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.
3 Min Read
I think we can all agree that we are living in unprecedented times, and many of us are experiencing challenges in both our personal and professional lives. But it is important to remember that often, challenging moments present opportunities for change. Right now, companies and individuals are using this time to rethink how they conduct their business, the resources critical to their success, and how they go about their daily activities. And what we are seeing is that more and more people, especially women, are taking control of their lives by starting their own businesses.
While it is estimated that the number of women-owned businesses is one-quarter to one-third of all enterprises worldwide, there are still many women who aspire to make entrepreneurship a reality. A new Herbalife Nutrition survey conducted by OnePoll of 9,000 women across 15 countries, including 2,000 women in the U.S., found that globally, 72% of women want to open their own business. Of those, 50% don't yet have a business and 22% have one but would like to open another.
Women want to have more control over their future, but they are committed to helping future generations by being a role model for younger women; 80% believe this is a strong motivating factor.
The second annual survey, which explores women and entrepreneurship globally, revealed the overwhelming challenges women experience in the traditional workplace compared to their male colleagues. In fact, more than 60% of women said they would like to start a business due to unfair treatment in previous job roles. Of the women surveyed, 7 in 10 believe that women must work harder to have the same opportunities as men in the workforce. Results also revealed that 43% of women have delayed having children because they thought it would negatively affect their career, and 25% said they had faced pregnancy discrimination. 42% believe they've been unfairly overlooked for a raise or promotion because of their gender — and of those, the average respondents had it happen three separate times. These are a few of the challenges that have been a catalyst for the surge in entrepreneurship among women.
The irony is that startups founded and cofounded by women performed better than their men counterparts: on average women-owned firms generated 10% higher cumulative revenue over five years, compared with men.
With the barriers and negative experiences women cited in the workforce, it is not surprising that across the globe, the top motivation for starting a business is to run it themselves (61%). Women want to have more control over their future, but they are committed to helping future generations by being a role model for younger women; 80% believe this is a strong motivating factor.
But the women surveyed don't expect entrepreneurship to be smooth sailing: one-third of women with plans for entrepreneurship are "very worried" about their business — or future business — failing in the next five years. The top three challenges when starting a business center around finances — earning enough money to offset costs, having enough budget to grow, and financing their business. And when it comes to financing, women face stark disparities in the capital they often need to fund their business. Boston Consulting Group found that women entrepreneurs averaged $935,000 in investments, which is less than half the average of $2.1 million invested in companies founded by men entrepreneurs. The irony is that startups founded and cofounded by women performed better than their men counterparts: on average women-owned firms generated 10% higher cumulative revenue over five years, compared with men.
Women entrepreneurs create a source of income for themselves and their families. They are a vital part of our world's economic engine that society needs to support with flexible opportunities, mentorship, and access to capital. Herbalife Nutrition is proud that more than half of our independent distributors worldwide are women who set up their businesses and decide when and where they work and do so on their terms. We need to invest in women entrepreneurs, not only to help one generation, but to offer role models for the next.