How to open a courier service from scratch in Munich(Germany)

* German averages are used in the calculations
Initial investments:
260 000 €
Revenue:
250 000 €
Net profit:
150 000 €
Payback:
4-5 months.
Courier service is a business without serious investments and requirements, so anyone can start it. The advantages of this sector: high demand for services, a wide range of customers and profitability of up to 90%. 
Delivery service is a business that is suitable for both experienced and novice entrepreneurs. In Germany, the industry began to develop actively since the 90s and today is one of the promising areas in the service sector. The idea is attractive because it does not require large investments and at the same time guarantees a sufficiently high profit. You can start with a minimum set of resources and gradually develop your business. Moreover, with the growth of e-Commerce delivery service is as relevant as ever. That's why opening a courier service is a great solution for an entrepreneur.



But this business, like any other, has its own nuances and pitfalls. Before you throw all the strength and money to open a business, it is necessary to study the main aspects of this activity.

Analysis of the scope of activities

Urgency. According to the research Agency Data Insight, online trading is growing by at least 25% annually, even despite the crisis. At the same time, most online stores attract delivery services from outside in order to save money. Result: the number of orders increases, and with them – and the demand for courier services. So now the business is relevant and will feel good, while online trading is developing, because more than 90% of all orders of delivery services are delivered by online stores.

Advantages and disadvantages. Assessment of the pros and cons of business allows you to decide on the beginning of the business and provide for what difficulties you need to be ready.

Advantages and disadvantages of courier service

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

minimum capital to open;

the demand for this type of service is constantly growing;

absence of any qualification requirements to the entrepreneur and his employees;

business development and scaling opportunities

high level of competition;

it is difficult to establish effective work at all stages of work;

possible financial losses due to loss of orders;

business dependence on weather conditions


Competition. The attractiveness of the business naturally led to the fact that many people came to the market of courier services. Today, the Russian market offers a wide range of courier services. The share of international leading companies is about 30%. New businesses cannot compete with them. Therefore, the real competition for you will be represented by firms operating within the same city or region. The business environment is not easy: price dumping, oversaturation of the market and the struggle for customers, especially for large orders.

Ready-made ideas for your business

To keep afloat, courier services are active business development strategy, offer customers more opportunities and services. Therefore, at the start you need to determine the strategy of your delivery service and pay attention to the following parameters:



The area of the business.

The specifics of the goods.

Delivery method.

This is the initial data with which you will start working. They characterize your organization and determine its place in the market.

How to open a courier service from scratch
Delivery service
Types of services. Courier service provides services to the population for the prompt delivery of letters, documents, small and large cargo for a fee. Depending on the scope of activities, the courier service can deliver between countries, between cities and regions, within a single city. Another important criterion: the specificity of the cargo. Conventionally, the work of courier services is divided into the delivery of correspondence and cargo. In practice, most players specialize in both directions.

Types of services provided by the courier service may be different. The most popular delivery of goods from online stores. Most often it is a small cargo.

What options do courier services offer to their customers:

reservation;

urgent order (within 24 hours);

hire a courier;

shipment insurance;



order at night-delivery of goods from 22: 00 to 7: 00;

lifting of the load to the floor.

The area of the business. At the initial stage of work it is better to focus on work within one city. Get a good reputation, gain experience-and then gradually develop. For a good start you will need to find 2-3 large clients with whom you will cooperate on a regular basis. Qualitatively fulfilling these orders, you can count on a stable profit and invest it in further development.

The specifics of the goods. Immediately decide what loads you will work with. Because the organization of all activities depends on it. With the decision you will help a comparative table, which shows the characteristics of different types of cargo.
Ideal for a beginner in this business: delivery of correspondence and small goods around the city. It will be much cheaper and easier. The specifics of delivery of bulky goods has its own difficulties, which not only "eat" part of your budget, but also require some experience, skills and responsibility. In the future, of course, it makes sense to add to the delivery of goods and expand the geography of activities.

Method and type of delivery. Also, select in advance what type of delivery you want to do. Limit the scope of the target audience and develop a profitable offer for your potential customers.

Services cargo offers a variety of options: goods online stores, delivery of flowers, gifts or food, important documents, etc. You can combine several directions.

To decide, study the demand in your city. What is missing in the courier market? What niche is free? What can be improved in this area? What problems do your future clients face? When you answer all these questions, you will be able to choose a promising direction.

