Tagged: business opportunity

A Great Strategy for Expanding Your Courier and Small Package Delivery Service 0

I recently received a question from someone interested in my courier ebook.  He asked about where and in what ways I am continuing to grow Quick Time Courier, my own courier company.  It’s a great question so I wanted to share my response in this post.

Since forming Quick Time Courier in early 2009, I am very pleased and blessed to have experienced compounding annual growth, year after year.  I attribute our continued growth to many variables to include our local growing markets and industries, various helpful staff and employees who help in serving and promoting our company, and much more.  But one key strategy I would like to focus on in this post is my expansion into new service opportunities by adding a box truck.

After reading “How to Build a Local Moving Company with 69.1% Profit Margin” and learning how Dexter leveraged his NEMT service to build a completely new business, I saw the possibilities of further diversifying my company by offering a larger and more robust deliver services.

In my courier ebook I discuss a host of strategies to include partnering with larger companies serving as a subcontractor for their rural and overflow work. I used to witness this all the time when I was working for UPS and then served as a subcontractor with Quick Time Courier.

Now, after learning of Dexter’s success, I thought to myself it’s time to “Go BIG or Go Home!”  With a box truck I can go after even bigger jobs and increased opportunities – and that’s exactly what I did in going after large trucking companies such as Averitt Express, UPS Freight, FedEx Freight, and more.

There are a couple primary reasons why these large trucking companies are viable strategic partners for smaller courier services.  

First, most of these large freight trucks don’t can’t easily access many residential and urban areas.  They simply can’t “fit” in such neighborhoods or navigate urban traffic.

Second, it is cost prohibitive to send large freight trucks into rural areas.  Also a challenge for navigations purposes, delivering to rural areas simply are not profitable for larger vehicles.

The solution for these large companies is to deliver shipments to centralized distribution centers and leverage smaller, more mobile subcontracting services.  Smaller services with box trucks can back box trucks up to the loading docks of these distribution centers.   This is a huge convenience for the large companies as well as the subcontractors with box trucks.

Like anything, the greater the volume, the greater the capacity, the greater the profit earning potential.  Quick Time Courier illustrates that with a box truck you can definitely increase capacity and profitability.   A single active moving box truck can yield between $2,500 – $3,000 per week.  That’s between $10,000 and $12,000 per month with a single vehicle.  When you consider that good, reliable used box trucks are exceptionally reasonable in price, it further increases your incentive to invest.

I purchased my first used box truck for a measly $3,500.  And honestly, the reason why I invested so little is because I wanted to proceed with caution and ensure that such diversification was going to work.  But, obviously, I made my money back a hundred times over.  In fact, since purchasing my first used box truck, I have invested in two more!

If you’re new to the courier and delivery industry, I would suggest starting gradually and follow the strategies and principles I outline in “How to Start a Successful Courier and Small Package Delivery Service.”  As you begin achieving success and gaining in experience then I would suggest graduating into a box truck.  The reason is simple.  With a box truck and larger deliveries you will most likely need a second person, a helper.  With a standard courier and small package delivery service you can start and operate independently.

What is the biggest challenge in deciding to start a new business? 0

I have been asked more times than I can count what the biggest challenge  is  in starting my own business. I suspect most people think I will share some earth shattering revelation or magical nugget of knowledge.

For me, I can honestly say the biggest challenge was overcoming fear – fear of leaving a safe, secure, well-paying job of 20 years with benefits. Despite my obvious employment, I viewed myself as an entrepreneur because I was always looking for and willing to consider new business opportunities.  After all, I was working 60 plus hours per week at UPS, and that was on a “short” week!

After working at the UPS for so long, once I made the decision to leave and start The Wheelchair Taxi I still had to struggle with a degree of  fear – fear of leaving a safe and secure job, fear of the unknown associated with launching a new business, fear of various financial concerns, and more.

Despite what was once a great many fears, not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for opening the doors and leading me into the adventures of entrepreneurship.  Although demands and expectations grew exponentially in the first couple years, the return on my investment in hard work was exponential.  I knew I was financially free when I was making as much in one week with my medical transportation business than I was in a one month working for UPS.  But even more, I found great personal satisfaction.  I realized how my leadership, sales, and interpersonal skills were growing and sharpening by owning my own business.

