How to Start a Delivery Business

Photo of author

By Jacob Maslow

  • To start a delivery business, you must research fuel efficiency and decide on the best-sized delivery vehicle for your company.
  • You will also need to purchase tools for parcel handling, mobile phones for better team communication, and routing software like Circuit for Teams.
  • Training is crucial for team management, and staff should be trained in how to use software, delivery processes, and the importance of customer service.
  • Finally, remember to give your customers the best possible service to keep them returning.

Growing demand for delivery services in recent years makes this a great time to consider a delivery business. As people look for ways to save time and money, the range of goods they want to have delivered to their doorsteps continues to grow.

Besides tapping into the revenues of delivery services, the advantages of good deliveries include that they are straightforward to control as you meet the objectives of getting things from suppliers to customers. It also provides you with flexibility and scalability.

Ensuring the success of a delivery business requires several important factors, including strategic research and planning, the right tools (technology and vehicles), and money.

There are several options for the types of delivery business you can start, including buying individual routes or working through a dedicated delivery service for companies like Amazon.

SWOT Analysis of a Delivery Business

Like any business, a delivery company has its advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of before starting this type of business. Here is a SWOT analysis of a delivery business:


  • Delivery businesses have low startup costs.
  • You can start delivering with just one vehicle.
  • The demand for delivery services is growing as people increasingly order goods online.


  • There is intense competition in the delivery market.
  • Poor route planning can lead to high fuel costs.


  • Technology advancements make it easier to start and manage a delivery business.
  • There are opportunities to partner with other businesses.
  • You can specialize in a niche market.


  • The cost of fuel is volatile.
  • There is the potential for theft during deliveries.
  • Road conditions can impact delivery times.

By being aware of the SWOT factors affecting your business, you can make informed decisions about how to start and grow your delivery company.

Skills, Experience and Expertise Required to Succeed

To be a successful delivery business owner, you must:

  • Possess strong people skills as you will be dealing with customers daily.
  • Be able to multitask and manage different aspects of the business without letting anything fall through the cracks.
  • Have excellent time management skills to ensure that all deliveries are made on time.
  • Have a clean driving record if you plan on making some of the deliveries yourself.
  • Understand basic accounting and bookkeeping to keep track of your finances.
  • Be well-versed in marketing and possess good sales skills to help promote your business.

With the correct skill set and attitude, you can be well on your way to starting a successful delivery business!

Delivery Business Market Analysis

The delivery business is a booming industry with a bright future.

  • The courier and express delivery services market is expected to grow from $33.8 billion in 2020 to $37.5 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.2%.
  • The food delivery market is expected to grow from $30.5 billion in 2019 to $55.5 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 9%.
  • The grocery delivery market is expected to grow from $21.6 billion in 2019 to $35.9 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 10%.
  • The freight and shipping services market is expected to grow from $8.1 trillion in 2020 to $15.5 trillion by 2030 at a CAGR of 4.5%.

With the delivery business market expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, now is the perfect time to start your own delivery business!

Steps to Starting Your Delivery Business

Before taking steps to register your delivery business, you need to take these essential steps to ensure you its compliance and success.

1.      Plan your Delivery Business

Every entrepreneur needs a clear plan to follow when starting a business. Besides the business description about what you offer and your target audience, here are other essential things to include in the business plan:

  • Complete a market analysis of our competitors, including their financials, to avoid investing in a risky location.
  • Consider your target market and your marketing approach.
  • Find the best legal structure to suit your business.
  • Who will take charge of running the business?
  • Think about your services and how these will differ from those offered by your competitors.
  • Choose a unique business name, and create a logo and slogan. You must also decide if you want a “doing business as” name (DBA).
  • Think about your startup expenses for vehicle acquisition, office space rental, and insurance and how you will cover the funding required.
  • Consider the business’s ongoing expenses, like vehicle maintenance, fuel, depreciation, and insurance costs.
  • Finally, create the anticipated financial projections for your delivery business and ideas on making it more profitable.

2.      Name Your Delivery Business

Your business name is essential as it will be how customers remember you. It should be catchy, easy to remember and relate to your delivery business.

You can use a naming generator like Namelix to help you come up with ideas. Once you have a few options, run them by family and friends to get their feedback.

It’s also important to check if the domain name for your chosen business name is available so you can secure it for your website.

Sample Names

  • On the Dot Delivery
  • 24/7 Delivery
  • Rush Delivery

3.      Formalize Your Business into a Legal Entity

There are several reasons to formalize your business and make it a legal entity immediately. The first is to ensure no one can steal the idea or your chosen business name. Secondly, you will want to protect your private assets.

One of the most popular forms of business that offer personal liability is a limited liability company (LLC), but you could also prefer a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. However, you should consult a business attorney or financial advisor before deciding since they have different tax filing and registration needs.

Once you have registered your business, you can register for taxes and organize the business bank account.

4.      Organizing Licenses, Permits, and Business Insurance

A suitable vehicle and a driver’s license are not enough for a delivery business. You will have to find out what permits and licenses you need to deliver goods in your state. For example, you may need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive a bigger truck.

You will find the administrative information for licensing a courier service and permits from the Secretary of State or Department of Commerce to avoid hefty fines.

Depending on the types of goods you will deliver, you may also need a special permit in some counties or cities. For example, you may need a food handling permit for food deliveries.

You must also consider several things regarding the vehicle and business insurance. First, private vehicle insurance won’t cover you when you use your personal motor vehicle for business purposes, so organize additional insurance coverage.

