Being a bike messenger or courier is a difficult and demanding job. A lot people may think that just being fast and knowing your way around the city is enough, but there's a lot more to it than that.
While it can be tough when getting started, if you do well, you can earn a decent living from it. And for some, it is a great way to monetise the time they'd otherwise spend riding. Regardless of why you want the job, here are five essential tips for female bicycle couriers.
You Can't Ride Any Old Bike
You need to buy a bike that you can comfortably ride for hours. This type of bike can cost anywhere from £400 to £1,400, but since you'll be riding it so regularly you'll also need to set aside enough to pay for essential repairs each year.
Of course, you'll spend even more fixing the bike if you don't know how to do repairs yourself, which is why some people say that if you can't and won't repair the bike regularly, you shouldn't be a bike messenger. So, make sure that you are ready for additional expenses along the way, or upgrading your current bike if this is the one you intend on using.
You Should Take Out Insurance
Everyone knows that driving a car requires auto insurance, but if you're a bicycle courier you really should view courier insurance as just as essential. After all, you're carrying goods to your customers and taking on liability risks, so it's just as important to be properly insured. Sites like Quotezone.co.uk will allow you to compare courier insurance policies. You'll be able to get a quick quote and compare policies from multiple insurers.
It is Hard Work
As a courier, you're paid for the runs you make. You won't earn much money per run, so you have to make multiple trips to earn decent pay. The faster you go, the more money you'll earn. This means you can't earn a living as a messenger if you're travelling at a leisurely pace. It isn't uncommon to do 20 to 30 jobs a day and travel sixty miles in the process.
Most bike couriers are freelancers. This means that you don't get paid if you don't work. Freelancers like couriers don't have sick pay or sick leave, either. If you don't ride in that winter weather, you need to find another way to pay the rent. On the other hand, you don't get to choose when you work when you're working with a delivery service; the controller assigns certain days to you. If you don't show up when you're expected to work, you won't be working with them any longer.
Don't let the promised pay rate per run fool you. You'll have to pay your own expenses out of that money whether it is bike repairs, food, or renting a two-way radio among other things.
Learn Your Way Around
As a bike courier, you'll be navigating city streets every day. Learn your way around the city so you don't spend as much time checking maps or apps. The better you are at navigating the city, the faster you'll finish your route. And you won't be able to count on your GPS all the time, so if you thought you could get around knowing the city this way, think again.
You also need to learn where the service entrances are where you go to pick up deliveries, because they don't want you coming in the front door and through the reception area.
Pay Attention to the Process
One of the first things you'll have to get down is basic radio communication. You'll need a radio or mobile phone to accept jobs, but be careful not to agree to anything before you have remembered the address for both pickup and delivery. Every parcel is supposed to be signed for. When you've dropped off all the packages in your load, tell the controller you're empty so that they know you're ready for more work. You can hold off on this until after you've had something to eat.
Arrive early so you can get one of the first jobs and get going. Try to pick jobs that take you further from the office, because nearby jobs don't take long but leave you wasting time in line every time you return for your next assignment.
Working as a bike courier is a great way to get in shape, have fun and earn money. However, you need to know the facts going into it so that you can make the most of it.
Personally, I am over the top excited that we are on the cusp of turning the page on not only a new year but also on a new 10-year window of opportunities and possibilities!
You may be thinking, whoa…I am just embracing the fall season…yikes… it is tough to think about a new decade!
Yet it is this groundwork, this forward thought that you put in place TODAY that will propel you and lead you into greatness in 2020 and beyond. Designing a new decade rests in your ability to vision, in your willingness to be curious, in your awareness of where you are now and what you most want to curate. Essentially, curating what's next is about tapping into today with confidence, conviction, and decision. Leading YOU starts now. This is your new next. It is your choice.
Sometimes to get to that 'next', you need to take a step back to reflect. Please pardon my asking you to spend time in yesterday. Those who know me personally, know that I created and continue to grow my business based on enabling the present moment as a springboard for living your legacy. So, indulge me here! True, I am asking you to peek into the past, yet it is only in order for you to bring the essence of that past forward into this moment called NOW.
One of the best ways to tap into what's next is to clarify what drives you. To design a new decade, ask yourself this question about the past ten years:
What worked? What were my successes?
Make a list of your achievements big and small. Don't type them, but rather use ink and paper and sit with and savor them. Move your thoughts and your successes from your head, to your heart, to your pen, to the paper. Remember that on the flip side of goals not attained and New Year's resolutions abandoned, there was more than likely some traction and action that moved you forward, even if the end result was not what you expected. Once you have a full list of a decade's worth of personal and professional accomplishments, think about how this makes you feel. Do you remember celebrating all of them? My guess is no. So, celebrate them now. Give them new life by validating them. Circle the successes that resonate with you most right now. Where can you lean into those accomplishments as you power into the decade ahead?
Now comes a tougher question, one that I used myself in my own mid-life reinvention and a question I adore because in a moment's time it provides you with a quick reconnect to your unique inner voice.
If it were 10 years ago and nothing were standing in your way, no fear or excuses to contend with…what would you do?
Don't overthink it. The brilliance of this question is that it refocuses purpose. Whatever first came to mind when you answered this for yourself is at its core a powerful insight into defining and redefining the FUTURE decade. Bring your answer into the light of today and what small piece of it is actionable NOW? Where is this resonating and aligning with a 2019 version of yourself?
Then, based on your success list and your answer to the above question, what is your 2020 vision for your business and for the business of YOU?
Designing a new decade begins as a collection of 3,650 opportunities. 3,650 blank slates of new days ahead in which to pivot and propel yourself forward. Every single one of those days is a window into your legacy. An invitation to be, create, explore, and chip away at this thing we call life. One 24-hour segment at a time.
While you have a decade ahead to work on design improvements, you have the ability to begin manifesting this project of YOU Version 2020 right NOW. Based on exploring the exercises in this post, begin executing your vision. Ask questions. Be present. Let go of 2019 and the past 10 years so that you can embrace the next 10. Position acceptance and self-trust at the forefront of how you lead you. One choice at a time.
Don't get bogged down in the concept of the next 10 years. Instead position clarity and intention into each new day, starting today. Then chase every one of those intentions with an in-the-moment commitment and solution toward living a legendary life!