The decision to become a courier can be one of the most lucrative decisions you make. Offering complete flexibility in your work hours and freedom to do what you want, being a self-employed courier has many perks.
Starting though can be a confusing process. If you are already a courier, read our guide on how to be the best courier driver, or, read on to find out how to start.
Choose your Courier Vehicle
As a courier, selecting the correct vehicle is essential. After all, you can’t carry 100 daily parcels around in your arms. A courier with a van will always be able to naturally deliver more volume than that of someone with a car.
However, if you are just starting out, you may wish to use your car just to get a feel of what it is like being a courier.
The more parcels you can carry, the more money you will be able to earn. Remember though, a bigger vehicle can be harder to park up and get into places so assess where you are likely to be delivering then buy a vehicle that strikes the balance between quantity of parcels carried and usability.
Make sure you own or lease the vehicle though. Borrowing a van will make getting courier van insurance extremely difficult!
Work out your operational costs
Many people make the mistake of not considering their operational costs past buying a vehicle.
We have written a more in-depth article to help work out your courier van costs costs but as a quick indication, you need to consider the following: Buying the van, maintenance of the van, fuel, costs of gaining work, communication costs such as a mobile phone etc as well as self-employed courier insurance costs.
You may even wish to invest in a tablet to better track emails and a sat-nav to ensure you get to the right places.
Couriers don’t require any qualifications but a clean driver’s licence is a must have. Dedicating to a safe working practice is essential if you are to succeed as a courier, you will spend most of your day driving, so do it properly and safely!
On from this though, you may wish to gain some additional qualifications to step you up from above the crowd. By obtaining qualifications such as a NCDA (National Courier and Despatch Association can boost your reputation and help you appear more reliable to bigger customers. It can also help you win important contracts should you head down a pitching for work route.
Additional driving courses and driving standards courses are also a great thing to have on your licence.
Potential Income Calculations
Glassdoor.co.uk offers indicative results as to what you could potentially earn as a courier. Some couriers can work by the hour whilst others can work by the parcel delivered.
According to some results, a courier can earn between £14,000 and £40,000 a year. This figure is greatly affected by the number of parcels you deliver. If you can deliver more then most, then you are likely to be hitting that £40k mark.
Be able to think on your feet
Being a courier obviously requires you to use the road and one thing the British like to do is dig them up or shut them time to time.
Purchase a sat-nav with a good traffic awareness or road closure package will help keep you ahead of the game. However, following traffic boards on social media and getting to know your areas properly will also allow you to keep on track and delivering on time
Avoiding bad situations is better than having to cure them, but if you do get stuck in traffic, knowing a back route quickly will be a life saver.
Find an accountant
Although it is unlikely you will be required to be VAT registered, finding a good accountant will enable you to keep your finances on track and ensure you are paying all relevant tax.
By using an accountant to keep track of your book keeping and self-assessment, you will be able to better concentrate on the important stuff like delivering and gaining the work you want.