Many people search for self-employed courier driver jobs with their own van being at the heart of their plans and propositions.
That’s absolutely great but there’s something that arises from that which we need to face. That is the need to present our validated credentials concisely to potential clients.
How to Get a Competitive Edge
It’s not always easy to differentiate between your service proposition and that of one of your competitors.
Your potential customer will wish to see that you’re not only delivering a quotation that’s keenly priced but also one that’s supported by a service ethos based upon expert knowledge and excellence in performance. You’ll need to be able to objectively show this, as well as be confident in your own abilities in those areas too, if you’re to be successful in your search for self-employed courier driver jobs.
How do you go about it? A major route open to you is the framework provided by the “Van Excellence” initiative.
What is ‘Van Excellence’?
This is a series of standards and certifications developed by the industry itself as an aid to van operators.
In the official words of the group itself, it has three objectives which aim to:
- enhance standards of van operator compliance
- celebrate operators who demonstrate excellence
- represent the interests of the van industry.
These are progressed on a half-day course for van operators run by the Freight Transport Association (FTA). It covers things such as maintenance, administration, speed limits, legal frameworks and so on. A separate course exists for those operating vans for passenger transport.
At the end of the course you’ll be assessed for comprehension and, assuming you meet the standard, will then be issued with a certificate of excellence.
Under its newly appointed Chair of Governance, Julie Davies, Van Excellence is pushing to make van operators more aware of the opportunities available through this scheme and that’s a step we should all welcome.
Do You Need It?
In a strict legal sense, no, you do not. If you’re stopped by the police, they won’t be asking to see a copy. Note though that it may become an issue in terms of insurance premiums – a subject close to many operators’ hearts!
However, it’s worth keeping in mind the point touched on at the start. Today, many of your potential customers will be increasingly demanding holistic service propositions and may favour those providers who are able to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and professionalism through things such as the Van Excellence certification.
True, traditionally client assessments were based upon things such as a quick visual appearance check and perhaps a brief chat with the potential provider, but the world is changing – and fast. In the future your potential customers may be much more keen to understand something about you and how you conduct your business before entrusting you with theirs. They’ll want to know that you understand what’s required to operate legally and keep your van safe for everyday road use.
So, the Van Excellence scheme may become a major selling point for you and your services. Take it seriously and find out more about the scheme if you’re looking for self-employed courier driver jobs.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day self employed courier driver jobs 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.