London is a one prosperous city and recent advancement in technology allows for many markets and industries to be entered at very little to no cost. Many people have already decided to completely abandon their 9-6 jobs and become self-employed. And more will follow even if starting up only part-time.
Small local markets are saturated with opportunities and with the right approach to marketing anyone can thrive. One of the fastest-growing markets is specifically Man & Van service followed equally as fast by general van hire sector. And those who can drive a van are realising that they can achieve a steady income by starting their own business.
At first this prospect may seem daunting, but if you’re willing to put in the hard work and time, you will be able to reap the benefits. If you’ve ever wondered about how you could start a Man & Van business, you’ve come to the right place.
Start-up cost of local small Man & Van business
The initial costs are smaller for Man & Van businesses than for most as you can easily hire a low cost van on daily or weekly basis. Furthermore, if you have a number of clients ready to go, it’s a no-brainer. All you need is a van and some muscles, if you are planning to take on the removals arena.
Get a suitable and reliable vehicle
Setting up a man with a van business is a lot easier than many others. Generally speaking, all you need is a van and you are good to go! Of course there are other variables you will need to consider, insurance for instance. But, you can easily start and run your business from the comfort of your own home and keep the costs low. All you need is a mobile phone and a wi-fi connection.
In order to get a suitable vehicle you might consider van hire service first, before buying your own van. The buying process can be very tricky and you will be surprised how easy it can be to waste your money on the wrong vehicle. If you go for a weekly hire for example, the cost can go as low as £40 per day for LWB Transit which will account for approx. 1h of your work speaking of London charges.
If you decide to invest your precious pounds straight away and buy yourself your own vehicle there are few things to consider. Some people are not ashamed to take your money for a van that has had the clock turned back and has done a lot more mileage than it appears. This is directly connected to the state of the vehicle and further repairs might be necessary. It is a good practice to invite a specialist from the industry to get an independent opinion.
Get a sufficient insurance
If you hire a van from a local van hire company then your vehicle insurance is included. If you plan to use your own vehicle then you will need a standard car insurance.
You will also need satisfactory insurance to cover your clients’ belongings. There are various specialist insurance providers with products available that will cover items in your van up to a certain amount. You will have to discuss this with your insurance broker as you may have to look into public liability insurance as well.
Get a business phone number
This is the easy bit. Everybody has a smartphone these days with a sim card and a phone number. You can easily start up with your personal number and as the business picks up then get a second phone with separated phone number. That way you can easier claim your phone bill as a business expense.
Register your small business for tax
Once you decide on starting your own business you will have to let HMRC know you are becoming self-employed and you will have to keep your accounts in order. This means keeping receipts and logging incoming and outgoing payments.
Start-up niche ideas to consider
- General delivery service is one of the most obvious opportunities to earn an extra income. There are many different types of delivery services and companies you could get involved with. Courier service, furniture, or even transporting heavier items for local businesses.
- The flower delivery market is huge in London, and there is often great demand for people to transport such fragile cargo. You might want to adapt your van in order to protect your cargo to further enhance the customer’s experience.
- People in London need help moving. Period. And they move all the time and simply do not have the time or muscles to move their furniture from one location to another. You could consider setting up a furniture removals business.
Think about your price
Once you get started, and work hard, enquiries will start to flow in. Quoting to potential customers is an art. Quote too high and you’ll risk losing trade to competitors – but quote too low and you’re depriving yourself of precious profit margin. Look up your competition and start up somewhat in the same region.
The beauty of being self-employed is that you can charge as you please. The more you understand your market and your competitors, the more you’ll be able to maximise your profit.
- You will keep fit. Especially when it comes to removals. It is a physically-demanding job, so while it’s tiring it’s a great way for staying in shape.
- You will be free. Running your own business comes with all the benefits of being your own boss.
- All you need is motivation. There are no qualifications needed to work in Man & Van business. It can be helpful to study for specific licenses or join professional bodies.
- You will need to tolerate driving long distances.
- There is no guaranteed fixed income.
- It’s a physical job.
- Dealing with the public can be challenging.