Starting A Courier Services Business Plan (PDF)
A courier is an individual or entity responsible for the exchange of items between two or more parties. A courier service is a fast, door to door, local or international, pick-up and delivery service for high-value goods or urgently required goods. The courier services industry is typically made up of two major segments namely, big and small couriers. Big couriers usually service a broader market (up to global). Small couriers service the domestic market. Due to the proliferation of ecommerce in the past couple of years, the demand for courier services has shot up. This article will outline how to start a courier services business, and the courier services business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
Location & Premises
When choosing a location and premises for your courier services business you must consider accessibility. Is the place easily accessible by any means of transportation? This means the specific design of the infrastructure in question must be factored in. Available space weighs in on this accessibility aspect. Is the place strategically located close to key road networks? Accessibility considerations must also enable restricted access to potential trespassers. You will be dealing with mostly high-value goods so security is paramount.
Proximity To Core Target Market
You must also consider proximity to the core of your target market of your courier services business. This is central to being able to provide fast and efficient courier services. Imagine setting up a courier services shop in a distant and remote area. Precious time will spent covering long unnecessary distances to and fro your offices or depot. Though centrality matters you must still consider other variables. What is the general flow of human and vehicle traffic like? Being located in a central but often congested area can slow you down.
Enough Space For Storage
Besides accessibility, space considerations matter storage-wise. The size of the place matters; is there enough storage? Storage is highly important for a courier services business since you will deal with wide-ranging parcels or packages. You need to be able to receive, hold, and dispatch everything with ease.
You will need transportation vehicles for your courier services business. These can constitute any one or more of the following: bicycles, motorbikes, light motor vehicles, vans, trucks, lorries, and even drones and planes. Your specific needs will be guided by the average package or parcel sizes you will be dealing with. The average distances and the terrains you will cover also guide on that. Where applicable you might need loading equipment such as forklifts. The courier services business plan should include the costs of purchasing the transportation vehicles.
Equipment For A Courier Services Business
The type of equipment you need for your courier business will be informed by the products and services you offer. Office equipment and supplies will be essential for setting up your courier office and command centre. You must also get communication equipment for your courier services business such as walkie-talkies and mobile smartphones. Vehicle tracking can be necessary and that would necessitate getting a GPS tracking system and equipment. Packaging material will be needed for packaging or repackaging parcels. You will need a variety of ancillary equipment e.g. pallets, trolleys, protective clothing, and so on. Basically anything that optimizes operations at the office or depot. Branded wear for staff is usually a no-brainer when providing courier services. The costs of the equipment should be included in the courier services business plan.
Products & Services
The products or services that your courier services business can offer depend on your niching choice. There are basically 4 broad courier services that you can offer namely:
This entails delivering parcels or packages across countries. This usually spans across all forms of terrains e.g. land, sea, and even air. For someone starting out in the courier services business this might be a stretch. Over time, as the business grows global courier services become imminent. That is why most major established courier services companies can offer them.
On-Demand Service (Also Known As Express Service)
This is designed to often be the most expensive but fastest courier service. It entails serving clients whose packages or parcels must be delivered immediately. This means the packages here are not subjected to other service types that may take some time. There is no waiting period or any delays. Once a client indicates a package has to be delivered it is done immediately even if it just the only one going to that destination.
Same Day Express Service
Here the core focus is to deliver parcels or packages within 24 hours. This means courier packages being delivered the very same day. This implies such a service that can apply for intercity deliveries. It also applies to intracity deliveries as well. Overall, this courier service focuses on doing deliveries within a country’s borders.
Overnight Express Service
There might be intersections with the same day express service. However, the major distinction here is that for overnight express, packages are transported overnight. The idea is to ensure they arrive to intended recipients starting the following morning. That is why in some way this is a service for delivering within 24 hours (just not on the same day).
Vast Room To Tweak
Those are standard courier products or services. However, you can tweak them as informed by your market research and competitive analysis. For instance, some can diversify into renting out warehouse space or storage space. The courier business plan should outline all the products and services that you intend to offer.
Staff & Management
You need to have administrative, depot and transport and logistics personnel. The number of specific designations will depend on the size of your courier service operations. It is possible for staff to double up as management as well. At the very least, you can have an operations manager, driver(s), general hands (packaging and loading), and an office administrator. The salaries for all your staff should be accounted for in your courier business plan.
The market for courier services is huge. In every industry there are potential customers you can serve. Some of the noteworthy client segments are individuals, healthcare entities, academic entities, e-commerce entities, manufacturing entities, and business and finance entities. It is up to you to niche or to be all encompassing. The bottom line is the market is there but competition can be intense. For your courier services business to stand out you must strive to have several differentiators. A proper marketing strategy should be included in your courier services business plan. The most important this is being a reliable business, guaranteeing security (and safety) of parcels, and offering a broad range of services. You must also incorporate a sustainability focus in your operations. Customers must be able to fully access and pay for your services online. These are the things that can set you apart from your competitors.
Pre-Written Courier Services Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the courier services business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive courier services business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the courier business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the business, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global courier business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your courier services business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. This is a complete business plan for a courier business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the courier business.
