How to Start a Courier Franchise Business

date icon 5 minutes to read date icon 19th June, 2023

Although old-fashioned letters are still the domain of banks and other institutions, the market for parcel delivery services is booming. According to research, the number of e-commerce users in the UK is expected to reach nearly 60 million by 2025. That’s a staggering number and it means that there will be an ever growing need for couriers to make these deliveries. If you’re interested in this lucrative market and you want to know how to start a delivery business, this post is for you.

What does a courier business do? 

At its simplest, a courier business contracts with private and business customers with the aim of taking their documentation, letters, parcels, etc. and delivering them to a designated address. This can be done by road, air and ocean freight. As such, there are various types of courier services that you need to be aware of in terms of what they do and how they deliver. Here is a list of the most common ones:

  • Standard services
  • Express services
  • Overnight services
  • On-demand services
  • Parcel services
  • Same-day services

Each of these services is somewhat self-explanatory. The main difference is that sometimes, instead of the need for just a road courier to deliver the parcel, there may be a need for a combination of road and air transportation, depending on the destination and the required speed of delivery.

Is a courier service a good business to start?

With the growth of e-commerce, rising sophistication of delivery services and the growth of delivery subscription services, it is worth knowing if a courier service is a good business to start. Research shows that in 2017, the global parcels market was valued at $350 billion, a $40 billion rise on the previous year, which is significant. Meanwhile, in the UK, it is estimated that there is an increase in parcel-generated revenue every year. 

For example, in 2017/18, there was a 5% growth in total revenues when compared to the 2016/17 period. According to Ofcom, this reached £9.4 billion. As for the volume of parcels, this has seen growth as well with an 11% increase, reaching 2.4 billion items in 2017/18. Looking forward, the sector’s market value is expected to increase by 92% between 2019 and 2024, reaching a total value of £21 billion.

What to consider when starting a courier business

courier checking smartphone while bring pile of boxes

With all the signs showing that there is definitely money to be made in this industry, you may be wondering about what you need to start a courier business. For starters, you have the option of choosing to start an independent courier business.

However, the alternative is partnering with an already established franchise courier company so that you get all the benefits of their support. For example, working with a franchise courier company will give you access to:

  • A reputable brand name
  • No industry experience is required
  • Continued opportunities for growth, and
  • Low initial investment (starting from around £6,000 up to £20,000, although a depot-based franchise is likely to cost between £20,000 and £60,000)

With all these benefits in mind, it’s also important to consider every aspect of your franchise courier business to ensure it takes off successfully. With this in mind, it’s necessary to focus on:

  • Getting the right business licences from your local government and paying the necessary fees and choosing your business model
  • Creating your business plan containing your courier business’ operational and financial objectives as well as the plans and resources necessary to achieve them
  • Understanding the industry as a whole while taking into account the competition (both current and future) and doing thorough market analysis and research
  • Deciding who your franchise partner will be because there are several options to choose from (take a look at some examples of these below)
  • Organising and putting in place the right team, training them, keeping them motivated, organised, focused, on-track, updated and informed, etc. 
  • Putting in place the right technology to streamline your business operations
  • Ensuring that you have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place to ensure that your business gains awareness in your local community and that it has enough customers to keep you afloat and succeeding
  • Ensuring that all your financing is in order to pay the initial franchise fees and the total investment required while ensuring that you have between three and six months worth of liquidity to keep you afloat and to be better prepared for emergencies and unforeseen expenses. Examples of your expenses will include: employees, insurance, vehicles, maintenance and fuel, franchise renewal fees, space and equipment and marketing.

How to open a courier franchise 

Now that you have given consideration to what goes into running a courier franchise business, it’s time to look at how to start a courier business in terms of the steps involved to ensure you are as organised as possible. Here are some of the steps to consider:

Step 1: Write a business plan

This is essential for two reasons. One is to help you gain as much clarity as possible about your business in the future and two is to help you secure financing. The business plan should cover things such as your courier fleet, amounts for insurance purposes, etc.

Step 2: Choose a warehouse and delivery depot

Here, you need to find a central location where you can receive and dispatch your customers’ parcels. It’s also a good way of ensuring that you boost your employment pool. After this, it’s time to source all your equipment and materials, followed by the need to train your employees well, especially your drivers. 

Step 3: Create and implement your marketing plan

In our digital age, it’s vital to ensure that you establish an online presence. This means having a website and social media channels that are regularly updated and managed. You can also build your email marketing list and offer discounts and other offers to your clientele that way. 

Courier and delivery franchise opportunities

And now, as promised, we offer a couple of the courier franchise opportunities, which you can also find in our franchise portal. Consider these options in terms of initial investment, royalties, support offered, etc. 

Closing remarks

Courier businesses are highly lucrative and you’re likely to find the most success if you partner with a courier franchise brand. If you need any more information about any of our courier opportunities displayed in our franchise portal, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are just a few clicks away and ready to help!

Franchising portal CTA

Find your next franchise opportunity.

Browse our extensive franchising portal and find the perfect business opportunity for you. Pick your choice of industry, location and/or investment.