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Amazon has been quietly gearing up to make a play in the “last-mile” delivery space. Previously, the e-commerce giant relied heavily on the United States Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS), and FedEx for delivery.  As their needs grow, Amazon has begun to test the waters as to what local delivery would mean for the company. So much so that they have recently announced that they will be hiring Amazon Delivery Service Partners (DSP) to meet their demands.

The DSP program would give people a pathway to create their own delivery business complete with a fleet of 20-40 Amazon logoed vans; management training; health benefits; and no experience necessary. For a $10 thousand (and $30 thousand in liquid assets), owners can expect annual revenue potential between $1 million and $4.5 million and an annual profit that ranges from $75 to $300 thousand per year. This deal would enable Amazon to compete with the likes of UPS, FedEx, and local services in the last-mile delivery space.

This opportunity is not for the faint of heart. It may be easy for someone with access to the start-up fees to jump at a chance to own their own business. Keep in mind that with every business venture, there is risk and reward. Do the positives outweigh the negatives? That’s up to you to decide!

Now for the positives. It’s great for people who want to become a business owner without having to deal with the logistics of starting out. According to the Small Business Association; 30% of businesses fail within the first two years while 50% fail within the first five. Yahoo Finance states that most small businesses fail because of poor planning in Jessy Bains article; Why so many small businesses fail — and how it can be avoided. John Rampton notes that most organizations fail because they underestimate the financial burden a company can be in his article; Starting Your Business: The Tools, Resources and Mindset You Need to Succeed. What makes Amazon’s DSP program succeed is that they account for the road blocks that beginning entrepreneurs may face when starting a business. Amazon’s program tries to alleviate some of these pressures by offering training, resources, and support including a three week training; exclusive discounts; and legal support. Owners will also get access to a fleet of 20-40 Amazon logo-ed vans to fulfill their deliveries.

Now for the bad. Amazon may give you the tools you need to thrive, but it’s up to you to actually succeed. It is up to the owner to hire and train their staff, learn about benefits and finances, and manage a growing company. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll excel even with Amazon’s help. It takes grit and persistence that some owners may not have.

This opportunity won’t come easy, and every owner needs to decide for him or herself if the positives outweigh the negatives. If you have the determination to succeed and learn about different aspects of owning a business but just need a little help; Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners program may be the right for you. If you are nervous about the commitment both financial and responsibility; this opportunity may not be the correct fit. At the end of the day it’s important that you do your research and are honest with what you’re capable of.

Does this opportunity sound appealing? Are you a veteran? Amazon has committed to $1 million to help military veterans succeed by offering $10,000 reimbursement for those that qualify.

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 Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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