5 Top Tips For Courier & Delivery Start-Ups in 2020
With the eCommerce revolution in full swing, exciting opportunities are opening up for people to enter the Logistics industry as courier companies, or “last mile” operators. With traditional retail peaks like Black Friday and Christmas being joined by their younger siblings Cyber Monday, and Alibaba’s Singles Day, the demand for quick, reliable deliveries of retail purchases has never been greater. At the same time, the food delivery industry (both from restaurants and from stores) is booming, also requiring people to move things from A to B in high volumes.
So what are some of the key points to bear in mind if you are starting out in the delivery game? How can you get ahead in this exciting and rapidly growing industry?
- Market Yourself Online
- Get Ahead Of The Problems
- Market Yourself Offline
- Offer Accounts
- Crowdsource Your Team
Market Yourself Online
Depending on where you are operating, different platforms will work better than others, but at the very least you should make a website that enables people to contact you. This can be by giving out a phone number, a contact form, or ideally, a way to make delivery requests and pay, all within the site. You can easily make your own website on Wix & Squarespace. Wix even has a free version.
Additionally, it is worth setting up a Facebook page. This not only works as a way for potential customers to contact you but also functions as a customer support channel.
Get Ahead Of The Problems
There will always come a time where, for reasons beyond anyone’s control, deliveries will be late. The best way to deal with this is to inform your customers as soon as possible.
This serves 2 important purposes: Firstly, this is great customer service, and will make your customer feel looked after. Secondly, re-attempting deliveries is costly, so it is in everyone’s interests to get it done the first time around. The sooner you call the customer the more chance you have to fix the situation, either by confirming that the delivery can still be received at the later time, or by arranging another time for delivery BEFORE your driver gets halfway across town.
Market Yourself Offline
As a delivery business, you have frequent face to face interactions with your customers. This should be turned into a marketing opportunity.
- Ensure that you give your drivers guidance to be courteous and polite. Creating great customer experiences is probably the best marketing a company can do.
- Have your drivers give business cards to everyone you deliver to, and deliver from.
- You can cost-effectively have t-shirts printed with your company name and contact details.
- Print stickers to put on your delivery vehicles, and the packages themselves, again with your logo and contact details.
Make it easier for repeat customers to order from you by offering them the ability to set up an account and bill monthly. Yes, this means you get paid later, but offering accounts will encourage your regular customers to put more business your way, as well as saving both of you time when it comes to billing (and no one likes paperwork). Xero and Quick Books have very reasonably priced packages for start-ups (and you can try them for free) that can help you manage your invoicing and accounts.
Crowdsource Your Team
Hiring people can be daunting, and fluctuations in business can make it hard to commit to steady salaries. As such many delivery businesses are crowdsourcing their teams to give companies and delivery personnel more flexibility.
- Ensure that you have a sufficient vetting process.
- Set the same performance expectations you would for a full-time employee.
- Ensure that you have a way to broadcast work to the whole team.
- Regularly recruit new people (Facebook and your website are good places to start).
Starting a new venture will always have its challenges, but if you can be consistent with the basics, you will put yourself in the best position to be successful. This is a great time to be entering the market, as all indications point towards continued growth in the last mile delivery sector.
Contact us if you’re keen to know how Yojee can help your business this 2020.