Daily courier services are used by many companies and people. Your potential customers are:

online store;

cafes and restaurants;

flower shop.

Today, almost all online stores cooperate with courier services and use their outsourcing services. And many prefer to enter into contracts with local small firms.

 Place for your business proposal



Another major segment is cafes and restaurants. Almost all catering establishments provide delivery service to their customers. And this is also done by a third-party courier service.

We should also mention about the flower shops. Many of them trade through social networks and offer delivery services. But to maintain the state of my courier is not beneficial to them, therefore resort to outsourcing.

Almost all large companies are in need of couriers for the delivery of different documents. In addition, there is such a service as "courier rental" - i.e. the employee can not only deliver documents, but also perform additional orders. For example, to stand in line at the tax office and hand over/pick up documents. Thanks to this service, the client saves time, and you get additional profit.

So the range of potential customers of the delivery service includes an unlimited number of individuals and legal entities.courier services are in demand in all spheres of activity.

How to open a courier service from scratch
After you decide what we will deliver and who will be our client. Now we need to figure out how to deliver it. The method of delivery depends on the specifics of the order, and the territory, and your strategy. Take a closer look.

Possible shipping methods
Courier-pedestrian. If you work within a small village, you can do a courier-pedestrian. The method reminds of the classic image of the postman. You can also use bicycles, mopeds, scooters. It is clear that to deliver in this way will only correspondence and small parcels. This may not be a very profitable solution.

The courier with the car. First, the volume of initial investments will increase. You will need to buy a car or hire a courier with personal vehicles (and this is paid extra). Secondly, fuel costs will increase. But you will get a fast way of delivery, more orders and the ability to deliver large and heavy parcels. In addition, you can use unusual delivery formats. This will allow you to stand out and form a competitive advantage.

Bike mail. Fast delivery of documents on small transport (bicycles, scooters, mopeds). It is cheap, environmentally friendly, and in case of traffic jams – even faster. Also, for example, says the American Express mail UPS, which delivers parcels on bicycles with a trailer. Students can be hired to work. One minus – seasonality. In the rain or snow on the bike ride is not very convenient. But this method of delivery can be made an additional service in the warmer months.

Greeting courier service delivers flowers, balloons, gifts and other festive paraphernalia. The services of such an organization are people who can not personally congratulate loved ones. The courier service does it for them. With proper advertising service will be in demand. In this case, a great marketing move will be a bright design of the courier car, so that it was immediately clear:"this car is lucky holiday."

Round the clock delivery. This service is not provided by every courier service. Therefore, you can take a free niche and start with less competition. Delivery at night has many advantages: the tariff for such orders is higher, and they are delivered faster (because the flow of cars and traffic jams is less). The downside is that you have to hire additional employees for shift work.

Delivery of spare parts, building materials, assistance with moving. Companies that provided such services, very little, but the demand is there. The car broke down on the road, it is necessary to transport things or building materials for construction or repair. In all these cases, you will need your courier service. But then you have to buy trucks and hire movers.

As you can see, the delivery service is a very variable business. You can combine different characteristics: the type of cargo, the target audience, the method of delivery – and look for the "formula" that will be successful for you.

Business registration
From theory to practical action. The first serious stage for the start – up is business registration.

Courier service can work in the status of IP and LLC. Most often, small firms prefer to work as an individual entrepreneur-with him less paperwork. To register, you must write an application in the prescribed form and attach to it a receipt for payment of state duty, which is 800 euros. As types of activity on OKVED it is necessary to specify: 64.12 – courier activity. You can enable additional codes immediately:



52.61.2 Retail trade through TV shops and computer networks (e-trade including Internet)

63.40 - organization of cargo transportation

64.11.11-Activities for the reception, processing, transportation and delivery (delivery) of mail

74.82-Packaging

74.84-provision of other services

So, you hand over the necessary documents for the registration of individual entrepreneurs and after a specified period in the notification take away from the tax statement from egrip. On the same day, it is recommended to write an application for the transition to the selected tax regime. You can choose the simplified tax system of 6% from incomes or STS 15% incomes minus expenses.

Premises and office
Courier service belongs to the category of business where location and office do not play an important role. In this case, you will need a mini-office to receive corporate clients and conclude contracts with them. It is also possible to place n a small warehouse.

