One of the most important differences between working as an independent contractor and an employee is your control over your work. You have more opportunities to let your business decisions influence your profitability.
With a business mindset, you can decide what makes the most sense for you. You can think in terms of strategies that maximize your potential.
This series of articles looks at four different types of decisions and strategies:
- The big-picture decisions you make about how you will operate your business
- Operational decisions about how and when you will work
- How to make decisions about what opportunities to accept and which to decline
- Tips to make decisions that fine-tune your earnings potential
Thinking in Terms of Business Strategies
Making Big Picture Decisions
The first set of decisions you must make relates to how you'll run your business. What kind of business will you run, and what are the overall opportunities available?
The first decision you need to make is, how much is enough? What is your time worth? This question sets a foundation for other decisions and helps you better evaluate how your business is doing.
We address whether full-time delivery work is sustainable in the gig economy. How do you decide if it's a better alternative than a traditional job?
It's easy to think we're at the mercy of the pay models. Doordash, Uber Eats, Instacart keep lowering base pay. This is the power of a business mindset: Your decisions about your business have more influence over your pay than the pay models the gig companies have.
Another major decision you have to make is whether your market is a good one for your business. This is true of any business. We look at how delivery contractors can evaluate their market and identify the opportunities and their ability to be successful.
An independent contractor's relationship with gig companies is more business-to-business than employer/employee. As a business owner your best strategy is to evaluate all of the earnings opportunities, rather than relying on only one company to keep you busy. We look at what that means.
We also have to make decisions about how we'll do business. We need to choose when and where we work and what type of opportunities to make sense. These articles look into different operational decisions you can make in your business.
Within everyone's market, there are several options as to where to position yourself, and where to seek out opportunities. We look at how delivery contractors can decide the best places to deliver.
Gig economy platforms often offer incentives to encourage contractors to get out there when demand is high. Incentives like Doordash Peak Pay and Uber Eats surges can often make delivery profitable. Unfortunately, they can also be a carrot on a stick that end up paying less than hoped. We examine how to determine when those incentives make sense.
Delivery companies will often provide a map of hotspots where they recommend you hang out. We examine their motivation behind those hotspot maps and how you can make your own decisions about where to position yourself for better delivery offers.
Does it make sense to work multiple applications at the same time? Is it allowable? What is the best way to juggle offers from several companies at the same time?
Gig economy companies cannot tell you how to do your job. However, they can expect you to complete the orders that you agree to do. We look at how gig companies look at contract violations and what contractors can do to keep their delivery relationships intact.
Gig economy companies are known for suddenly deactivating drivers' contracts, often without explanation. We talk about things drivers can do to avoid deactivation and how to respond if you are deactivated.
When the weather gets bad, people often order in for deliveries more often. Does it make sense to go out and deliver when the weather gets bad? When is it a mistake? We look at how to decide when it makes sense and when it doesn't.
Does it make sense to deliver for Doordash, Grubhub, Instacart and others on Christmas Day? Or will things be too slow? We look at how to evaluate whether or not Christmas deliveries make sense in your area.
One of the busiest times for delivery is during the Super Bowl. We help you look at circumstances in your area to help decide whether it makes sense to go out and deliver for Doordash, Instacart, Uber Eats and others on Super Bowl Sunday.
Accepting and Declining Opportunities.
Companies like Doordash, Uber Eats, Instacart and others are not legally allowed to require contractors to accept any particular orders. All they can do is offer the opportunity to you, and you have to decide whether or not to accept. This process is not a work assignment, but a bid for services. These articles help you determine how to decide whether opportunities make sense or not.
Some say that gig workers can't set their own price. They're wrong. We can set our price through accepting and rejecting offers. If an offer doesn't meet our price, we can reject. We look at how it's okay and even wise to reject offers, which are bids for our services, and how setting your price works.
The best rule I've found for accepting and rejecting offers is to break the trip down to how much I think I'll make for the time it takes. I called it a 40 cent rule: the offer must pay 40 cents per minute to be worth taking. I walk through how that works.
This article expands on the 40 cent rule for accepting and declining delivery offers, providing a quick and easy way to estimate whether an offer will pay 40 cents a minute or better.
Delivery companies will often bundle or stack deliveries. We examine how to evaluate if those stacked deliveries make sense and are more or less profitable for you.
Many delivery companies provide a prepaid debit card, which you use from time to time to pay the restaurant or store for the order. Some orders require the contractor to place the order, pay for it, then deliver once the order's ready. We examine the factors involved and how to determine whether an Order and Pay offer makes sense.
Contractors have several methods to determine if an offer makes sense. We look at many of those popular approaches to help determine the best way to decide whether to accept or decline delivery offers.
Strategies and Decisions to Improve or Fine Tune Earnings
The following articles look at things you can do to improve your profitability or do slightly better with your business.
When things were locked down during the pandemic, I found my hourly profits skyrocketing. The pay per delivery was not increasing. After breaking down the numbers, I discovered the one most important factor in on demand delivery that led to making more money.
Often the biggest roadblock to getting deliveries done quickly is wait time at restaurants. We look at some tips and strategies to shorten the time spent waiting for orders.
We examine strategies that reduce costs and shorten time spent on deliveries by reducing the average distance drive per delivery order.
Examining strategies and ideas that help increase the tips that are earned, particularly when the customer can tip after the delivery is completed.