What to Know About Starting Your Own Delivery Business

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With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many changes in how the world operates. While there is an increasing move toward normalcy with the widespread availability of vaccines, some of the things that changed during the pandemic might not go back to the way they were before.

For example, people are working from home more than ever before, and that could stay the same even as more people get vaccinated.

People are also shopping in stores less and going to restaurants more infrequently, which has increased the need for delivery services.

If you’re thinking about capitalizing on these changes with your own delivery business, the following are some things to know.

Insurance

First, if you want to start a delivery business, whether you’ll be the only driver or not, you need to be aware of what the auto insurance requirements are. If you or one of your drivers were to get into an accident while working and you didn’t have adequate insurance coverage, it could be very costly.

If you’re just starting out driving on your own, you may think your personal car insurance will provide enough coverage until your business grows more, but in reality, there’s usually a gap in coverage that could leave you vulnerable.

You may need a commercial auto insurance policy if you’re working as a delivery driver in any capacity because food delivery is a business use of your vehicle, rather than being considered personal use.

Car insurance companies usually see business use as more high-risk than personal use, so the rates tend to be higher as such.

Decide What You’ll Deliver

There are a lot of things you can deliver and different ways you can structure what you provide to your customers.

One good starting point might be working as a food delivery driver. You could work with local restaurants and stay competitive with bigger companies like DoorDash by charging those restaurants a lower fee.

Interestingly, if you want the name of Amazon behind your business, they’re looking for Amazon Delivery Service Partners.

You don’t have to have experience in logistics, but you keep growing your business while delivering packages from Amazon.

Amazon does give you a lot of tools to help you get started, including on-demand support and comprehensive training.

When you participate in the Delivery Service Partner program, you become an owner-operator, and it’s a fast-growing industry.

When you go with this option, Amazon offers you the deals on things you need to start a business, including discounts for account software, and they give you discounted insurance and legal options.

You can build a team of anywhere from 40 to 100 staff, and then you may end up operating 20 to 40 vehicles a day.

All participants get a toolkit to help them along the way.

Marketing and Advertising

If you’re not going to work as an Amazon Delivery Service Partner, you’re going to need to focus quite a bit on marketing and advertising your business.

That’s the only way you’re going to be able to grow when you’re facing competition from national delivery apps and services.

The way you do this will depend on your targeted audience, your budget, and your capabilities to do some of these things on your own.

For example, you might buy social media ads, start an Instagram profile for your business, blog, or go in-person to local businesses to talk to them about a partnership.

What You Need to Get Started

Along with what’s already talked about, there are some things you may need to get started with your delivery business, including:

  • A logistics management software system that is going to help you coordinate your customers, orders, and drivers if you have more than one working for you.
  • A website
  • Marketing content
  • Business license
  • Delivery vehicles
  • A phone service that can be cloud-based
  • Dispatch space (although you may not need this when you’re just starting)

When you start a business, no matter what you’re actually delivering, the most important thing to understand is customer service and how to create a great experience every single time. Your customer reviews are ultimately what’s going to create or destroy your business. Customers really do expect perfection in these scenarios and they’ll be vocal if that’s not what they get.

That means that your deliveries need to be fast and accurate, your service overall excellent, and right now, especially, you need to follow all COVID-19 protocols. It’s a big job but if you build a great local reputation, it’s potentially a profitable business.

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