Jaguar Couriers

Due to growing UK and European demand, Jaguar Couriers is expanding its tailor-made delivery business nationwide via franchising. Rachel Spaul investigates

Speed, reliability and flexibility are the key factors in Jaguar Couriers' 10-year success story in its hometown of Telford, where its Big Cat logo is widely recognised. With the company operation now exceeding 20,000 jobs per year, Founder and Managing Director David Cheeseman has identified franchising as the ideal vehicle for expanding the Jaguar Couriers business. Jaguar Couriers is built on providing a local service focused on developing lasting relationships with customers, listening to their needs and delivering a tailor-made service. Unlike routine, standard parcel delivery, the courier sector is particularly suited to smaller, local operators such as franchisees. David wishes to pass on his skills and experiences to a carefully selected network of Jaguar Courier franchisees - each having the opportunity to replicate his success in Telford.

The franchise package has been developed under the guidance of franchise consultancy FDS Midlands, which has helped a number of franchisors in the UK establish franchise networks. Each franchisee receives an exclusive territory defined by postcode and a turnkey franchise package designed to facilitate a rapid start. Requiring an initial investment of £17,500 plus VAT, the franchise package includes two days of business training and a further eight days' on-the-job training including telephone sales, marketing, pricing, invoicing and record keeping. Computer equipment, office signage, marketing materials, business stationery and the first three months lease deposit on the specified Jaguar Couriers vehicle ensure franchisees are fully equipped to grow their courier business.

For 10 non-consecutive days following the training franchisees will be supported by a member of the Jaguar Couriers management team who will work with them at their business location providing practical help and guidance. 'Such help is extremely valuable because it ensures that the correct systems and working practices are established and maintained,' David explains. 'Most importantly help will be available at all times when the franchisee feels in need of extra guidance, whether it's interviewing or training new drivers and staff, making a presentation to a large potential customer, pricing a complicated quotation, or simply negotiating the best rates with a supplier.'

Under David's guidance Jaguar Couriers has developed simple but highly effective systems to cover all the sales, operational and administrative aspects of the business.

A flexible business model
The business can be started as a two-person operation, which makes it ideal for couples, but is designed to be developed into a team of five to 10 subcontracted courier drivers, who will undertake the collection and delivery work leaving the franchisee free to concentrate on growing the business. You don't need previous knowledge or experience of the courier business, although Jaguar Couriers welcomes candidates with a background in the industry, either as an employee or subcontractor. 'The courier business is very demanding,' reflects David. 'It's all about getting it right first time and there are no second chances. Goods must be delivered when they are needed and in full accordance with the customer's specifications. On the other hand, the work is tremendously satisfying because Jaguar Couriers is often able to achieve the almost impossible for its customers... who are usually very grateful.'

For example, Telford recently received several urgent jobs from a company in the Czech Republic. Utilising David's vast experience and knowledge, Jaguar Couriers was able to meet the numerous tight deadlines to the delight of the customer (full story see page 154).

'The UK express delivery market already exceeds £3.5 billion and is expected to continue growing strongly,' David reveals. 'The courier, or 'same-day', sector serves the most lucrative end of this vast market. This is a superb opportunity to run your own courier business under the Jaguar Couriers banner with continuing personal guidance from the management team.'