New but need advice

Posted in Welcome.Skip To Latest

Rosearm

25
Original Poster

Hi all.

I am new to this industry. I've been thinking and researching things since this summer. I am very determined to become a self employed courier. I have handed my notice in at my current job and organised a van from a leasing company. I've been in touch with several local companies who would be willing to offer me work and I've had business cards printed up as well. (Low cost so took advantage of it!)

But I am having second thoughts. My monthly outgoings work out at over a £1000 so I'd have to be earning a lot to make it work. My father is in the business, he's a transport manager for a Bristol Company and he says its risky. He says he knows a lot of drivers have given it up over the last few years because they can't make it pay any more. I could take a gamble and go for it but if things don't work out I have nothing to fall back on and its not easy to just walk into another job these days. My boss knows how I feel and she has given me until Friday before she excepts my resignation.

What is your advice, is it a good time to do it, my old man tells me its not flat out at the moment and people aren't paying as much as they used too.

I am determined to do it, I know I can but its risky!!

PW Courier Services

1306

it's very risky to pack in a full time at this moment in time as the rate's for a owner driver are not what they use to be, I would think very carefully before you give up the full time job, you know how much your out going's are so you will know how much turnover you will have to do too just cover your out going's
the £1000 is that your outlay just for the courier or is that including your own living cost, my advice is stick with your job & see if you can do courier work on the side so that you get a feel for the work & how much work you can generate.

AJM sameday Couriers

3520

Dont even think about it, it's an insult what courier companies expect you to work for these days, most of the rates are what you would expect to get about ten years ago, fuel has gone up about 80% since then, not to mention Insurance and running costs, your profit will be zilch, ask the owners of the courier companies If there profit on using an owner driver has dwindled, the answer will be no, but boy the owner driver`s has.

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314

I would seriously think about ever chuckin in a PAYE to go it alone. I know there's no such thing as a job for life, but self employed is not to be taken lightly.

Best thing to do is to work backwards and see if you can afford to take the plunge Anyone telling you you're going to earn £1000 a week is telling you fibs. It can be done but i'd base your turnover on £500 a week and although fuel used to account for around 20%, nowadays its more like 40%.....also If you're off the road then you're going to earn NOTHING.

This industry can give you a living, but if you have debts, or even a modest mortgage then you're going to get into trouble pretty quickly

Rosearm

25
Original Poster

The 1000 a month is both business and living costs. I've been offered 85p a mile for a SWB Transit.

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314

I bet you have...it's too low.....bear in mind you get paid ONE WAY only, so a 100 mile job gets you £85, BUT you actually do 200 miles.....even at 40miles to the gallon thats 5 gallons at £6.60 per gallon?....leaves you with £52

So you need 2 of them a day to make £100..that's 400 miles a day, 2000 miles a week, 100,000 miles a year. Work out how long that's taken you, 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours? and then there's wear and tear, insurance, tax....

How long do you need your van to last?..can you honestly do that kind of mileage day in day out?

You need to do some maths, start from what you need a month to break even, work backwards, bear in mind over half of what you earn has gone straight away....

Rosearm

25
Original Poster

Speed Couriers (Stansted Airport) said:


I bet you have...it's too low.....bear in mind you get paid ONE WAY only, so a 100 mile job gets you £85, BUT you actually do 200 miles.....even at 40miles to the gallon thats 5 gallons at £6.60 per gallon?....leaves you with £52

So you need 2 of them a day to make £100..that's 400 miles a day, 2000 miles a week, 100,000 miles a year. Work out how long that's taken you, 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours? and then there's wear and tear, insurance, tax....

How long do you need your van to last?..can you honestly do that kind of mileage day in day out?

You need to do some maths, start from what you need a month to break even, work backwards, bear in mind over half of what you earn has gone straight away....

I am with you...I don't need to worry about wear and tear, the leasing company service it and tax it. All I need to do is pay insurance and fuel.

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314

and the lease...you gotta pay em for the van...and that ain't cheap

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314

£200 a month?

AJM sameday Couriers

3520

Then there are bad/late payers.

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314

Anyone would think you're trying to put him off...lol

PW Courier Services

1306

no one's trying to put him off only giving the pitfalls, would any of us try to start up a new courier business in this current climate

RGM Courier Services

1786

Think you've hit the nail on the head PW. If you're established with regular work it's not so bad, but starting up anew in this climate and trying to compete for work against other couriers who know the business, is going to be very hard without a lot of capital as backup to get established. I think contacts are the key to making this job pay, (getting regular work, double ups, returns etc.) and they don't come overnight.

Rosearm. We're approaching the worst part of the year for courier work. It goes dead nearer Christmas. (Look at all the guys who are "empty at home" on this site already). I think I'd keep your job for now, then have another think about it after Christmas. Just my opinion...

Speed Couriers Nationwide Ltd

10314

Starting anything new is a gamble, and no matter how much homework you've done, or how good a service you offer, or how competitive you think you are, there is always someone out there that can beat you, has deeper pockets, better cashflow, or just has better luck than you. Loyalty seems to matter less and less and people expect more for less... When is a good time?....is there a better time to start?

For all the advice on offer, only you know when the time is right....if it doesn't feel right, then it isn't right. There are so many differing opinions, because we all have different examples of what worked and what didn't work.

Rosearm

25
Original Poster

RGM Courier Services said:


Think you've hit the nail on the head PW. If you're established with regular work it's not so bad, but starting up anew in this climate and trying to compete for work against other couriers who know the business, is going to be very hard without a lot of capital as backup to get established. I think contacts are the key to making this job pay, (getting regular work, double ups, returns etc.) and they don't come overnight.

Rosearm. We're approaching the worst part of the year for courier work. It goes dead nearer Christmas. (Look at all the guys who are "empty at home" on this site already). I think I'd keep your job for now, then have another think about it after Christmas. Just my opinion...

Ta for that.

Thanks all for the advice...I have decided to hang on for a while and put my plans on hold. But its still something I really want to do in the future. My bosses were more than happy that I've decided to stay! Apparently I am a valued member of the team!

I'll stay on the forum and hopefully speak with you all again soon!

RGM Courier Services

1786

Keep an eye on the forums in the next couple of months and you'll see you've made the right decision!! Word of advice though when you do start up. Don't rely on any of these sites, mt or cx for work. You'll need to build up your own customer base by emailing/visiting local firms, building your own website, etc. Good luck!

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