Nothing will lose you more money than not having a strategy when delivering.
There’s an old saying; “It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you keep.” That’s true in anything you choose to make money doing. What do I mean in the case of working in delivery? This is assuming you are working for one of the on-demand services like UberEats or Grubhub, etc. New drivers make the mistake of taking everything that’s thrown their way, any offer they get they accept. This is not a good strategy. The best strategy is to drive for your own needs, not theirs.
A DOLLAR A MILE
You’re an independent contractor now. You’re in business for yourself. That’s what you wanted right?
You make the rules, you decide your business strategy, you are responsible for your profit and loss. The first step toward doing business is developing a strategy. What’s yours?
May I suggest one that I have discovered that makes perfect sense for me?
I determined that I needed to set a goal that allows me to follow a set of rules, a discipline if you will. I determined that I need to drive to earn a dollar a mile. That is my goal-if I’m going to drive for 15 minutes or 15 hours. I have a subset of rules under that one principle that guides me to remain under that discipline. Put simply, if you drive for the contractor you will add mileage and burn through gas and wind up lord knows where. If you follow rules that you set up then you determine where you go, how much you spend, and ultimately how much you make.
Obey The 7 Minute Rule
Quite simply the 7-minute rule says accept no offer that is more than 7 minutes away. A standing rule is it will take 3 minutes (usually) for every mile you drive. I have found this to be a pretty good barometer. With UberEats you will get a ping that shows in minutes how far a pick up is from you. However, when you click to accept the order you will find that the app typically adds about two to three minutes to the order.
So two to three minutes adds up to double-digit pickup times which cuts into the number of runs you do in an hour. It adds up. Stick to the 7-minute rule and you will be assured of more timely runs and an increase in how much you make. You’ll also use a lot less gas and save wear and tear on your vehicle. It’s a good business decision for you.
Will I Get Fired For Not Accepting Every Run They Offer Me?
No. You will not get in trouble for declining to accept offers. You will get fewer offers if you accept and then cancel orders. You will often get offers for order pick-ups 12-20 minutes away from where you are and if you don’t have a limit in mind for what you will accept then you’ll have to learn the hard way. Refer to The 7 Minute Rule.
The Final Mile
Let’s face it. Whatever company you work for is going to offer you stuff you don’t want. And you don’t have to take it. You can refuse things that don’t make sense given the fact that you often are being dispatched deliveries from hundreds of miles away or, worse yet, from a computer. It is said there’s about a 70% turnover rate in this job and I can guarantee that it has come from the same drivers who told me how much more money they were making than me while keeping even less because they didn’t know what they were doing. You have to believe in your system. The offer process is much like a negotiation, stick to your guns until you get an offer you’ll be happy with and remember…it’s not how much you make, but how much you keep.