Making a Hard Decision Easier

If you have not yet started your own business, maybe you are teetering on the fence of indecision, I encourage you to accept your potential fears.  In fact, you should have serious fears and concerns in starting your own business – especially if you are like I was, leaving a safe, secure job with benefits.  But in accepting your fears, I believe fear will not become a factor in your decision making process.  It’s there, accept it, we use it as motivation to work even harder to ensure success, and we move on!

In helping to better control and manage your fear, I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is the business you’re starting in a stable industry?

I know a lot of people believe they must come up with a great idea or new invention to be successful and make a lot of money.  But for me, I personally believe that quality, slow, steady, and consistent effort in a stable environment is the best formula for increasing your chances for success.

My success has obviously come from the transportation and medical industries.  However, if they are of no interest to you, fear not, there are an untold number of additional industries and business opportunities to consider.  Opportunities are all around us.

2. Does your business idea solve a problem and is someone willing to pay you for the solution?

If you consistently solve someone’s problem or the problems of a group of people the need for your product or service will always be in demand. When you are in demand you have financial security and demand. Needless to say, security helps eliminate fear.

3. Are you trying to reinvent the wheel or are you leveraging existing information and opportunities?

One of the many perspectives that is actually a business level strategy, I have learned from Joel in starting my NEMT business is that competition can actually help you. Existing competition helps introduce and educate your market to the essential needs of your product or services. Therefore, you don’t need to spend critical marketing dollars trying to educate and convince potential clients on how your product works or the need for your services. All you need to do is be at your best and develop creative solutions for separating yourself from your competitors – demonstrate your level of quality.

4. Can you start on a small scale to limit your exposure to financial risk?

business level strategyMany people think starting a business takes large sums of money. In speaking from firsthand experience, this is definitely not true! I started with a single vehicle and consistently grew my business as demand and revenue increased. As my business grew so did my confidence. Despite any reservations or fear that I had when starting they all disappeared as my level of success continued to grow.

Speaking from firsthand experience is always easy – all you have to do is be honest and speak from the heart. If you are like I was, eager to learn and earn more but concerned about leaving your place of security, I encourage you to study, learn, prepare, all business level strategy and then leap. And once you jump, don’t look back. You can’t enjoy your new adventure looking in the rear view mirror!

My First Equipment Rental Included a Rookie Mistake! 0

It’s funny how we always remember our “firsts.” I remember my first wheelchair transport for my NEMT business, “The Wheelchair Taxi.”  I remember my first “official” delivery for my courier service, “Quick Time Courier.”  And I remember my first equipment rental – where I made a rookie mistake.

In looking back, it’s easy to realize exactly how and where I made my mistake.

My First Rental Experience – Learn from My Mistake!

A local couple found one of my ads and wanted to rent one of my electric wheelchairs to take on vacation to California. When the couple arrived at my office we inspected the scooter together to ensure there were no discrepancies and to confirm the good condition.  They signed the liability waiver form and left with the chair.

As you would expect, I was ecstatic because this single two week vacation rental essentially covered my cost of the chair. This meant that all future rentals of this chair would be pure profit!

The problem with this particular rental experience was that, in my sheer brilliance, I only had ONE key for this chair!  And with “Murphy’s Law” being what it is, as the couple was returning from California they somehow managed to lose the ONLY key.  Here I was an owner of a transportation and courier business with many vehicles and plenty of spares and yet, somehow, I never thought to keep a spare key for this electric wheelchair – Brilliant!

I know, I know – a rookie mistake for an experienced entrepreneur. But the good news is I get to share this brilliant move with you so you can avoid making a similar mistake.

Because I had no backup key for this chair I had to order one directly through the manufacturer. It took about two weeks and cost about $65 with shipping and handling.  Although this problem may not sound like a big deal, the potential problem could have been much worse.  If I had another customer needing to rent this chair and I didn’t have a key I would have lost a sale and looked pretty foolish and unreliable in the process.

Needless to say, I was actually very pleased that this mistake happened early in my equipment rental business. It was a lesson learned.  Had it happened months later when my business was further growing it could have proven to be a more embarrassing and inconvenient problem.

As the owner, always do your best to take care of the little things and plan ahead.  My oversight, inconvenience, and expense should serve as a lesson for you.