Uses of the Courier Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The courier business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your courier business
- As a courier business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the courier business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Courier Services Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The business plan for courier includes, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- Risk Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the courier business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your courier business
The courier services business plan package consists of 4 files
- Courier Services Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 80 Pages)
- Courier Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 80 Pages)
- Courier Services Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 44 pages)
- Courier Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the costs, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Courier Services Business Plan (PDF)
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Get the Courier Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
Click Buy Now below to purchase using Paypal, Credit Card, or Debit Card. After you have purchased, you will immediately see the download link for the business plan package on the screen. You will also immediately get an email with the business plan download link. The Pre-written business plan package (PDF, Word, and Excel) costs $30 only!
If you want to purchase multiple business plans at once then click here: Business Plans Store.
The business plan package is a zipped compressed file containing the PDF, Word and Excel documents. To open the package after downloading it, just right click, and select Extract All. If you have any problems in downloading and opening the files, email us on [email protected] and we will assist you.
We wish you the best in your courier services business! Check out our collection of business plans , and more business ideas .
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Courier Company Business Plan Template
Courier Company business plan for starting your own business
As long as the earth is populated by humans, they will send and receive things and that means the courier business has a very low probability of going into loss. If you are going to start your own business, the first thing that you need is a bunch of business plan delivery service s that can give you an idea of how the business works and what is needed to start it. This article will tell you in sheer detail how to write a courier business plan but first you need to know what is a courier service business. Once you know that, creating a franchise business plan will be child’s play for you.
2.1 the business.
Damian Courier Services (DCS) will be a registered courier services provider in Dallas, Texas. The business will cater to the needs of anyone who wants to send something on any point on the planet earth and if humanity expands to Mars, an express delivery service will be started for the red planet as well.
2.2 Management of Courier Company
Management is the cornerstone of any courier services business plan as no business on earth (or Mars) can be successful without proper management. If you want to know how to start courier service, you need to have a proper management structure for the business in your mind even before you start it.
In this courier service business plan, the management will be headed by the owner of the business. They will hire to manage various aspects of the business plan delivery service . Management structure is also important for creating a business plan for a bank loan . This management structure will be closely related to the one we saw in business plan for a Mexican restaurant .
2.3 Customers of Courier Company
The next thing that we need to discuss are the customers that the business plan delivery service will be serving. It is important to know the customers as only then we can see how the business will be run. The main customers of the business will be the following:
- Privat customers who want to send letters.
- Businesses that want the service for their business plan delivery service .
- Ecommerce companies.
- Online stores.
2.4 Business Target
DCS is being started with the target of making life easier for the people of Dallas. It has been noted that the city lacks good courier service that are direly needed. The business plan delivery service aims to bridge the gap as best possible. The target will be broken down into the following:
- Establishing a credible and dependable brand.
- Providing best services in the sector.
- Maintaining 100% customer satisfaction.
- Charging better rates than any of the competitors.
3.1 company owner.
The owner of this courier company business plan will be Damian Johansson. Damian has worked as a delivery boy for Pizza Hut for a long time and knows the method and importance of taking things from one place to the other.
3.2 Why the Courier Company is being started?
When Damian was asked why you are starting your own business plan delivery service , he said that he always wanted to employ someone as his delivery boy and treat them better than the way his employers treated him when he was in that place. Now, that there is a lot of potential in the business and he has the resources to pull this off, Damian is starting a courier business of his own, just because he can.
3.3 How the Courier Company will be started?
It might seem like starting courier service business is simple but it is not. You need to complete the courier franchise business plan before you can start the business plan delivery service and run it the right way. Here’s how this business will be started.
Step1: Market Need Analysis
The most important thing to do in order to start this business is to run a market need analysis to determine the magnitude of business that we will be handling. This is the most important step as all the next steps depend on this. Once the market need is analyzed the right way, you can move on to the next arrangements to make the business a reality.
Step2: Signing Contract with Bulk Carriers
As the courier services company is being started from a lower level, it will not have the infrastructure or resources to deliver the couriers to the world. For that, contracts will be signed with larger courier service providers to carry our mail.
Step3: Establishing the Outlet
Once the company signs the contract with bulk carriers, the next step will be to establish an office or outlet from where the business will be run. We will open an office in downtown where many of the ecommerce companies and businesses are located.
Step4: Online Presence
Most of the customers search for courier services online and that makes having a website and online presence immensely important for the business plan delivery service . We will make a website and will optimize it for search engines so that we can reach the most customers.
After completing all that, we will run a comprehensive marketing campaign to reach the customers and to make DCS known to the public of the area.
The next important thing in the courier company business plan pdf is the decision of the services that the company is going to provide. As there can be a lot of different services that a courier services company can offer, we need to narrow down the ones we will be focusing on before starting a business plan delivery service from home. This part of this courier company business plan gives you an idea of the services that you can provide. You can expand on this to add more services to your portfolio.
This service will be aimed at sending parcels and letters to any location in the USA.
All kinds of couriers will be sent to destinations across the globe under this service.
One-Day Global Delivery
This will be the flagship service of DCS, ensuring the delivery of any package up to 5kg anywhere in the world within 24 hours.
Cash on Delivery Service
For ecommerce service providers and online businesses, we will provide this service where they can send their products to customers, and we will collect the price.
Marketing Analysis of Courier Company
Great service. Good turnaround time and quality work. Thanks!
