Born to Run
Day Runner, Inc.’s Marvin Walker drives new delivery solution forward
Starting out as a delivery driver and working in the courier industry for eight years exposed Marvin Walker, founder and CEO of Day Runner, Inc., to unfair and unethical treatment that needed a remedy.
“I worked for several companies and the practice was the same—predatory,” says Walker. The drivers take on the personal and professional liabilities of the enterprises they work for, with no insurance, no vacation, no sick days, no control.
“Recognizing the discrepancies between business owners and the situation of a courier driver—an owner in his or her own right—led me to create the Day Runner platform,” says Walker. This solution has helped other professionals like him to get into business—with the power to stay there and succeed.
Presenting the Solution
Day Runner, headquartered in Cornelius, North Carolina, provides rides and delivery services for both individuals and businesses. Prior to launching his business, Walker interviewed contractors and app developers at the same time. The projected Day Runner app would remove a lot of uncertainty in doing business. Customers could find and choose an available driver as well as select the size and type of vehicle needed to deliver their product. They would be able to view the distance between the driver, their location, and the destination including time calculation.
After sharing the functionalities of the prototype app and the proposed Day Runner platform, Walker asked contractors if they would accept the plan, benefits, and pay for the services offered. “At my first event, I had 17 candidates come out and 12 people signed up. I would say those were some astronomical numbers,” says Walker.
To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, Walker conducted a second round of interviews in a different market. “I still didn’t have the actual app to show them. I just presented the idea, the prospect as a concept,” says Walker. Out of 35 people, Walker had 28 drivers commit. “They signed an agreement knowing that the technology wasn’t ready. I knew then that I had something valuable and I moved forward developing the Day Runner app,” says Walker.
Growth Through Referrals
Part of the conception included a referral system, which became the capstone of Walker’s strategies. Coming from his previous experience of marketing in the music industry, Walker learned that better-quality candidates result from word of mouth. “People extend to you the trust that they have in those who told them about you,” says Walker.
The contracted drivers recruit other driving professionals. They receive profit sharing as a continuous, not just one time, referral fee. “If a person wants to take time off, because he profits from what his referred drivers earn, he can,” adds Walker. Contractors can make $500 a week in passive income—that’s the worst-case scenario and if you multiply that by 52 weeks, a person could earn $26,000 a year in referral income.
Day Runner now boasts over 2,000 drivers in several states—Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and, most recently, Pennsylvania. Many individuals joined because acquaintances directed them to the firm’s YouTube channel. They saw the need for this in their area and signed up. “Once we have a substantial team in a location, we activate that market and seek out accounts. We grow as the demand increases,” says Walker.
Levels of Membership
When drivers join, they choose from several different levels—the cost and benefits increase with each one. The Free Membership offers the least benefits while still offering more than the standard courier service company. Fees charged for the Gold, Platinum and Master Contractor levels provide additional services that help keep contractors in business.
“Initial charges represent a financial investment in one’s self. When someone has skin in the game he performs better,” says Walker. “Because he has something to lose, he offers better service and brings an additional level of professionalism to the industry.”
“Recognizing the discrepancies between business owners and the situation of a courier driver—an owner in his or her own right—led me to create the
Day Runner platform.” Marvin Walker, CEO and Founder, Day Runner, Inc.
Benefits of Paid Membership
One of the benefits of paid membership includes cash advances. Sometimes an underpaid driver working for a traditional service firm doesn’t have money for essentials like gas or repairs. He can’t continue to work. Banks don’t lend money, and friends and family, often in the same boat, can’t pitch in either. “I have lived these pain points,” says Walker.
For these situations, Walker created the Day Wallet app where paid members can request funds after they complete a probationary period. If the affiliate has consistently functioned like an owner, he can obtain money deducted out of his settlement. With the means to fix his car and a lease vehicle provided during the repairs, he can continue to drive.
Using the Daywallet app enables couriers to get paid in real time. “The goal is to remove the pressure of the business in their lives so they can say, ‘Ok. I can function,’ and then they can provide better service because of less stress about how they’re going to keep their business going,” says Walker.
“Our motto is ‘Independence Supported,’ ” says Walker. Sometimes people need a hand up, not a handout. Everything in the Day Runner platform represents an area that Walker needed help with at one time. “This is my way of paying it forward. Most importantly, I acknowledge that I can’t have success without my contractors providing the best service to our clients,” he adds.
Developing Personally and Professionally
“One driver that I helped get started said, ‘Being a Day Runner is more than a job; it’s a lifestyle. You’re helping me with my life. My relationship is in a better place thanks to you,’ ” recalls Walker. The man had found it really hard getting a job. He wanted to become a courier but didn’t have a car. “I told him that I didn’t know Day Runner affected relationships; I thought it affected your bottom line,” Walker says with a laugh.
But through Day Runner, Walker does more than just help drivers earn money. He intentionally helps them develop personally and professionally. “I’m going to hold quarterly and annual events, bringing in successful business leaders to encourage our drivers,” says Walker.
In the website’s members-only portal, Walker made available 12 books from his own collection. “My goal is to help these guys better themselves by sharing books that helped me become the individual that I am,” he says. The books include Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People,” “The Millionaire Mind” by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., and “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
Giving Back to Others
In addition, Day Runner offers prospects for associates to give back to others, representing a huge part of personal growth. “Having been a Marine, I am very passionate about helping veterans. With the outrageous number of homeless and out-of-work vets, we definitely want to do our part,” says Walker. He works with the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) to provide job opportunities for veterans and today, some of the Day Runner drivers are ex-military personnel.
The Give Love Initiative, a Day Runner program, also focuses on giving back to individuals who are dealing with mental health issues and who don’t have the resources needed to get help. “Like anything in life, you have to give before you can get,” contends Walker. “We want to be a staple in the community to help individuals who deal with these struggles,” he continues.
In conclusion, Walker says, “The Day Runner professional strives to make their company’s experience better for everyone. Consumers will see better-equipped business owners that happily serve them, because they receive fair compensation and secure benefits.”