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Starting Bicycle Courier Service in Small town.

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Starting Bicycle Courier Service in Small town.

Old 08-17-09, 02:37 PM
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Noobert
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Starting Bicycle Courier Service in Small town.

I live Clarkston Mi, and want to start a bicycle courior service. Its a pretty small town though.

Who should I market torwards?

Suggestions on starting it up?
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Old 08-17-09, 02:39 PM
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No competition though.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:41 PM
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I thought the idea behind bicycle couriers was they could get through city traffic fast.

Try local lawyers, bail bonds, and city hall. That will be most of your business. Maybe local restaurants.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:42 PM
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Small town?

What makes you think it is a viable service. The classic market for Bicycle courier services is a high density area where parking is a major problem. A small town does not have the number of people needing things delivered or any advantages for bicycles.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:45 PM
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I kind of fiured that, but Im inbetween jobs right now, and figured it wouldn't hurt to at least try, and drop off cards/advertisement places.

I live in MICHIGAN, do I need a buisness permit? etc.?
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Old 08-17-09, 04:08 PM
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The Reno area has a bicycle courier service that started last year. There was a recent write up regarding it in the paper. Only 3 or 4 employees so far but apparently surviving. The Reno/Sparks metro area is about 400,000 IIRC.

Check with city hall and the county and state on requirements for a business license. A internet search should turn up the requirements and fees. Also a business such as a courier may need to be bonded and/or carry insurance.

Do not forget thqat as self employed you will need to keep detailed financial records and pay both parts of social security, employer and employee. Most places have made setting up a personal business a expensive PITA if you follow all of the rules.

Another possible user of a courier service might be drug stores for deliveries to sick or disabled pharmacy patients.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-17-09, 06:20 PM
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Im having a hard time finding online resources to tell me what the law is, here in michigan.

ANy suggestions, on how to make this internet search for requirements?
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Old 08-17-09, 08:01 PM
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I ran a courier service for a while, here's what I've learned: Bikes are of limited value, as you're limited to the size of your deliveries, and your client base potential. If there's another courier service in town, try to get in with them for paper/small package work. It's usually self-employ status, so you'll need the same financial records.

If you can't find the rescources you want, call the city clerk's office, they'll know what you need.

Couriers only make money on volume. Being diverse means you can do more volume (for instance, we delivered flowers as our primary business unit, but also did cell phones for our a couple of local stores, Toys R Us deliveries and a couple of department stores. We also moved car parts and delivered catering orders).

It's not an easy game to make money in, but it's better than sitting at home. Don't skimp on your insurance either, cuz if you break or lose something, espeically between lawyers and realtors, you can be talking about huge sums of money (I once spilled coffee on a $2mil contract, voiding it. that cost me in billable hours to rectify).

it's long, stupid hours for little pay, but I loved the interaction. Now, I also drove, and I love driving. I also love biking and I think I would like that too.

How big is your town?
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Old 08-17-09, 09:47 PM
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Pretty small, its in Oakland county, a suburb of detroit. The insurence thing makes this unrealistic for me, can I do it with out? One of the draw backs is if I give out information etc. etc. and then I get a job, then Im going to have to hire in other people to do it or some thing.

Im starting a new post. About tools that I inherited, and finding a use for them economically. check it out.
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Old 08-17-09, 10:26 PM
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Noobert, check with the Small Business Administration. Getting people started on this kinda stuff is what they do.

You cannot do anything like this without insurance.
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Old 08-17-09, 10:27 PM
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Insurance sounds like more then I'll probally make.
But by recruiting people once its off the ground, it gives me a chance to have another job.

The thing is, that a car is faster where I live. But wouldn't some people appreciete the service being bicycle based? Like eco-friendly companies.

Last edited by Noobert; 08-17-09 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-20-09, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Noobert View Post
I kind of fiured that, but Im inbetween jobs right now, and figured it wouldn't hurt to at least try, and drop off cards/advertisement places.

I live in MICHIGAN, do I need a buisness permit? etc.?

this made me think of advertising... if you had any fabrication skills, you could build a bicycle trailer... or buy one. either way. anyways... go to all the local businesses and see if you can advertise for them by riding around town with their sign on the trailer. i've seen trucks do this in my town... i know it's a long shot... but, it's better than nothing.

just trying to help.

good luck.
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