If you are starting a courier service company, you need to run a complete marketing analysis of the business to make it successful. This is not a grocery store business plan and the factors at play here are far greater, often of global magnitude. If you want that your courier startup business plan delivery service is successful, it is important that you keep an eye on all the variables of the market.
5.1 Market Trends
Before opening a courier service, it is important to have a look at the market trends of the business you are about to enter. Just like the case with an airline business plan any person or company starting a business plan delivery service without having a look at the market trends of the industry fails miserably. The trend of courier business has gone down because of the widespread use of internet to send documents rather than mail.
5.2 Marketing Segmentation
Having an idea of the expected marketing segmentation is also one of the most important parts pf any sample business plan for a courier service. Here is the market segmentation that will be facing DCS:
UK Start-Up Visa Business Plan
5.2.1 private customers.
People who want to send letters and parcels will make a significant market segment for us.
5.2.2 Ecommerce Platforms
Ecommerce websites operating from Dallas will be a market segment. We will offer them national, global, and same-day services.
5.2.3 Business Customers
Businesses in the area that require to send/receive mail will also be a part of our market segments.
5.2.4 Online Stores
These will also be one of the largest market segments for the business.
5.3 Business Target
- To establish a credible name in the courier industry.
- To improve the state of courier services in the area.
- To make as much money as possible.
- To expand to other cities.
5.4 Product Pricing
The services of DCS will be priced at the average of what other service providers charge in the area. We will charge the same but will offer better services to make as much profits as possible.
, , courier service proposal sample, examples of courier service
If you want to start an independent business plan delivery service , the first thing that you need to do is to make a marketing strategy for the business. No business on earth can be successful without one. If you want to know how to start your own courier service for food delivery, you need a food delivery service business plan . Once you have that, you can very easily start your own business plan delivery service and turn massive profits.
You need to run competitive analysis and make a strategy to make your subscription box business plan a success.
6.1 Competitive Analysis
- People are not happy at all with the courier services being provided in the area.
- The courier service providers in the area charge too much money and do not offer the services that are good enough for the cost they quote.
- Most people have to go to other cities to post their letters and parcels.
6.2 Sales Strategy
- DCS will provide excellent courier services to all customers to make sure that everyone gets what they want.
- DCS will provide service to all areas of the world so that no one needs to go to any other service provider.
- DCS will offer discounts to bulk and repeat customers.
6.3 Sales Monthly
6.4 Sales Yearly
6.5 Sales Forecast
Second to last thing that is important in making any courier business ideas a reality is the plan of the staff needed to make it happen. If you take a closer look a the courier service business model, you can notice that this is more of a services business plan delivery service than a products one. Such businesses, naturally, tend to be more labor intensive and cannot be run with efficiency without adequate staff.
7.1 Company Staff
The following people will be needed to run DCS:
- Damian Johansson will be the owner and CEO of the business.
- 3 managers for procurement, operations and marketing.
- 2 courier bookers.
- 3 Delivery drivers.
- 2 Office workers.
- 1 reception clerk.
- 1 Accountant.
7.2 Average Salary of Employees
The best approach is to look for a courier business for sale. However, if you cannot find that or just want to start one from scratch, you need to have an idea of the finances that will be involved in starting the business plan delivery service . Just like an organic restaurant business plan , the business is not a very finance intensive one and you can start it with a little capital. Here is an idea of the finances that will be involved in starting the business:
- Money needed to make the office.
- The cost of computers and other equipment needed.
- The salary of employees.
- The cost of buying delivery vehicles.
- Bonds, securities, insurance, and registration costs.
8.1 Important Assumptions
8.2 break-even analysis.
8.3 Projected Profit and Loss
8.3.1 profit monthly.
8.3.2 Profit Yearly
8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly
8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly
8.4 Projected Cash Flow
8.5 Projected Balance Sheet
8.6 business ratios.
Download Courier Company Business Plan Template in pdf
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How to start a courier business.
Starting your own business offers boundless freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to serve others through your passions and skills. If you’ve considered entrepreneurship, you’ve probably tossed around several ideas. In this post, learn how to start a courier business in a few simple steps.
Although forming any business requires grit, determination and hard work, the process doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. By using the best resources and following practical advice, you can start your own business successfully and in less time. Below, you’ll learn the basics of what a messenger business is and how it can become a viable income-generating opportunity for you.
What Is a Courier Business?
A courier service is a business that facilitates the transportation and shipping of packages and important documents to their intended destinations. An individual courier is someone who either works as an employee of a larger company or a person who owns a sole proprietorship.
Courier businesses can be found in many locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. Additionally, there are several types of courier services that customers might use.
Types of Courier Service
Courier businesses can be characterized by the locations they serve or by the speed at which they deliver goods, materials or packages. Below is a general list of the types of courier businesses you might consider when contemplating how to start a delivery service.
- Local/metropolitan services: This type of company focuses on a particular city or location. By choosing only one geographic area, business couriers can provide fast and reliable service to local clients.
- Time-sensitive delivery: If you base your courier company on time, going with a speedy or next-day delivery option can help you appeal to customers who are in a hurry. Items such as legal documents often require fast transport, and this type of delivery option caters to clients in fields like law, medicine and financial services.