The courier office does not have to be located in the city centre. For the customer it is more important how quickly you can deliver the parcel and how much it will cost. Therefore, the ideal office space is 20 sq.m. with Internet and telephone at a distance from the city center. In the office it is enough to equip one workplace for the Manager who will look for clients, to communicate with us, to distribute tasks between couriers, to control terms and payment of orders. Set of equipment in the office is minimal: computer, printer, phone, shelves for documents.

Ready-made ideas for your business

When looking for a suitable office, pay attention to the various business centers, where you can find a room with furniture and all communications. The cost of renting such an office will cost you about 10-15 thousand euros per month. It all depends on the city and the territorial location of the building. Also do not forget to buy office for your office: paper, pens, paper clips, tape, etc.



Equipment
The main production equipment in this case is a car. Well, of course, if you do not decide to open a bike post. The choice of transport, which will be delivered orders, should be approached with special attention.

How to choose a car for a courier

Characteristics. To begin with, we define the main characteristics that an ideal car for courier service should have:

low fuel consumption;

low maintenance and repair costs;

small dimensions of the car: compactness and mobility makes it easy to Park and move around the city faster.

So the main requirement for the car courier-efficiency and mobility. So you will save money and time.

Models. Based on these characteristics, we give examples of popular cars that are most often used for delivery services.

If you prefer the domestic automotive industry, the appropriate options are:

ZAZ Chance;

TagAZ C10;

OKA (VAZ 1111). 

If you choose among foreign cars, it is:
German cars (Skoda Fabia, Volkswagen Golf, Opel Corsa,);

Korean (Kia Picanto, Hyundai i20, Daewoo Matiz, Hyundai Getz).

French (Citroen C1, Peugeot 107);

Japanese (Toyota Yaris, Toyota Vitz, Nissan Cube, Nissan March, Honda Fit);

Italian (Fiat Panda).

All these cars have a small engine capacity - it allows you to save on fuel consumption. The average cost of the car for the courier is 400 thousand euros. You can save by taking a used car. But keep in mind that in this case you risk to buy a car that will often break down. And delays in the work of the courier service can lead to serious consequences.



Scheme of courier service
Before proceeding to the selection of personnel, you need to make a detailed scheme of the courier service and prescribe the functions of each employee. The General scheme of work looks like this:

An order is received from the client.

The Manager accepts the order, negotiates with the client the amount of payment, records all the necessary data (name, phone number, order parameters). Then the Manager passes the task to the courier.

The courier, according to the received task, goes to point A to pick up the correspondence / parcel and payment. Then he takes it to point B, where the receiving party signs the act of reception and transmission, thereby confirming the fact of receipt.

The courier calls the Manager, and he, in turn, notifies the customer of the receipt of the parcel or envelope by the addressee.

At the end of the working day, the courier delivers the signed documents and revenue to the Manager.

This scheme is not generally accepted and only true. You can modify it in accordance with the concept of your business.

Courier service personnel
An entrepreneur can open a courier business on his own. It is quite possible to combine the functions of dispatcher, courier and Director. At the initial stage, when the orders will be a little, you can handle alone. This will help to save on employees ' salaries. But then you still need help. By the way, to replace the entire staff of the courier service is a very useful experience. You will feel the business "from the inside", understand the process, learn the nuances and then be able to better navigate the business.

The staff of the courier service usually consists of the Manager (the Manager), drivers, couriers, walking couriers and accountant. If you plan to deliver large loads, you will have to hire movers. As foot couriers, you can hire students: they are usually paid from 300 euros per day – the costs are small, but their work is well offloads the volume of orders.

The main requirement for drivers-couriers-they should be free to navigate in the city. But rely only on the ability of drivers can not. Be sure to equip the courier car navigators. Two couriers will be enough for a small company. Their salary usually consists of a fixed salary and a percentage of the amount of completed orders. If you want to save money, you can find employees with a private car. But then you have to pay them more.



Try to find employees with similar work experience. In the early stages, their experience will help you, especially if you are new to this business.

The functions of an accountant you can count on yourself. In documentation of SP there is nothing difficult to understand and keep accounting independently. There would be a desire and time. Because your main function in this business – management. You should monitor the work of all personnel, coordinate their actions, solve problems, find new customers and promote your business.

How to open a courier service from scratch
Courier service advertising
It's time to ask the question "where to find customers"? Let's try to figure out where you can meet your potential customers and how to attract their attention.

Participation in tenders. On the site "Rostender" you will find many proposals to conclude a contract for the provision of courier services. Contract amounts range from a few thousand to millions of euros. It all depends on the capabilities of your courier service. To get acquainted with the appropriate options, select the region in which you plan to work, read the terms of current offers, make sure that you meet the requirements and apply. At the end of the tender, the results will be posted on the website and you may receive this order.

