Your package is his business
FROM THE AGE OF 20, Kevin Watson, who operates Markev Couriers, wanted to own and operate his own business.
He did not know what he wanted to do but offering a courier service came easily as his former job as a merchandiser took him around the island.
When the economy took a downturn, he said that people often asked him to do one-off deliveries and it “just grew into a business” and today, with significant assistance and support from his wife Kimberley, close friends and relatives he has been able to maintain it.
“I said that I would start Markev Couriers . . . and in 2010 I started doing it full time. We deliver packages, letters, sometimes, we get invitations, we pay bills. People who saw the page on Facebook asked me the rates and I started out delivering cakes and cupcakes then it turned into food deliveries, bringing food from restaurants and it grew from there,” Watson said.
The only thing the 29-year-old does not deliver is people although a few customers have requested a shuttle service for their children which he facilitated.
“Starting the business was not hard initially. It only started to get expensive when I had to pay salaries and the requisite deductions because most clients pay monthly and I have to pay the workers weekly, so cash flow was a challenge,” he stated.
The small businessman said the company, which has a team of four full-time and two part-time couriers, offers a flat rate for deliveries. Christmas, along with Valentine’s Day, and other special occasions such as Mother’s Day and birthdays could see them working beyond 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and sometimes on weekends.
He recalled that to date his earliest delivery was 5:30 a.m. and the latest was midnight Christmas Day.
“I have a variety of clients, both corporate and individuals, and if they have a specific time they do their peak deliveries then we work with their schedules,” he added.
He explained that even though the business base is in Tudor Bridge, teams did not necessarily go to the office to be dispatched to either the north and south.
“We try to consolidate everything. If, let’s say, we have somebody already in the north, somebody working in the south, we go our separate ways. If we collect anything that has to go to the south or north we meet in a middle point and go the same route we went that morning and drop it off,” he explained.
The courier noted that not every day was extremely busy therefore depending on the volume of deliveries they have to make a team member might have the day off. However, if a request were made the same day which was one of the services offered, another person would be asked to do it.
“Someone would call me and say pick up something from a particular place and deliver it to such a place. That’s simple work,” he added.
He really likes the interaction with customers and the recipients of the gifts on special occasions especially when they were unexpected. He also wants to continue offering a high level of service and satisfying his customers.
“The most challenging aspect of the business for me is not being able to secure the funding to expand. I would like to expand I have room for expansion. I would like a fleet of vehicles and I really would like to be a green company with energy efficient or electric vehicles so I can offer a green alternative. If I could get the funding to buy them that would be great because it would be a saving on my gas bill. I would prefer to maintain my own vehicles,” Watson said.
Acquiring a fleet is on his ten-phase development plan and he will continue to work towards this objective. That plan also includes covering more places and providing more jobs for at least ten people.
In order to execute their tasks more efficiently, he said, he would have to hire more drivers, a motorcyclist or two, about two receptionists as well as adding a new aspect of service. He sees the business expanding exponentially and with financing he knows he can achieve it.
Watson is optimistic that one day soon, he can say to himself as he does his customers, “it’s delivered”, as he would have achieved his goals of being the fastest and best courier service in Barbados. (Green Bananas Media)