- Worldwide and international transport: Depending on the available resources, you may be able to expand your courier business internationally. International commercial deliveries rely on shipping, airplane travel and international customs requirements.
7 Steps to Launching Your Courier Business
As you start to research and explore your options, there are several important steps that you will need to follow prior to launching a new company.
When you begin, remember to keep your end goals and ideal customers in mind. This will help you better apply these tips to your own unique business situation. Below are seven simple steps that you can take to make sure you start your courier business on a strong foundation.
1. Pick Your Speciality or Niche
As highlighted above, courier services come in a wide range. To begin your business, you need to perform key research and narrow down your choice to one service area or speciality. If you’re new to the world of courier services, it may be wise to start locally and then branch out.
Choosing your speciality also means establishing realistic expectations for your own level of experience, commitment and funding. What can you provide to your customers while still guaranteeing their satisfaction?
Couriers may offer a range of services, including but not limited to:
- Same-day shipping
- Next-day delivery
- High volume pallet shipments
- Luggage delivery
- Commercial package delivery
- International shipping services
Before you decide, take the time to research the demand in your particular market. If you can meet a specific need, you’re more likely to find a targeted customer base.
2. Choose a Legal Business Structure
As you consider starting a courier business, you will need to make decisions regarding the legal setup of your company. Your legal standing determines everything from your employment policies and division of assets, to your tax payments.
In general, you have four primary options:
- Sole proprietorship
- General or limited partnership
- Limited liability company (LLC)
In addition to settling on a legal structure, you need to file for a business license in the location where you plan to conduct business. Make sure to apply for a federal employee identification number (EIN) as well, which offers identity protection and allows you to file tax payments more easily.
3. Purchase the Necessary Vehicles and Supplies
Having the legalities in place ensures that you can move on to the next steps, which are often more enjoyable as you plan to become a successful courier service. Once you have your business plan, you need to move on to securing your supplies.
Funding for these purchases may come through personal investment or outside help. You may also need to apply for a small business loan if you don’t have access to cash assets right away.
Regardless of how you secure funds to make business purchases, consider the following list of materials and supplies:
- Vehicles (cars, vans, trucks, etc.)
- Tractor or trailer for larger goods
- Paper goods and miscellaneous office supplies
- Technology to run the business (e.g., phones, laptops, tablets)
- Standard dolly or manual hand truck
- Moving and packaging materials
- Cargo straps, blankets and other protective devices for hauling
4. Secure Proper Insurance Coverage
As a new courier business, it’s important to keep in mind that you are liable for the items you promise to deliver. In some situations, this could be as simple as a paper folder, but other agreements might involve large cargo, or precious and expensive materials.
Becoming successful in your new business means understanding your personal and professional liabilities. To help mitigate any potential problems, you should select the best insurance coverage for the types of courier services you offer.
When it comes to appropriate insurance, you may also need to think on a micro-level. This means that you take the time to properly insure:
- Your drivers or employees
- The vehicles in your fleet
- Cargo and items in transit
- Business equipment used in transport
By gaining the proper insurance coverage, you not only protect your business assets, but you can also build customer trust and loyalty in the event of any accidents.
5. Set Rates and Pricing Structure
Setting your rates is not always as simple as deciding on your ideal income. Instead, you should consider everything from operating costs and insurance premiums to the cost of things like fuel and shipping. Each of these factors contributes to your bottom line.
Additionally, you may want to spend time researching your competitors. What is the average rate of a given courier service in your region? How much more should you charge for premium services, based on industry standards? These questions can inform your eventual pricing decisions.
Once you have a definite pricing structure in place, display this to your customers in a transparent and clear way. If you use a contract or invoicing system , always ensure that your customers know exactly what they owe without any surprises .
6. Define Customer Service Standards
In the courier business, strong customer service skills can outweigh many other details. Customers will be relying on you to transport time-sensitive or important items and documents on their behalf. This means that the way you communicate with them about your activities and progress is critical.
If you hire a team of employees, be sure to train them on the level of customer service you expect. In doing so, you can help shape the entire culture of your company while also guaranteeing happy and satisfied clients.
Good customer service can also lead to more referrals and business connections as your company grows. If customers are satisfied, they’re more likely to refer others either online or via word-of-mouth. Never underestimate the power of a positive customer review!
7. Implement Marketing and Advertising Strategies
Once you’ve settled on the logistics of your company and officially opened for business, it’s time to strategize. How do you plan to keep track of new leads, potential customers and future opportunities?
Skillful marketing and advertising can take your small business to the next level, especially in its early stages. Whether you work with an outside consultant or hire someone in-house, it’s important to use this time to fine-tune your branding and company message. Depending on your target market, you might choose to use:
- Social media platforms
- Local print advertisements
- Email marketing campaigns
- Inbound marketing channels (blog, website, etc.)
- Incentives and referral programs
When you engage in marketing and advertising efforts, set key performance indicators (KPIs) at the beginning to evaluate goals and gauge success.
Start Your Courier Business Today
By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful new courier service. As you get started, continue to envision the future possibilities for your company and ways you can grow.