Business insurance will also help protect you against liability if you have any incidents with lost or damaged parcels.

Therefore, the correct business licenses, permits, and insurance coverage can prove tedious, but these protect you as you grow your business.

This list of business permits and licenses for each state from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a valuable resource or get details from the local country clerk.

5.      Decide on Your Delivery Region

You have several choices when deciding the area your delivery company will cover. These include last-mile delivery and delivery over a larger region. However, the higher charges for covering bigger areas do not always equate to more profits because of the added expenses.

Make your decision according to the following considerations:

  • Geographic areas with higher population densities are more profitable than serving rural areas.
  • Vehicle mileage increases when covering huge distances, resulting in higher fuel and maintenance costs.
  • The further apart your stops, the more drivers you will need to employ to prevent delays.

6.      Implementing Your Marketing

Depending on the type of delivery service, your marketing needs change. For example, if you deliver in partnership with a business like Amazon, you don’t need to do much because they provide your clients.

On the other hand, marketing can help secure clients if you work independently of others by increasing brand awareness.

Decide on the best marketing platforms for your delivery service. Remember that traditional marketing, like business cards and ads in local media, is often not enough in the digital world, so find the best social media platform for your audience and post regularly here. In addition, consider writing a blog.

Create a consumer-friendly website with all your company contact details and easy navigation to make it easy for your customers to find information about your delivery services. Include details about your service area, types of goods delivered, and your rates. In addition, you must include a secure payment gateway to your website (PayPal, Square, Stripe, etc.) to make it easier for people to make bookings and payments from there.

Remember to keep all your marketing efforts consistent by using the same colors and your chosen tone (serious, humorous, etc.) across all platforms. In addition, partnering with local businesses increases your marketing opportunities.

7.      Buying Business Equipment

Essential tools for your business are its delivery vehicles. Buy suitable-sized delivery vehicles according to the type of goods you expect to handle after researching fuel efficiency before deciding.

Other items that your delivery business will need include items for parcel handling. These include hand carts with wheels and ratchet straps for securing parcels. Finally, you will need mobile phones for better team communication.

8.      Tools for Delivery Route Optimization

Organizing optimized package delivery routes is the best way to keep your business running efficiently and profitably.

You want to ensure that your stops have logical planning with routing software like Circuit for Teams. Besides the savings to your business, better route planning makes for timely deliveries that keep customers satisfied and your drivers from having to re-deliver.

When you invest in a good route planning tool, you also receive features like package trackers, delivery notes, and proof of delivery (POD).

9.      Delivery Team Management

Training plays the most significant role in team management. Your drivers and office staff should know how to use the software, understand delivery processes, and understand the importance of customer service to your business.

Furthermore, health and safety training remains crucial to all businesses, including your delivery company.

Alternative types of business to consider:

1. Courier service: A courier is a person who delivers messages, packages, and mail.

2. Food delivery: Food delivery is a service that delivers food to people’s homes or businesses.

3. Grocery delivery: Grocery delivery is a service that delivers groceries to people’s homes or businesses.

4. Freight services: Freight services are businesses that transport goods and materials from one place to another.

5. Shipping services: Shipping services are businesses that transport goods and materials by sea, air, or land.

6. Logistics services: Logistics services are businesses that provide planning and support for transporting goods and materials.

7. Storage and warehousing: Storage and warehousing are businesses that provide space to store goods and materials.

8. Trucking: Trucking is transporting goods and materials by truck.

9. Moving services: Moving services are businesses that help people move their belongings from one location to another.

10. Junk removal: Junk removal is a service that removes unwanted items from people’s homes or businesses.

Final Take

Now that you have all the information to start your delivery business remember to keep your customers loyal and coming back. So please give them the best service and throw in the odd deal like a loyalty program to ensure they mention you to their friends.


How do I start a delivery business?

To start a delivery business, you must first decide on the type of goods you want and what services you will offer. Then, create a business plan and register your business. After that, get the necessary licenses and permits, purchase insurance, and buy delivery vehicles. Finally, implement your marketing strategy and optimize your delivery routes for efficiency.

What are some tips for starting a successful delivery business?

Some tips for starting a successful delivery business include clearly understanding the market, researching your competition, offering competitive rates, investing in good software for route optimization, and providing excellent customer service.

What are some common challenges faced by delivery businesses?

Common challenges faced by delivery businesses include finding the right balance of price and quality, maintaining a good reputation, dealing with traffic congestion, and managing employee scheduling.

How can I make my delivery business more efficient?

There are a few ways to make your delivery business more efficient, such as investing in a good software for route optimization, using GPS tracking for your delivery vehicles, and offering discounts or loyalty programs to customers.

What are some common mistakes made when starting a delivery business?

When starting a delivery business, common mistakes include not doing enough market research, not having a clear understanding of the competition, and not investing in good software for route optimization.

What are some delivery business ideas?

Some delivery business ideas include starting a food delivery business, a courier service, a same-day delivery service, or a furniture delivery business.

How do I make my delivery business stand out?

One way to make your delivery business stand out is by offering something your competition doesn’t, such as a loyalty program, discounts, or free shipping. You can also try to be more efficient than your competition by investing in good route optimization software and GPS tracking for your delivery vehicles.

How can I improve my delivery business?

There are a few ways to improve your delivery business, such as investing in a good software for route optimization, using GPS tracking for your delivery vehicles, and offering discounts or loyalty programs to customers.

What are some common problems with delivery businesses?

Common problems with delivery businesses include finding the right balance of price and quality, maintaining a good reputation, dealing with traffic congestion, and managing employee scheduling.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos