Being employed has its attractions: a regular salary, stability, the same faces every day, office dramas, angry clients, redundancy – did I say attractions? |
Joking aside if you are considering taking the leap and looking for self-employed courier jobs then we’ve put together 7 reasons for saying “YES” and starting out on a new, exciting and rewarding track.
1. Nobody Tells You What to Do
It’s your business, you’re the boss. The only one who can tell you what to do is you. Of course, you have to provide the service the client wants and at the right price – but how you do it is your decision. How you deliver that package from source to destination is entirely up to you.
2. More Cash in Your Pocket
Once you’ve established yourself and you start getting self-employed courier jobs on a regular basis, you can expect to earn as much as 45% more than when you were employed. Even after you’ve deducted payments that previously your employer would have made, you’ll still be ahead. Now add on the fact that you can claim most of your expenses as tax deductions (which as an employee you couldn’t do) and you’ll see where this is going.
Also, after completing one of your courier routes, you can look for a return load rather than going back to base empty. After all, the cost of your trip has been covered by the client, so any extras are pure, 100% profit. Try doing that when you’re employed by a courier company!
3. Select Your Own Jobs
When you’re looking for self-employed courier jobs, you get to choose who to work for. Of course, you still have to make a living but if a particular job doesn’t appeal to you or the client is obnoxious – you can just say no.
When you were employed, you really had no choice. The fleet manager or dispatcher would allocate you a job and you had to do it. Even if the delivery was a complicated one, meant driving a long distance when you wanted to get home early – you had to do it.
When you are your own dispatcher, you take the jobs you want and not the ones you don’t.
4. Save on Commuting and Some Home Costs
That may sound strange, after all, you’re a courier and spend your day behind the wheel. But, being self-employed, your base “depot” is outside of your home. Even if it’s not, I’m willing to bet that you park your van close to home. So you save petrol or bus fares and valuable travel time. Again, since you’re behind the wheel most of the day, the more time spent at home is more quality time.
But there’s more. If you manage your business from home, a proportion of your home expenses (electricity, water, gas, property tax and even mortgage payments) may be tax deductible.
5. Enjoy Variety and Grow
As a courier company driver, you did the jobs you were given, learned your routes and company rules and that was it. No variety, no room for change or initiative.
To be a success as a self-employed courier, jobs should be perceived as an opportunity for you to change and develop. You will be looking for new ways to increase efficiency as well as customer satisfaction. You’ll be exploring different means to expand your business and keep your existing customer base. In other words, you get to be something you were never allowed to be when you were employed – creative!
6. You Only Answer to Yourself
In a regular job, you have to clock-in, maybe maintain a strict dress code, take your breaks when told to and provide a reason for every day you’re absent.
When you’re self-employed, the only person you have to answer to is yourself. When you’re on the road you can wear whatever you want (though remember you don’t want to scare the customers), take a break when you want and for as long as you want and, if you’re sick, you don’t have to beg the doctor for a “sick note”. Of course, you have to be aware that when you’re not working, you’re not earning.
You can outfit your van’s cabin however you want and set up your home office the way you want it. Choose the computer you feel comfortable with, hang up the pictures that you like. Keep as many photos of the kids on your desk and wall as you want. Have the radio on, listen to music. I even know some people who have the TV on as background “noise”.
And remember, when you buy a new laptop, mobile phone, desk or other office fittings – they could well be tax deductible.
7. Set Your Own Working Hours
You don’t have to work 9 to 5. If it suits you better, you can start early and finish early. If you enjoy a leisurely lie-in in the mornings, you could offer an afternoon or evening delivery service for those urgent deliveries (at a premium price of course). I once spent a year in Spain and fell in love with the “siesta”, so work in the morning, take a long, leisurely lunch and then get back in the driver’s seat. You’re in charge, you decide!
I don’t want to paint a glowing picture of a future that is all rosy. When you doing self-employed courier jobs there will be times when you have to work hard and make sacrifices. There may be times when you have to deal with clients who don’t pay their debts or simply make your life a misery – but, believe me, in the long run, nothing can beat the sense of satisfaction and freedom when you’re working for yourself.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day self employed courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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