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Average pay: £23,896 a year (Glassdoor)

Hermes reports that a whopping 630,000 packages were delivered in 2020, though that’s no surprise given we couldn’t go outside and relied on packages coming to us.

The key decisions you need to make in a courier business are: what kind of products are you going to transport, to where and how? There may be local competitors to contend with, but you’ll be working against the big guns who work with larger companies and able to offer lower prices. So, find an area or type of product that competitors don’t deal with. Maybe you could specialise in electric vehicles for more energy conscious customers? Or a more flexible, out-of-hours delivery service?   

Think about the scope of the advertising – if you’re going outwith your town or county, perhaps paid social media promotions are better than local ads in this case as they’ll reach a wider audience. It’ll do you good to register with Courier Exchange, a courier network to help you find delivery jobs.

As for fees, charge per delivery and per mile. Perhaps you could charge extra for night deliveries or for those done over holidays.

On account of you owning your van, you can choose the number of hours you work, opting for part-time if you want to build up a part-time business with the security of your day job. Just be aware that doing jobs for larger companies can get very murky very quickly. Make sure you’re clued up on IR35 rules to make the distinction between employee and contractor.  

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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