Becoming an entrepreneur is not only a step forward in your professional life, but it also offers significant opportunities for personal growth and development. As you follow along and take advantage of the steps outlined in this post, it’s our hope that you’ll come away with a stronger business and personal mindset to carry you through each challenge and victory.
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Delivery Service Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Delivery Service Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 500 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their delivery service companies.
If you’re unfamiliar with creating a delivery service business plan, you may think creating one will be a time-consuming and frustrating process. For most entrepreneurs it is, but for you, it won’t be since we’re here to help. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to help you create a great business plan.
In this article, you will learn some background information on why business planning is important. Then, you will learn how to write a delivery service business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your delivery service business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategies for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a delivery service business or grow your existing delivery service company, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your delivery service business to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Delivery Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a delivery service business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, and angel investors. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to ensure that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for delivery service companies.
How to Write a Business Plan for a Delivery Service Business
If you want to start a delivery service business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. The sample below details the necessary information for how to write each essential component of your delivery service business plan.
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your executive summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the kind of delivery service business you are running and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a delivery service business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of delivery service businesses?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan.
- Give a brief overv iew of the delivery service industry.
- Discuss the type of delivery service business you are operating.
- Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers.
- Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy. Identify the key members of your team.
- Offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company overview, you will detail the type of delivery service business you are operating.
For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of delivery service businesses:
- Courier Delivery Services : This type of business provides air, ground, or combined courier delivery services.
- Express Messenger Services : This type of business provides express messenger and delivery services.
- Package Delivery Services : This type of business delivers parcels, documents. and packages.
- Packing and Sorting Services : This type of business prepares items to be delivered.
- Transporting and Trucking Services : This type of delivery business transports items via truck.
In addition to explaining the type of delivery service business you will operate, the company overview needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of delivery drivers you employ, the number of items delivered, reaching X number of clients served, etc.
- Your legal business structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry or market analysis, you need to provide an overview of the delivery service industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the delivery service industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your marketing strategy, particularly if your analysis identifies market trends.
The third reason is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section:
- How big is the delivery service industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential target market for your delivery service business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your delivery service business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: individuals, schools, families, and corporations.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of delivery service business you operate. Clearly, individuals would respond to different marketing promotions than corporations, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the potential customers you seek to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can recognize and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other delivery businesses.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t directly competing with your product or service. This includes other third-party delivery services, ship-to-store services, and other types of delivery services. You need to mention such competition as well.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What type of delivery service business are they?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
- Will you provide options for local and long distance delivery?
- Will you offer products or services that your competition doesn’t?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a delivery service, your marketing strategy should include the following:
Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type o f delivery service company that you documented in your company overview. Then, detail the specific products or services you will be offering. For example, will you provide express delivery, air transit courier services, or long distance delivery services?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of yo ur plan, yo u are presenting the products and/or services you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the site of your delivery service company. Document where your company is situated and mention how the site will impact your success. For example, is your delivery service business located in a busy retail district, a business district, a standalone office, or purely online? Discuss how your site might be the ideal location for your customers.
Promotions : The final part of your delivery service marketing plan is where you will document how you will drive potential customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertise in local papers, radio stations and/or magazines
- Reach out to websites
- Distribute flyers
- Engage in email marketing
- Advertise on social media platforms
- Improve the SEO (search engine optimization) on your website for targeted keywords
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your delivery service business, including answering calls, scheduling pick up and delivery of items, managing drivers, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to reach your X number of deliveries made, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your delivery service business to a new city.
To demonstrate your delivery service business’ potential to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing delivery businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing a delivery service business.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance s heet, and cash flow statements.
An income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenue and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you schedule 5-10 deliveries per driver per day and have 6 drivers ? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your delivery service business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a lender writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement
Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and ensure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
When creating your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a delivery service business:
- Cost of equipment and office supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Other start-up expenses (if you’re a new business) like legal expenses, permits, computer software, and equipment
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office location lease or a list of geographic locations you serve.
Writing a business plan for your delivery company is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will have an expert delivery service business plan; download it to PDF to show banks and investors. You will understand the delivery service industry, your competition, and your customers. You will develop a marketing strategy and will understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful delivery service business.
Delivery Service Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my delivery service business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily write your delivery service business plan.
How Do You Start a Delivery Service Business?
Starting a delivery service business is easy with these 14 steps:
- Choose the Name for Your Delivery Service Business
- Create Your Delivery Service Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Delivery Service Business
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Delivery Service Business (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Delivery Service Business with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Delivery Service Business
- Buy or Lease the Right Delivery Service Business Equipment
- Develop Your Delivery Service Business Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Delivery Service Business
- Open for Business
Learn more about how to start your own delivery service business .
OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You
Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.
Click here to see how Growthink’s business planning advisors can create your business plan for you.
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How to Write a Business Plan for a Courier Company
- January 5, 2023
Whether you’re looking to raise funding from private investors or to get a loan from a bank (like a SBA loan) for your courier company, you will need to prepare a solid business plan.
In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in the business plan of your courier business. Use this template to create a complete, clear and solid business plan that get you funded.
1. Courier Business Plan: Executive Summary
The executive summary of a business plan gives a sneak peek of the information about your business plan to lenders and/or investors.
If the information you provide here is not concise, informative, and scannable, potential lenders and investors will lose interest.
