Chris Malkin MD of Connection Same Day Courier on my business startup in 1983. Late summer 1983, riding a Honda cx500 from north shields to Newcastle. A good feeling, my first job from my very first customer, Reed Typesetting. I think it was a Thursday. I can’t remember the next job, but I know within two weeks I had hit the magic £100 per week. Not much but that sticks in my mind as a milestone. Maybe that wasn’t far off an average weeks pay from a regular job, but here was me riding a motorbike working for myself.
I advertised. I got some leaflets printed and went around touting for business. Before long I had a steady stream of new customers mainly ad agencies, commercial photographers, graphic designers etc. (this was 1983 it was before the digital age). It was difficult fitting everything in, but somehow it worked. I needed regular work, and the first came from the offices of the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal. A weekly trip to Dunfermlin. This was delivering newspaper copy at night, so it was ready for press in the early hours and then to hit the streets by morning. This night time job didn’t interfere with my local work.
Things progressed. It seems long ago, the new Redheugh Bridge wasn’t open and the western bypass didn’t exist. I purchased a nearly new BMW r80rt, to replace the worn out cx500. I remember picking this bike up and immediately going to Kent overnight to deliver some critical documents for a Newcastle firm of solicitors. I hadn’t even had time to read the owners manual but just kind of figured everything out on the A1 in the dark.
Inevitably as the business progressed, help was needed. This came in the form as my best friend and brother Alistair. Alistair, spent much of his time doing long distance jobs while I looked after the local customers. Both of us driving hundreds of miles every week. I felt that I lived on the succession of BMWs I used in the first 5 years. This was my business startup, things grew from this point.
Early on we began to work for the hospitals in and around Newcastle. Regular collections from GP practices kept us very busy, and we took on a few drivers and riders. It became apparent that I needed to stop riding, but this was not an easy decision. One Friday afternoon I sold my F reg BMW r80 rt, to a motorcycle shop, and that was it, – well almost. An hour later an urgent job from a new customer meant I had to borrow it back! The following Monday I was in the office full time controlling a steadily increasing number of riders and drivers.
I’m pleased to say we still work with one or to of those drivers and we still have a few customers from those simpler, mobile and computer free days.
Connection Specialist Courier is based in Newcastle Tyne & Wear and supports local businesses and organisations by providing a consistently reliable same day service.