7 Things You Need to Set Up a Courier Service at Home
If you’re looking to make some extra money from home, starting your courier service can be an excellent option for you. It requires very little overhead and can be done on the side while you maintain your regular job or business. But how do you get your courier business up and running? What exactly do you need to do this? Well, don’t worry, this article is here to help!
- Track Your Packages Online
If you plan to run a home-based courier service, be sure to track all your packages online with a courier company that offers an online dashboard. It will allow you to monitor parcels and ensure they are delivered promptly. With access to instant shipping quotes, driver tracking, and real-time package status updates, it’s easier than ever for you to manage business operations from your computer or mobile device.
- Research Permits and Licenses
You will need an independent courier service permit and other licenses depending on your location. Before starting, consult city and state laws regarding permits and licensing for an independent business. You don’t want city laws to close your operations. Therefore, you must make sure you do all your paperwork and research other permits that you might need to continue running your small company.
- Print Delivery Labels
Suppose you have several packages to deliver, print mailing labels from your local postal service website, and stick them on. This way, when customers come to your door with boxes or books to send out, they can hand them off. And you can make sure every package has a label—and every label has a tracking number. With print delivery labels, shipping software has become even more powerful than ever before.
- Use Safe Boxes
Whether you’re transporting keys, artwork, or other valuables, it’s essential to use proper packaging. Cheap boxes might look like a good deal, but they’re not very sturdy and can easily fall apart when carrying heavy cargo. Invest in a good set of strong cardboard boxes to protect your fragile items.
This is particularly true for shipping small electronics, where even one drop can render an expensive piece of machinery useless. If possible, ship heavier loads with insurance for peace of mind; consider attaching a receipt if you’ll need tracking numbers from delivery services. Also, remember that all shipments have dimensions. Larger packages typically have higher prices so try to keep your shipments as small as possible!
- Think About Insurance and Legal Issues
Running a business means you’re responsible for your employees, both while they’re on duty and at any time they might be carrying your product in their vehicle. That can mean hefty costs if an employee is injured or has an accident while driving or delivering one of your packages. It’s a good idea to invest in insurance coverage to protect yourself. An auto accident attorney will also come in handy when things get ugly. Lawsuits tend to follow some delivery companies like moths to a flame. Auto accident attorneys have experience navigating those legal waters and can help keep you out of court. They might even suggest ways to protect yourself from possible liability before something happens.
- Get the Right Equipment
Before you can get started with delivery service, there are a few key pieces of equipment you’ll need. First and foremost is a vehicle: Preferably something relatively inexpensive but spacious enough to handle loads. In most cases, a four-door sedan or wagon will suffice. The next essential piece of equipment is a cell phone—you’ll need it for making deliveries. If your car doesn’t have one installed already, find out how much adding one will cost. Once done, go ahead and buy a cheap phone. You might also want to invest in some navigation system software for your computer at home. This way, you can see exactly where your drivers are on any given day.
- Don’t Forget About Quality Control
Suppose you’re going to start a courier service. In that case, you need to ensure that your deliveries will be handled properly and on time. It is necessary to implement strict quality control to ensure that your business is reliable and that customers are satisfied with their service. You should measure several aspects of your company’s performance, including response times and follow-through rates. You can include these metrics as part of your KPI (key performance indicator) dashboard. After all, if no one wants to use your services, what good does it offer them?
The fastest way to learn anything is through experience, and starting a courier service is no different. If you think running your own courier business will make for an interesting side hustle—and something you’d enjoy doing—go for it!