We’ve met and chatted to literally 1000′s of couriers and logistics companies over the years. A popular topic for discussion is how they’re picking up their courier work. So without further ado, here’s 10 great tips that come up time and time again. Maybe you’ll discover a new tactic you can use to help your business.
- Speak to local businesses. Get out and visit your local industrial estates and other places where you can find businesses who need to use dedicated drivers regularly. Talk to receptionists/despatch managers and leave a card.
- Build relationships with other sameday courier companies. Make sure you’re well known as a hard working, well presented and reliable courier to other sameday courier companies. Chances are they will have exceptionally busy days sometimes, so let them know you’re willing and able to help out when needed. Talk to them every Thursday for a few weeks, so they remember you on the Friday. Ask them what sort of vans they are short of, and get one of those.
- Do mailshots, and follow up with phone calls. For more details, checkout the article about courier sales letters on Tony’s Guide.
- Build a website. Building yourself a simple homepage can help with new leads. It provides you with somewhere you can quickly point people to so they can find out more about the services you offer and how to contact you. A quicker, simpler and sometimes more effective method would be to put effort into building your public profile page on mtvan. Upload a picture or logo, give details of what van(s) you have, add a description, and above all, upload your documents.
- Advertise online. I’ve heard a few couriers who do this (normally using google adsense), but it’s definitely one that will require some planning. For a start to do this properly you’ve really got to get to work in building a website to direct people who click through on your ad. Be careful, though, the clicks are often more than £1 each, so you can spend a lot very easily. Gumtree is free, though they don’t like business ads much.
- Join a local business breakfast club, to meet other small business people in your area.
- Make good use of an online freight exchange. Promote your business and advertise to the trade. Make sure your listing is up to date and professional. You may pick up extra work literally by being in the right place when someone is looking for a courier in your town. Do your best to make your profile stand out from the crowd. Post empty regularly to make sure others know who you are and what you offer. Quote for courier work on online freight exchanges. Even if you don’t get much work, quoting is a good way of getting known to people with work.
- Advertise in newspapers. Advertising in local newspapers can be an effective way to pick up new customers. If you can target people who are likely to be repeat customers then that’s even better. However people are generally moving away from printed media so your efforts may be better placed advertising online.
- Advertise in Post Office windows, for small jobs, local removals and so on.
- For quiet days, make yourself available to parcel companies (talk to their local franchisees), for the odd day’s multi-dropping.
Of course, once you’re picking up enough work make sure you are punctual, polite and well presented so your new customers call you again next time they need a courier.