Starting your own business can feel daunting when you first look at it. A business, however, can and should be something simple that helps people in their daily lives. In recent times, particularly in the past year, food services and other delivery businesses have thrived despite the economic downturn. Not only do delivery services facilitate the needs of struggling businesses and provide a safe shopping experience for customers, but they are one of the easiest businesses to start, too. A great way to start is by using a rental car for your deliveries.
What type of delivery service is right for you?
Delivery can seem simple on the surface; you offer a service that moves an item from one point to another. To succeed when opening your delivery service, you probably have to narrow down your idea into something more tangible and maybe focus on a niche of the delivery market. You could either deliver a product that you produce yourself, such as food from your restaurant, or a product that can also be bought in your physical store. Allowing customers to order online with fast delivery is also popular. Many delivery services, however, are not involved with creating the goods that are to be delivered, or with acquiring customers, but simply facilitate the transaction.
You can narrow down your business when it comes to the goods that you transport and your other areas of focus. To stand out in the crowd, you can build your business to serve a specific need. Do you offer excellent, personalized customer service? Are you competitive with lower prices than other similar services? Do you deliver particularly fast or to remote areas that aren’t serviced by other companies?
Answering these questions will help you out when you start sketching out your business plan and facilitates making the right decisions regarding everything from your delivery vehicle to the price of your services. With a few keywords as a base, you can build the concrete steps that take your idea from an abstract concept to reality.
Starting a delivery business: From an idea to a solid plan
Every good company, whether large or small, needs a clear, thought-through business plan. Your business plan outlines the activities you will be performing through your company and requires you to put some thought into what happens behind the scenes. Putting even a little time and effort into researching your market and industry, for example, can go a long way when it comes to starting a delivery service.
|Overview and introduction||Which are your business’s main activities? How will these activities be realized in practice?|
|Organization and structure||After introducing your business idea, you need to consider the organizational aspects that make your idea work. State your delivery business legal structure, whether you will be working alone or with a partner, as well as where you’ll be operating.|
|Your product or service||Describe the product or services you offer to your customer; describe what problem you’re trying to solve or what gap in the market you’ll be filling. By researching and analyzing your competitors, you can gain valuable insights into fine-tuning your delivery service successfully.|
|Finances and projections||Make an educated projection on your potential costs and revenues. Before your delivery service can start making money, you often also need some sort of initial investment in addition to the running costs that your business will be affected by in the longer term.|
There is no one right way to create the perfect business plan, but you can use our simplified guide as a checklist for some essentials when drafting your own plan.
SIXT’s best tips for anyone who wants to start a delivery service:
1. Choose the right vehicle for your deliveries
Naturally, we recommend that you start a delivery service with a long- or short-term car rental. There are several reasons for this advice, with the main one being flexibility. With a rental, you can test the market and try different vehicles depending on your preferences and needs. As a brand-new business owner, you first need to figure out your working style, as well as what needs your vehicle needs to fulfill, from terrain and location to the type of goods you’ll be delivering.
Another key benefit of an affordable rental car is that you avoid the costly investment of purchasing a vehicle that would quickly depreciate. With SIXT’s flexible corporate car rental, you’ll receive generous discounts and can also switch between different vehicle classes and models. Insurance is also included in your rental fee, which takes one additional thing off your mind.
2. Conduct a thorough market research before starting your delivery service
A significant first step in any market research is to imagine your target customer and learn more about their behavior. Another critical point to remember when you wondering on how to start a delivery service, is not only what your ideal customer wants but what they already have. Take a closer look at the available services in your area; if your city is flooded with food deliveries, you could turn your focus to delivering groceries, convenience goods, or specialty items.
Market research should also be done as your business is growing. Keep an eye on upcoming trends and changes in business practices among your competitors, and make sure that you listen to customer feedback and continue improving your delivery service as you go.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” (Bill Gates, CEO and founder of Microsoft)
3. Start small and build your delivery business step-by-step
Most people start their business without any employees. This is a particularly good idea for companies offering delivery services, thanks to the nature of the activities. When starting slow, you can prepare for unexpected events and can tackle obstacles one by one. Even though you carry the full responsibility of your business, you also have the freedom to fine-tune your services to be perfect. You can select the areas and locations that your delivery business services, choose what goods you deliver, and set your rates and prices according to your market research. Despite running your own business, there is no reason to shy away from asking a mentor or other trustworthy expert for advice or contracting outside companies for tasks you are unfamiliar with.
As your company and customer base grow, you might end up with more tasks than you can handle. With many deliveries coming in, a second vehicle and delivery person can be necessary to keep up your company’s high standards. With SIXT’s online booking and management tools, you can easily keep an eye on an additional rentals, as well as the associated data that is essential for reporting your business costs correctly.
The essentials of a successful delivery business
In these trying times, people often look to simplify their everyday life. This is a great opportunity for delivery businesses to provide comfort and help to a wide range of customers, whether you offer express delivery of food or haulage of heavier goods to remote areas. Keep these basics in mind when you consider starting a delivery business:
- Select a niche area among different delivery services to stand out from the crowd
- Try out other vehicles and find the one that works best for you
- Make a clear business plan and let it guide you through expanding your business
- Know your market and learn from your customers’ feedback