Though the executive summary is the first and the most important section, it should normally be the last section you write because it will have the summary of different sections included in the entire plan.
Why do you need a business plan for a courier business?
The purpose of a business plan is to secure funding through one of the following channels:
- Obtain bank financing or secure a loan from other lenders (such as a SBA loan )
- Obtain private investments from investment funds, angel investors, etc.
- Obtain a public or a private grant
How to write an executive summary for a courier business?
Provide a precise and high-level summary of every section that you have included in the business plan of your courier business. The information and the data you include in this segment should grab the attention of potential investors and lenders immediately.
Also make sure that the executive summary doesn’t exceed 2 pages in total: it’s supposed to be a summary for investors and lenders who don’t have time to scroll through 40-50 pages, so keep it short and brief.
The executive summary usually consists of 5 major sub-sections:
- Business overview : start by introducing your courier business, where it is located, the services it offers, and the pricing strategy you want to implement. Mention what sets you apart from other businesses. For instance, if you specialize in rush and on-demand deliveries, mention that. Similarly, if you are an expert in overnight delivery which ensures that sensitive packages do not expire while being stuck in traffic, clarify that.
- Market analysis : summarise the market where you will operate and provide a brief about your target market and narrow down the data to your niche market such as private customers, businesses, e-commerce companies, online stores, etc. Also give certain data points about the courier industry in the area where you want to operate (size and growth), as well as an overview of the main competitors, etc.
- People : introduce your courier business’ management and employee structure. Provide a brief (no more than a couple of sentences each) of the knowledge and experience of the team. Also, mention how the company will be structured (management roles and reporting lines)
- Financial plan: how much profit and revenue do you expect in the next 5 years? When will you reach the break-even point and start making profits? You can include here a chart with your key financials (revenue, gross profit, net profit )
- Funding ask : what loan/investment/grant are you seeking? How much do you need? How long will this last?
Courier Financial Model
5-year financial projections
Suitable for bank loan applications and investors
2. Courier Business Plan: Business Overview
In this segment of the business plan, you will provide details about the courier business.
You must answer here some important questions that potential investors and lenders often ask about your business and operations. Here are some examples of questions you must answer:
- What is the rationale behind you starting a courier business today?
- What will be your area of operation (short vs. long distance)?
- Will you specialize in a specific type of courier service such as overnight shipping, same-day delivery, luggage delivery, etc.?
- Will you sign any contracts with bulk carriers?
- What will be your pricing strategy and why?
- What will be the legal structure of your company?
a) History of the Project
Any business overview must start with explaining the history of the project. There are 2 components here:
- Passion & experience of the business owner
- Rationale behind starting a courier business today
Passion & experience
You may or may not have prior experience. If you have experience, speak about it and how it will help you to run your business.
For instance, you may have worked as client acquisition and management officer in a private courier company for a decade. You may now want to start your own courier business and use your contacts and knowledge to start your own courier business.
Is there a certain problem (or perhaps, a set of problems) that your courier company will try to solve? For example, there may not be a single courier company in the location (where you want to operate) that specializes in carrying hazardous material for B2B customers in the chemical or biotech fields. Similarly, there may not be any rush or on-demand courier service provider and you want to fill the gap.
But that’s not all! The market must be suitable for a business to exist and thrive. For instance, if you are trying to open your courier business in a location where there is no demand for courier services specializing in carrying hazardous material, the business choice will be meaningless.
Similarly, if the location already has multiple standard delivery courier services but no same-day delivery service even though there is enough demand, opening another standard delivery service is not going to be very profitable.
The rationale behind your project must be backed up by a thorough analysis of the industry in the area where you plan to open your courier business. This is what we will cover under Market Overview further below.
b) Business Model
This section of the Business Overview should explain the model you want to adopt for your courier service. For example:
- Where will you open your office and why did you select that location?
- Will you have your courier delivery fleet, or will you opt for on-call courier service providers or freelance courier service providers for delivery?
- What type of packages will you handle and why?
- Will you provide local delivery services within a limited service radius, or will you do international deliveries?
- Who will be your potential customers and how do you intend to acquire customers?
What are the different types of courier companies?
There are various types of courier services that you can select. Some of them include:
- Standard Delivery Services : This type of courier service is the most common. Usually, packages are delivered in 2-3 days. Such services cater to various types of customers such as individuals, e-commerce businesses, etc. There are pricing slabs, which means, there will be a fixed price for a package within a certain weight threshold.
- Same Day Delivery : In this type of delivery, packages are delivered on the same day as ordered. Deliveries are usually local deliveries, and the orders must be placed within a certain time frame (often by noon). After receiving the package, the courier service will optimize the route and deliver the package on the same day.
- Overnight Shipping Services : In this format, the courier service will transport the packages overnight to ensure that they avoid rush hours. These courier services usually carry packages containing products that cannot withstand traffic jams and intense heat. Overnight shipping ensures that products spend less time in harsh conditions and on the road.
- Parcel Services : Parcel services are quite popular, and they often follow the same timetable as that of Same Day Delivery. However, packages are often relatively small.
