So you fancy the life of a courier?

A delivery courier is often the last person in a marketing chain: creating the product, advertising it, selling it, then finally delivering it. The courier is often the only person that the ultimate customer sees; and so it is how that person looks and performs that can have the greatest influence on how the customer views the company; which in turn can affect just how many repeat orders or recommendations are received.

Most couriers are self employed. This means that they are usually responsible for providing their own vehicle, maintaing it, arranging their own tax payments, buying the right courier insurance. They sometimes have to work long hours and stick to rigid schedules, and sometimes this can take a great deal of self discipline.

Insurance is something that many people contemplating self employment forget about completely until it's brought to their attention; vehicle insurance, goods in transit insurance, public liability insurance, even employers' liability insurance if staff are hired, can all eat into profits (but which are often legally essential) and must be included in costing calculations.

Courier insurance can be a complicared subject too! Policies are usually designed specifically for certain drivers delivering particular products; carrying goods other than the ones specified on the insurance policy can invalidate the cover, so professional advice on picking the right one can be essential.

The job of a courier is therefore a very responsible one; customers are not likely to be impressed by one who looks anything less than smart, who has a bad manner, or, perhaps worse, fails to deliver the goods on time.

It can sometimes, then, be a very pressurised job; explaining to someone who was waited for ages for a vital delivery that what is to blame is a sudden increase in business during the run up to Christmas, New year, Easter, Valentine's Day, mother's day or any other very busy time won't really cut a lot of ice; many people will just thank that it's your problem and you should have been better prepared for it!

It can be a very frustrating job too. Traffic conditions can be bad or accidents can cause long delays; bad weather can make driving unpleasant; vehicles can break down. Many customers will still blame you for a late delivery all the same.

There are benefits though! many of us enjoy meeting lots of other people; it can make a pleasant change from the same old long faces at the office or factory. Speaking of offices and factories; how many people enjoy doing the same routine work all day, every working day? And who likes being tied to being tied to the same environment every day?

Many delivery companies are happy to employ couriers on a 'pool' basis; in other words very often a good one can pick and choose which jobs to take on, secure in the knowledge that there are other who can take up the slack if necessary. There is a lot of satisfaction in knowing that if you need to take time off work at any time, it can be done without having to jump through hoops with a personnel department!

Being a courier, then, is not for everyone but then again no job is. It appeals most of all to people who are self motivated, with friendly personalities, and who mare prepared to work hard to achieve high earnings. There is plenty of work out there for those who can neet the grade.

Oh and let's not forget perhaps the most important part: the pay. It can range from good to excellent depending on your own work ethic and ambition. It certainly beats commuting to that office or factory every day!!

Got a job as a courier?

Then you'll need the right insurance.