You may have spent years making sure that your small courier company is cost-efficient, well-managed and customer-friendly, but unless you let the industry know that, youâ€™re never going to get the volume of courier work that you deserve.
The trouble is often that, as a small firm, youâ€™re unlikely to have a marketing department in place â€“ never mind being able to afford a marketing agency to promote your business. But donâ€™t despair: there are a number of marketing initiatives that you could take cheaply and easily, which will get your company noticed, as well as providing you with more courier work.
The Importance of Marketing
If youâ€™ve been in the business for a while, youâ€™ve probably tried the basic marketing approaches of distributing flyers, placing ads in local papers and trade magazines, and handing out business cards. All of these are valid and important parts of the marketing mix, but they certainly shouldnâ€™t be everything you do to generate new courier work. When devising marketing strategies, itâ€™s best to spread your net as wide as possible without losing sight of your target demographics.
Join a Freight Exchange Platform
If you havenâ€™t done this already, what are you waiting for? A freight exchange platform, such as that of Courier Exchange, is an online resource that puts companies like yours in touch with others in the industry. Itâ€™s a combination of an advertising and a networking space, which is an advantageous tool for identifying new courier work.
Clients are looking for a company that they can trust and â€“ believe me â€“ a professionally created brochure tells potential customers that you mean business. Creating a glossy brochure and adding a personalised letter is a great way to approach warehouse operators, merchants and manufacturing firms. And, even better: even though printed material can help you make a great â€“ and potentially invaluable â€“ first impression, itâ€™s relatively inexpensive to produce.
Network, Network, Network
Networking isnâ€™t just for city slickers! It is important that you get to know the key people in your industry. Events such as business fairs, award ceremonies, expos and seminars are the perfect place to do this. Get yourself a ticket, take plenty of business cards with you, put some of your new brochures in your briefcase and go and mingle. Meeting in a social setting can be a fantastic way to connect with future clients, who may well then go on to recommend you to others.
Another networking possibility is joining a local chamber of commerce and industry. This will provide you with a venue in which you can interact with people in the industry on a regular basis, building up long-term relationships that could lead to more courier work.
If you promote longevity with new clients by offering to advertise their services, thereâ€™s a chance that theyâ€™ll reciprocate by offering a similar service to you. A personal recommendation of this kind will give a boost to your marketing, as it adds a professional endorsement and proof of a positive, on-going business relationship to your business.
Become a Market Leader
This isnâ€™t as hard as it sounds. If you fancy yourself as something of a writer, why not offer your expertise and experience to trade magazines and websites by writing industry articles for them? Make sure that they publish your work under your name, and you will begin to be recognised as a credible business leader.
Marketing is not just about spending money on advertising. It can also be about finding cost-effective ways of getting your company â€“ or your own â€“ name out there to create a brand that potential customers will instinctively trust.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work 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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