There are many courier businesses in Singapore. Some survive for a long time and are doing pretty well. Many others are struggling to survive. It boils down to the knowledge and expertise of the individual courier businesses which determine their survival. The top management needs to be very knowledgeable and smart in decision making.
If you look at PCA Masters Singapore, it is clear that they are doing some things right. Perhaps there are some things courier businesses in Singapore can learn from them.
In my opinion, to increase the chances of the courier business beating the competition, here are some things courier businesses in Singapore needs to know.
1. Volatile demand
Demand for courier services will fluctuate from month to month. During some periods in the year such as Chinese New Year or Christmas Day, the demand for courier services bound to increase many folds. In other months, the demand is relatively low. Courier businesses need to take note of this volatile demand in services and plan their manpower well. Good manpower planning is critical to the profitability of the firm. If the courier business employs too many couriers, then the profits of the firm will take a huge hit if the demand is low for the month. If the company employs too few employees, customers’ deliveries cannot be conducted promptly and this risk a direct impact in its reputation.
2. Rainy days
Courier businesses in Singapore have their own couriers riding motorbikes. During the rainy days, the riders need to seek shelter and the jobs will be put on hold. New courier requests are temporarily stopped too. Even the van deliveries will be affected as the vans will move slower on the roads due to the rain. It is better to be safe. Business owners of courier companies need to know of these events so as to factor these in into the pricing of the courier services. The pricing of the courier services should be able to cover for these downtimes.
3. Minimum price
Developing from point 2, courier businesses should know a minimum price whereby their business will breakeven. This is important so that businesses know the minimum price they can go into, in order to attract more customers. If they charge customers below this minimum price, they are losing money, which is a bad thing for the business. Of course, price competition is not good for the industry in general. Businesses should concentrate on their unique points to stand out from the competition.
Singapore courier businesses should get more feedback from customers. Customer feedback is very important to help the companies determine the areas they should improve on. This will allow the companies to continually improve their products and services to cater to the customers’ growing demands. Only this way the companies will be able to attract more new customers and to retain more old customers with them. Customers should never be ignored. In this aspect of getting customer feedback, I would say a lot of the courier companies in Singapore are not handling it well.
There are of course, some courier companies in Singapore that are very proactive in getting customer feedback. These companies are usually the ones which are performing better and getting a bigger market share. Contrary to popular belief, businesses do not have to spend a bomb in getting customer feedback for their products and services. Here are some ways the smarter courier companies are doing in Singapore.
Social Media Platforms
Smart courier companies like PCA Masters tap on social media to interact with their customers. Apart from reaching out to customers, the social media platforms allow the customers to provide feedback to the company too. For instance, PCA Masters Pte Ltd have their own Facebook page which allow anyone from the public to leave comments on their Facebook wall. Public comments about the company are made visible to everyone. It seems like PCA Masters have their own social media team to manage the social media platforms as well as I can see that customers’ comments are replied to in a very short amount of time.
Feedback form on website
Another inexpensive way of getting customer feedback is to put a customer feedback form on the company website. This will generate another avenue for customers to give feedback to the company. Different customers prefer to give feedback via different ways. It is crucial to provide them with various methods and let them choose whichever method they want to use to give their precious feedback to the company.
Short calls can also be made to the customers to ask for feedback after the whole operations have been done. This requires more effort but will reach out to customers who are lazy to provide feedback. Sometimes, these feedback may tap on the minor details but the minor details are the ones which matter.
Starting a business requires huge amount of dedication and commitment. Extensive planning needs to be done before one embarks on the business venture. If you don’t plan properly from the start, you will have much higher chance of failing. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Let’s look at starting a courier business in Singapore.
Is it wise to start a courier business in Singapore?
Firstly, let’s look at the competition. There are many courier companies in Singapore presently in 2016. Some of them are rather big like PCA Masters http://www.pcamasters.com/ and Speedpost, while we have many small courier businesses in Singapore. Competition is definitely stiff due to the abundance of courier companies in Singapore. Basically, it is a cut throat industry where businesses compete mainly on price. It is hard to differentiate one from another.
Secondly, let’s look at profit margins. Due to the intense competition, profit margin is very small for the businesses. In this aspect, it is not really attractive for new entrants.
Thirdly, the cost of entrant is rather high. In order to start a courier business, you have to purchase several vehicles upfront – vans, bikes, lorries, and any other vehicles you deem necessary to aid your staffs travel around the country to complete the courier deliveries. Speaking of staffs, you will have to get some staffs from the beginning too, unless you want to deliver the items yourself. Vehicle cost and staff salaries are big fixed expenses that your business need to support from the beginning.
Looking at these three points alone are enough to say that the courier business in Singapore is a very competitive and difficult industry. If you have the capital to burn and have a few years of your time to spare, then you can consider getting into the courier industry in Singapore. Otherwise, perhaps there are better industries and business opportunities for you out there somewhere else.