Electronic reference book. If your activity is limited to the territory of one region or city, you can use electronic directories. Find the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the companies that are your target audience. Call or send an e-mail offer of cooperation. Try to make a commercial offer that reflects the individual needs of a business.

Ad sites. To advertise their services on various websites like "Craigslist". There you can also study the demand for courier services and respond to the application.

Intermediary sites. You can use third – party portals-for example, You Do. This is a platform-intermediary between those who are looking for certain services (including courier) and those who provide them. Register on the portal as a courier.

Print advertising. Use booklets, business cards, flyers. Make leaflets with the description of the services and the favorable offer. Arrange to place them on stands near cash desks in stores, in organizations, on Bulletin boards.

As you can see, there are many channels to promote courier services. At first, use all available methods of advertising. Immediately schedule marketing expenses to receive orders from the first month of work.

Financial issue
When a novice entrepreneur seriously thinks about starting a business, he is interested in two main questions: how much to spend and how much you can earn? Let's understand. The table shows the main items of initial expenditure. Based on this, to open a courier service from scratch, you will need a minimum of 260 thousand euros.

Initial investment to open a courier service


NAME

AMOUNT, RUB.

One

Car

220 000

Two

Business registration



5 000

Three

Office rent 1 month

15 000

Four

Advertising

10 000

Five

Other (unforeseen) expenses

10 000


Subtotal:

260 000


In addition to the initial investment plan monthly expenses. The table shows an approximate calculation of fixed costs. In the first months when you will work independently, such expenses on a salary won't be. However, when drawing up a business plan for the courier service, be sure to provide this article.



Fixed costs of courier service
Having determined the costs, let's move on to the most pleasant part of planning: the calculation of the expected profit. To do this, you need to know how much will cost courier services and the number of orders. The cost of delivery depends on many factors (city, cargo specifics, complexity of the route, additional options, delivery time, etc.). Therefore, it is difficult to name any exact figures. On average, one order for the delivery of correspondence will cost 80-100 euros in the city; delivery of small goods - about 250 euros, and the contract concluded with one law. face will bring already 20-30 thousand euros.

Ready-made ideas for your business

Having a stable flow of orders, the courier service can earn 100-250 thousand euros per month. From this amount you will have 50-150 thousand euros of net profit. The profitability of the business up to 90%.

Thus, the approximate indicators of business profitability will be as follows:

Revenue-250 thousand euros per month

Net profit-150 thousand euros per month

Profitability - up to 90%

Payback period-4-5 months.
Risk factor
Making your business plan, be sure to pay attention to the risk component. Think about the risks you may face when providing courier services and how you can avoid losses. Any risk is a loss of profit. Therefore, preventive measures should be provided to avoid problems.



What you need to pay attention to the owner of the courier service:

High competition. Earlier we talked about the fact that the market of courier services a lot of participants, which may face a novice entrepreneur. It is possible to solve the problem of competition at the level of strategy choice, if you correctly identify your target audience, to form an interesting and profitable offer for it. When you become a full-fledged market participant, you can attract customers by providing additional services at competitive prices, competently advertising your services.

Dependence on weather and transport conditions. The quality of the courier service does not always depend on internal factors. To deliver the order on time to the courier can prevent bad weather or traffic jams in the city. It is almost impossible to solve this problem, as well as to insure against it. In addition, in such conditions, it is likely to damage the vehicle. For example, sudden ice can lead to an accident. All this will bring you unexpected expenses. The use of various programs to identify traffic jams and competent logistics solutions will help to reduce the risk.

Personnel problem. The business of courier delivery is characterized by high staff turnover. The salary is small, career growth is often not, the work though simple, but dreary. Often accept students who are considering a job as a courier as a temporary. So be prepared for the fact that you will often have to look for employees, and this is also a certain cost. If you are interested in your company employees working long and with dedication, set a decent salary, provide good working conditions, use different ways of motivation. Or be prepared to constantly be on the lookout.

Technological risk. The main element of your earnings is the car on which delivery is carried out. Sudden breakage can suspend all work, which significantly "hit the pocket." To break the car did not come as a surprise to you, constantly monitor its condition – and in case of problems immediately eliminate them. Choosing a car, give preference to models that are economical in maintenance and repair.


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