Throughout the recent pandemic, delivery businesses have thrived, but there is certainly room for others to reap the benefits of an industry that is seeing unprecedented demand.

Making sure you have the necessary physical equipment and covering the legal aspects such as insurance are all things that are all essential to the set up and running of any delivery business, but there are many other things that you should consider when setting up a small delivery business.   

Set your delivery boundaries

Determine the boundaries that you are happy to deliver within. Whilst this may narrow your customer base, it will also help to cap your mileage expenses and fuel consumption.  You can then target the areas where you are willing and able to offer your services in a way that offers potential for business without long distances between customers. Or, if you must look further afield, ensure that your pricing reflects the fact that you are likely to be delivering less and yet travelling further to do so.

Marketing is critical

Create a list of business and personal contacts that may have need of delivery services and let them know that you are available.  Local grocery stores, butchers, restaurants and dry cleaners are types of business that often require delivery services. Letting them knowing you are available to do in a targeted manner is easy. Leaflet drops allow you the opportunity to get in front of your potential clients and have a chat; if they’re busy when you go in, you can always leave something physical there for them to read later on.

Decide on a delivery pricing plan

You will need to create a baseline price, one that compensates you for your fixed costs, such as fuel per mile, insurances and equipment that you may need to use. Don’t forget that you are likely to be using internet, phones and printing services also as your business grows, so include an amount to cover these. You then need to make some money from doing so. This is where it gets trickier and you may need to do some market research before setting a final fee structure. One such decision will be whether you charge by time or distance for the jobs you carry out.  

Plan for growth

You’ll also need to have a plan for agile growth. After all, if demand outstrips your ability to deliver, particularly at busy times such as Christmas you may struggle to meet what you’ve promised your customers. Have a backup plan ready for busier times; whether you partner with another company or take on temporary staff, that means you won’t lose your reputation by failing to deliver.

Ensuring you’ve considered all this should give you the best chance of starting a delivery business that offers a robust service throughout the pandemic and beyond. Why not check out our other articles on what you need to know when starting up a new business and keeping it going?