- Rush and On-Demand Deliveries : This type of courier service serves customers that need their packages to be delivered as soon as possible. In this format, you will deliver the packages within a few hours. This type of courier service usually carries very important documents, but they are also very beneficial for medical emergencies and different types of emergencies.
c) Pricing Strategy
This is where you will provide an overview of your pricing strategy. For instance, you may charge lower than your competitors because you hire freelance drivers with their vehicles instead of maintaining your delivery fleet. This reduces your overhead costs, which allows you to charge lower.
Similarly, you may charge higher than your competitors because your fleet of delivery vehicles has state-of-the-art technology for package protection and monitoring.
Of course, the pricing strategy will heavily depend on various factors that include (but are not limited to):
- The type of service you offer
- Package type and weight
- Distance covered
- Fuel cost, etc.
While it may not be possible to provide a proper pricing table for all services that you offer, it is still a great idea to provide a table that gives an overview of your pricing structure.
Here is a sample table that you can refer to and build on that:
Remember! The table is only a sample. You can add more columns and rows and add more information that you think is vital for your business.
However, don’t go into extreme details because potential investors are not interested in the nitty-gritty of your pricing. They just need the big picture of your pricing strategy as they will tie it into financial projections (see more on that below).
e) Legal Structure
Finally, your business overview section should specify what type of business structure you want. Is this a corporation or a partnership (LLC)? Who are the investors? How much equity percentage do they own? Is there a Board of Directors? If so, whom? Do they have experience in the industry?
3. Courier Business Plan: Market Overview
A complete understanding of the market where you want to operate is important for the success of your business. That’s also something you must showcase in your business plan.
For example, if the potential customers in a location are individuals and small businesses that need basic courier services dealing with small items like documents, clothing, etc., opening a courier service that specializes in delivering hazardous substances will not make enough sense.
Therefore, you must cover here 3 important areas:
- Industry Size & Growth : how big is the courier industry in your area? What is its growth rate (or decline rate) and what are the factors contributing to its growth or decline?
- Competition Overview : how many competitors are there? How do they compare vs. your business? How can you differentiate yourself from them?
- Customer Analysis : who is your target audience? What type of packages do they usually ship? Do they require overnight or same-day deliveries? Do they need an international courier? How frequently do they require courier services?
a) Courier Industry Size & Growth
How big is the courier industry in the us.
The couriers and local delivery services market in the US is estimated at $149.6 billion in 2022 . The market has been growing steadily at a CAGR of 6.6% from 2017 to 2022.
There were 365,312 couriers and local delivery services companies across the US in 2022. This represents an average annual turnover of $409,000 per company.
How big is the courier industry in your area?
After getting a clear picture of the courier industry in the US as a whole, narrow down to your location. It’s very likely that you won’t find the number anywhere (at least not for free).
In that case, you can use our guide to estimate the TAM, SAM, and SOM for your business. Here is an example of how to do it:
We know the average annual turnover per courier company is $409,000. Therefore, if the location where you will operate has a total of 40 courier services, the courier industry in the area is worth approximately $16 million.
How fast is the courier industry growing in your area?
Looking at public information online, we know that the courier service providers in the US grew at a rate of 6.6% per year from 2017 to 2022.
What about the location where you want to open your courier business? US national averages can be a great addition to your business plan, yet they don’t necessarily help to assess the courier industry where you want to open your store.
For example, the industry might be growing in the US, but declining in your region for a number of reasons (businesses shutting down due to losses, etc.).
As you likely won’t find this information online, you can instead rely on the number of courier services in the location.
For example, if the region had only 25 courier businesses in 2017 yet 40 in 2022, you can assume that the average annual growth rate of the courier industry in the area is 12%, higher than the US average.
b) Courier Industry Competition Overview
Studying your competitors’ business models is vital. You need to understand what makes them successful or why they fail. A clear understanding of their business model, the services they provide, their marketing strategies, etc., will allow you to provide a better service.
If your competitors are offering nearly the same services, then what is their market share and how do they market their products & services to attract new customers?
It is always a good idea to do some research and create a comparative table summarizing their services, marketing strategies, vehicles they use for deliveries, etc.
Here is a sample table that you can use:
Courier Business SWOT Analysis
In addition to a comparison table, you should at least add a SWOT analysis. It will help lenders and investors better understand how you compare vs. competitors as well as the overall risk and reward profile of your business.
Here is a sample that you can use as a reference:
- Strengths : 10 years of client acquisition and management experience in a leading courier service
- Weaknesses : Startup cost, no initial brand reputation
- Opportunities : An increasing number of e-commerce businesses looking for delivery and courier service partners for parcel delivery
- Threats : Existing players are increasing their capacity to accommodate the increasing demand
c) Customer Analysis
This is the sub-section where you will provide a detailed analysis of your target audience.
Some important points that you must include in your customer analysis include:
- What types of individuals and/or businesses are looking for courier services in your area?
- What type of courier services are in demand (same-day, standard deliveries, etc.)?
- Are businesses willing to hire newer players or do they prefer sticking with existing couriers?
- How often do they need courier services (daily, weekly)?
- What could you improve vs. existing players?
You can add as many data points as required to validate your business decision. The idea here is to display your deep understanding of the target audience and their needs, preferences, and expectations.
4. Sales & Marketing Strategy
This is the section where you outline your customer acquisition strategy. Try to answer the following questions:
- What is your target audience? Individuals or businesses?
