You have taken the plunge:
- You’ve registered as self-employed.
- You may even have decided that VAT registration is something for you.
- You have got your courier vehicle sorted.
- You’ve got courier insurance.
- You’ve god goods-in-transit (GiT) insurance.
- You’ve got Public Liability insurance.
- You may even have considered your life and critical illness cover insurance options.
- You have sorted your other equipment needs like your sack truck, ratchet straps and bungees.
- You’ve also got you PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements boxed-off.
Now all you need to do is find some work to pay for it all!
Professionals Work With Professionals
In most industries, the best companies want to work with the best people. It’s also no coincidence that the best people are attracted to the best companies and so a virtuous circle is formed and maintained.
By doing what you have done to get you to this point, you have already overcome the biggest obstacle to getting work, which is demonstrating that you are a professional and that you have a professional set-up. (Clean van, smart appearance, right equipment, correct insurance etc. etc.)
Where To Start
Given the fact that we are in the digital age, it will come as no surprise for you to hear that the best place for you to start your search is online.
Type ‘freelance courier’ into any search engine and you will receive literally millions of results and the vast majority of these results will be advertising courier work.
Look for established companies, with a good reputation and make contact as prescribed in their advert. Make sure the you include information about your set-up and point out any relevant prior experience. For example, in the service industry, or other customer service environment.
If you have not heard anything back from them after a week, or two make sure that you follow-up with a polite phone call to enquire about the status of your application. By sounding keen, you stand a better chance of getting to meet your prospective ’employer’, which will give you a further opportunity to show-off your set-up.
Rinse and repeat this process as many times as necessary. The more companies that you contact (and chase-up) the more likely you are to find good work.
In addition to approaching numerous local and national courier firms a good idea may be to get yourself registered with one of the courier online platforms, which are available to you. (e.g. Anyvan, or Courier Exchange).
Online platforms like these work by having a network of drivers across the country, who are registered with them. They will often use the technology of everyone’s own smartphone to liaise with drivers, monitor their location and post jobs. Imagine you have already done a job that has taken you 200 miles away from home. You can now use the relevant courier platforms’ phone app to look for jobs in the area where you now are, which will hopefully be destined for a location somewhere much nearer to home, or at least on the way back.
If you find something suitable, you can offer the client a good price to do the job because if you receive anything, it is still better than the ‘dead miles’ that you would incur on your journey home anyway. It’s a win-win situation because you are boosting your income for the day, without incurring additional mileage costs and the client is happy because they are getting their goods delivered for a great price.
Sounds great! Having said that, as with many good things, there is usually some cost attached and it’s no different in this case. In order to register with an online courier platform, there is a monthly fee, which currently is somewhere in the region of £50. You need to be absolutely sure that you are going to make use of the service, otherwise that fee is going to eat into your profits. Despite this, you only need to get one additional, good job each month to cover the fee and all the jobs after that will serve to boost your profits.
If you follow the advice on this page, on the website and even if you really tool yourself up, by reading the Driving For Profit book, you will not have much difficulty finding work. In fact, you may soon find yourself in the situation, where you have to make a choice about which work you accept and which you reject.
It can sometimes involve a balancing act, where you don’t want to reject a particular company too often because they may stop offering work to you altogether. Ultimately, communication is the key to success. If you are busy and have to reject work, be honest with companies that are offering the work to you and explain that you are already on another job, for another customer.
If they value your service and can see that other companies are also valuing it, your chances of being offered more work in the future will improve.
At some point, however, it is likely that you will find yourself working more and more for one particular company. This may be the time to have a conversation with that company ascertaining the likelihood of receiving regular daily from them if you were to ‘pledge yourself’ to them exclusively. If this is mutually acceptable, you may find yourself in the happy situation of not having to worry about where your next job is coming from.