Online shopping has led to fast delivery and many businesses being unable to compete with nationwide retailers. Why shop at Bob’s Hardware when Home Depot or Amazon can have goods shipped to you tomorrow?
Businesses, including a lot of smaller entities, are hiring delivery drivers, both as contractors or employees, to deliver their goods.
But, before you hire a delivery driver, there are a few things you ought to know:
1. Check with State Labor Laws or with a Lawyer Before Hiring a Contractor
Every state has different labor laws in place for delivery drivers, and it’s important for businesses to know and understand these laws before hiring a contractor. Some state laws forbid hiring a delivery driver as an independent contractor.
If you make this mistake, you may be breaking labor laws.
When hiring a delivery driver, even if they receive tips, it’s important that you know the federally required minimum these drivers must be paid.
Breaking labor laws is not a good way to try and grow a business.
2. Outsourcing the Delivery May Be a Good Option
You can hire an independent company to take care of all of your delivery needs, and this will allow you to avoid having to worry about employee taxes, benefits and other regulations that may pop up.
There are companies, like Postmates fleet, that allow you to offer delivery for any product or food.
Postmates is like Uber. Drivers can work whenever they want, so they might not get to know your business well. When outsourcing, you have to weigh the savings against the potential lack of familiarity of your products or services.
3. Vehicle Ownership Concerns
Vehicle ownership is always a concern, and even if the delivery driver uses a personal vehicle, you may be brought into a lawsuit if an accident occurs during the course of business. If you own the vehicle, you’ll want to make sure that you have the proper insurance coverage in place.
Insurance coverage must include all drivers if you plan on allowing employees to drive the vehicle. This is very important because some policies will not offer a blanket insurance policy, so you’ll only find out that an issue exists if you’ve been in an accident. When trying to protect your brand, it’s almost always better to provide a company-owned vehicle.
These vehicles will allow you to brand your vehicle, maintain maintenance schedules and offer a controlled experience for all customers and clients.
4. Drivers Must Be Properly Vetted
It’s essential that drivers are properly vetted before they deliver your products. The right driver will need to have experience behind the wheel and a recent clean driving record. When a driving record isn’t clean or the person fails a background check, they may be too risky of a hire.
You’re trusting the driver to represent your company and deliver goods on time.
If the driver fails to do this or crashes in the process due to poor driving habits, this will reflect badly on your business and may even tarnish your business’s reputation.