Attention Main Street businesses: Amazon wants you.
One of Amazon‘s latest growth plans involves recruiting 2,500 small businesses in 23 states to help deliver packages. Amazon Hub Delivery is an initiative that could earn Main Street businesses, such as florists, coffeeshops, hair salons, and gas stations, up to $27,000 a year in additional income. Amazon reports that this initiative has been implemented in more than 100 U.S. cities and towns. Amazon’s new program is open to businesses from 23 states. These include Alabama, Alaska Alaska, Arkansas California, Florida Illinois Indiana Iowa Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Nebraska New Jersey New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma South Dakota Washington and Wisconsin. Amazon has said that it plans to expand into more cities and states in the future. Shanton Wilcox of PA Consulting, an operations and strategy firm, says that businesses selected to participate will also benefit from the opportunity to grow and expand through a new revenue source. Businesses must also consider the cost of the program. It’s a business decision,” Wilcox said. It’s a business decision,” Wilcox said.
Here’s what small business owners need to know about the new Amazon program:
It’s not just for existing Amazon sellers
Amazon is seeking to partner with all types of businesses that have the ability to deliver packages on the company’s behalf. Amazon Hub Delivery partners are selected through an application. They receive packages every morning and can make deliveries each day at their convenience. According to Amazon, businesses deliver between 20 and 50 packages a day on average, but they can also send up to 30 per day. Delivery is made seven days a weeks, except for five major holidays. The program is offered in both super-rural areas and densely populated urban areas such as New York City or college towns. Amazon’s website states that no prior delivery experience is needed and there are no contracts. Amazon says it will provide training and guide businesses through the process.
Small businesses must meet several criteria
The program only works if a small business meets Amazon’s criteria. One of the requirements is that it has a safe place to store packages. For small businesses who are interested in applying, they must have copies of the relevant documents. These include a state registration number for their business, a sales tax permit or registration number or tax identification number.
They also must be able to meet Amazon’s commitments for delivery. Even businesses that aren’t open seven days can be eligible, provided they can receive and deliver Amazon packages on all required days.
Partners and drivers, if applicable, must pass a criminal history background and a motor vehicle record check, OSHA check and Department of Labor record check. The business must also carry the appropriate insurances. Businesses can learn more about insurance requirements by watching a webinar. Businesses can get additional details on insurance requirements by watching a webinar.
The economics of being an Amazon delivery partner
Becoming a delivery partner is not something that will appeal, or be applicable for every small business, but those that are interested should ask a series of questions to see whether it might be something worth pursuing, said Santosh Sankar, co-founder and managing partner at Dynamo Ventures in Chattanooga, Tenn., which invests in early-stage supply chain startups.
Businesses need to work through the math to see if a partnership makes sense for them, Sankar said. Sankar said that businesses need to do the math in order to determine if a partnership makes sense for them. A business could make $75 per day in this scenario.
It is then a question of whether the existing staff will be able to be used or if additional capabilities and labor costs are required. If a company is paying a student from high school or college $15 per hour, and that worker has three extra hours of work capacity and a delivery vehicle available, it could be a good idea. Sankar says it could be beneficial to hire a second worker at this rate. If a business needs to buy a vehicle to make deliveries or undergo major renovations in order to create a safe space, the extra investment may not be worthwhile.
Businesses must also think about the potential for long-term growth. It’s more than just using your current capacity. It’s the potential to expand, which a lot of businesses are looking for, but it has to become part of the decision-making process,” Wilcox said.
Where to go for more information
There are local in-person and virtual events for small businesses to learn more about the program. The next event will be held in California on Sept. 6. Amazon also offers owners the option to contact them directly to arrange a meeting in person.