed vehicle costs, insurance rates, cost of services you plan to provide and even advertising rates to ensure you’re at the forefront of your competitors. Be sensible with your start-up costs and research all expected and possible expenses to ensure you are always prepared. If you have a minimal budget consider making cut-backs where possible. For example, you could buy a second-hand van instead of getting a brand new vehicle and you could focus on word-of-mouth advertising between local companies or listings on online courier directories instead of paying for lots of advertising in the first few months of business.

 

Now that we’ve covered those 5 areas to research before starting a courier business, we hope we’ve inspired you to kick-start your courier services business today. If you have any questions at all, please get in touch today!