What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
- What are the different marketing strategies you will use?
- How do you intend to track the success of your marketing strategy?
- What is your CAC or customer acquisition cost?
- What is your marketing budget?
What marketing channels do courier businesses use?
A few marketing channels that courier businesses typically use are:
- TV & Radio ads
- Direct visits by sales representatives (for B2B courier services)
- Cold calls & emails (for B2B courier services)
- Billboards & signages
If you offer courier services to businesses (which most companies do), you may rely on direct sales, brokers and PPC.
Instead, if you offer courier services to individuals (e.g. luggage delivery), you may want to include social media to your marketing strategy as well.
In other words, how do you differentiate yourself vs. competitors? This is very important as you might need to win customers from competitors.
A few examples of USPs are:
- Speed : you may offer very fast deliveries (e.g. under 4 hours)
- Availability : you ensure there are always courier drivers on standby for last-minute deliveries
- Products handled : you deliver hazardous substances in specialized vehicles
- Price : your services may be cheaper vs. competition
5. Management & People
You must address two things here:
- The management team and their experience/track record
- The organizational structure : different team members and who reports to whom?
Small businesses often fail because of managerial weaknesses. Thus, having a strong management team is vital. Highlight the experience and education of senior managers that you intend to hire to oversee your courier business.
Describe their duties, responsibilities, and roles. Also, highlight their previous experience and explain how they succeeded in their previous roles.
It is also important that you explain how their experiences and qualifications help you in implementing the courier business you are proposing. If they have specialized training and experience (such as years of experience in customer acquisition management, customer service, experience in handling fragile packages, etc.), add that information.
Even if you haven’t already hired a courier manager, delivery driver, accountant, and other relevant staff members, you must provide a flowchart of the organizational structure defining hierarchy and reporting lines.
6. Financial Plan
The financial plan is perhaps, with the executive summary, the most important section of any business plan for a courier and delivery company.
Indeed, a solid financial plan tells lenders that your business is viable and can repay the loan you need from them. If you’re looking to raise equity from private investors, a solid financial plan will prove them your courier business is an attractive investment.
There should be 2 sections to your financial plan section:
- The startup costs of your project (if you plan to start a new courier business, acquire new vans, etc.)
- The 5-year financial projections of your courier company
a) Startup Costs
Before we expand on 5-year financial projections in the following section, it’s always best practice to start with listing the startup costs of your project. For a courier business, startup costs are all the expenses you incur before you start transporting goods for your customers. These expenses typically are:
- The acquisition of the fleet (the vans)
- The office & warehouse lease deposit (if you rent) or real estate price (if you buy)
- Office equipment
- Business insurance, etc.
Of course, the startup costs depend on a number of factors, like the number and type of vehicles you operate, whether you own the vehicles or not, etc.
For example, it costs on average $33,000 to $52,000 to start a small courier company with 5 vans (assuming you decide to lease the vans vs. buying them upfront).
Note that these costs are for illustrative purposes and may not be fully relevant for your business. For more information on how much it costs to open and run a courier business, read our article here .
b) Financial Projections
In addition to startup costs, you will also need to build a solid 5-year financial model in the business plan of your courier company.
Note that your financial projections should be built using a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or Google Sheets) and presented in the form of tables and charts in your business plan.
As usual, keep it concise here and save details (for example detailed financial statements, financial metrics, key assumptions used for the projections) for the appendix instead.
Your financial projections should answer at least the following questions:
- How much revenue do you expect to generate over the next 5 years?
- When do you expect to break even?
- How much cash will you burn until you get there?
- What’s the impact of a change in pricing (say 15%) on your margins?
- What is your average customer acquisition cost?
You should include here your 3 financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement). This means you must forecast:
- The number of miles ;
- The deadhead rate ;
- Your expected revenue ;
- Operating costs to run the business ;
- The cost to acquire the vehicles (vans, cars, bikes, etc.)
When projecting your financials, make sure to sensitize sales volume (miles), pricing, deadhead rate as well as the expenses (fuel, maintenance, etc.). Indeed, a small change in these assumptions may have a significant impact on your revenues, and most importantly, your profits.
7. Use of Funds
This is the last section of the business plan of your courier and delivery company. Now that we have explained what your business model is, what type of freight you transport, how you get customers, etc., this section must now answer the following questions:
- How much funding do you need?
- What financial instrument(s) do you need: is this equity or debt, or even a free-money public grant?
- How long will this funding last?
- Where else does the money come from? If you apply for a SBA loan for example, where does the other part of the investment come from (your own capital, private investors?)
If you raise debt:
- What percentage of the total funding the loan represents?
- What is the corresponding Debt Service Coverage Ratio ?
If you raise equity
- What percentage ownership are you selling as part of this funding round?
- What is the corresponding valuation of your business?
Use of Funds
Any business plan for a courier company should include a clear use of funds section. This is where you explain how the money will be spent.
Will you spend most of the loan / investment in paying your employees’ salaries and the COGS (fuel, maintenance)? Or will it cover mostly the cost for acquiring the vans?
For the use of funds, we also recommend using a pie chart like the one we have in our financial model template where we outline the main expenses categories as shown below.