How to grow your courier business

Growth | How To | Retail | Transport & Distribution

How to grow your courier business

Commerce is becoming increasingly digitised, with many consumers preferring to handle most of their shopping online instead of hitting the high street.

This has had a real knock-on effect for the delivery sector: in fact, last year, the UK parcel shipping market reached a staggering £10 billion turnover, according to the Financial Times, and that figure looks set to continue rising.

So, with all this increased demand, it’s a great time to consider expanding your courier business.

If you’re looking to grow your business and turn a bigger profit, you’ll need to know how to expand your services and attract new clients. So, in this article, we’ll discuss how you can widen the reach of your company, increase deliveries, target new industries, and market your growing business successfully. Just keep reading to learn everything you should know about growing your courier company.

Invest in a new delivery method to expand your reach

One of the simplest ways to grow your business is to upgrade your delivery methods, so you can make more deliveries and expand your delivery area. If you currently make deliveries using a bike, for instance, upgrading to a motorbike or scooter can allow you to reach more clients in less time, and you’ll expand your potential delivery area, too. Investing in a bigger van with more space for cargo can also help you to increase your reach, as you’ll be able to cover more deliveries without needing to return to the depot to reload.

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If you’re considering upgrading your vehicle, you’ll need to work out which type is going to be the most cost-effective for your business. For instance, if you need to deliver lots of smaller items across a limited area, a van with a very large cargo hold is probably going to be less cost-effective than a smaller model. So, you’ll need to crunch the numbers and work out what your overheads will be per delivery, and then work how much more you could earn by expanding your vehicle’s capacity.

Find new markets to target

Even if you already have a good existing network of customers, you should still be looking for ways to break into new markets. Analyse your delivery area for any markets you’re not currently targeting and consider whether you might be able to offer these industries something that other couriers don’t. For instance, could you start offering deliveries to the food and hospitality industries, or to retail and healthcare? What would you need to start offering these services?

To reach potential clients, you’ll need to understand your target market, and what they’re looking for in a courier. For instance, do bars, restaurants and other businesses in the hospitality sector seem to value same-day services? Scoping out what potential clients want will give you an edge over other competitors.

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Target a niche with specialist equipment

If you’d like to expand into new markets, it’s likely that you’ll need to offer some specialised services to help you stand out from the crowd. For instance, if you’d like to start offering food or medical deliveries, investing in a fridge van and temperature-controlled cargo hold will give you an edge over your competitors. The biggest advantages of offering these sorts of specialised services is that you can charge more per delivery although, of course, you’ll need to offset any profits against the increased running and maintenance costs of the vehicle.

There are other ways to increase your vehicle’s capacity, too. A hydraulic crane or lift can increase the maximum weight you’ll be able to process and save a great deal of manual labour and time. They’re a great option if you want to start making bulk deliveries or handling heavy items that may be awkward to move. The type of crane, lift or winch you’ll need will vary depending on your vehicle and which sort of cargo you’ll be lifting, so use this configurator tool from Penny Hydraulics to discover which equipment is right for your company.

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Find a way to measure the success of your goals

As with any successful business strategy, you’ll need to set yourself some goals and find ways to evaluate your progress during your expansion. So, once you’ve dreamed up your goals, create a step-by-step plan and set some quantifiable targets and key performance indicators to measure your success against.

For example, how many new clients do you want to find? How many extra deliveries are you aiming for? If you have a higher turnover or profit margin in mind, exactly how much do you want this to be? By setting yourself goals you can evaluate, you can identify any key areas of growth, and focus on them: this way, you’ll know where to pool your resources in order to maximise profits.

It takes a lot of passion and hard work to turn a small business into a big one but, if you’re prepared to put the work in, you should start to see real results. Simply follow the steps we’ve outlined above and, before long, your courier service should be expanding into exciting new markets and turning a bigger profit.

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