When most people think of prospering industries in the United States, the trucking business probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, you should be able to learn everything you need to know about the need for trucking and haulage companies by just taking a drive down the highway.
If you enjoy driving and are good with logistics, starting a trucking company can be the ideal choice if you’ve been considering going into business for yourself. Since trucks are responsible for transporting slightly more than 70 percent of all freight in the United States, this statistic suggests that there will always be a demand for trucks and, more importantly, trucking companies. Starting your own trucking business could be an excellent way to make money, but you can only reach the level of success you desire when you know a lot about how the company works.
To give you more insights on how to go about your truck business, we have compiled a list of 15 strategies for starting a truck business.
1. You Need A Business Plan
Not just for a trucking business. Whatever business you have in mind, you need a business plan. Given the straightforward fundamental operating principles, you don’t need to design a business plan for your trucking company, but this is different. On the other hand, developing a business strategy can help you zero in on the components of your company that are the most critical to its success. For example, the rationale behind the establishment of your company, the amount of capital required to get things rolling, financial projections that compare anticipated costs and revenues, and other operational details should all be included in a solid business plan. A written business plan for your trucking company helps you stay focused on establishing your company following a blueprint. It is especially helpful when you are just starting your business and may need more time to dwell on your overall strategy.
2. Register Your Truck Business
Getting your company registered is the first step in launching a trucking company. Establishing your trucking business as a legal entity, either as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), allows you to separate your assets and business obligations, protecting you from financial disaster. There may be legal, tax, and business advantages to officially establishing your company in this way. To formally establish a business, you must take the following measures;
Naming Your Company
Before launching your business, decide on a catchy name. Your company’s name is your first impression of potential clients, so consider how you want to portray your company’s identity, services, and values.
Make sure there isn’t already a business with the name you want to use. Once you have a shortlist of potential names, check their availability with the secretary of state and the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Selecting a Business Entity
Do some homework on the many kinds of companies you can apply to before you start filling out the application. A company’s structure can affect how it handles taxes, who owns what, and who is responsible for what expenses. For example, when starting a trucking business as a sole proprietor, it is wise to incorporate it so that business debts and losses don’t become personally liable. Many kinds of limited liability companies (LLCs) can be formed as partnerships or corporations, so it’s essential to research before starting a business with another person.
3. Obtain All Necessary Permits And License
It should not be surprising that the transportation industry is heavily regulated. Before you can do anything legally, you will need to collect significant documentation and secure authorization from the appropriate authorities. There are over 150,000 distinct jurisdictions in the United States, each of which has its filing procedures. As a result, you may need various licenses and approvals to legally run your business, depending on your service and the state where you do business. For example, suppose your company’s primary base of operations is located in the United States. In that case, you may require a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a motor carrier number, and a USDOT number. Additionally, electronic logging devices may need to be installed in each of them before putting your trucks into service.
4. Get Your Business Insurance
Getting truck insurance should be among your top priorities if you operate a truck company. It would be best to look at purchasing various types of insurance, including public liability insurance, cargo insurance, bobtail insurance, and physical damage insurance. Insurance is an essential security blanket for any company or organization. Maintenance is performed consistently because of the demanding schedules and large miles trucks are expected to cover. Even the loss of a single car at the beginning of an operation can be catastrophic for a starting business, but with the correct insurance, the catastrophe is prevented. Your consistent contributions help to ensure that your carrier is insured against devastating occurrences such as accidents, mechanical failures, and property damage.
5. Open A Business Bank Account
Companies starting should submit applications for personal and corporate banking and credit card accounts. Maintaining a wall of separation between your finances and the company’s money is in your best interest. Not only is this prudent from a tax perspective, but it will also help you establish a strong credit history for the company, which will be beneficial if you ever need a business loan or other form of When you create a business checking account for your trucking company, you have the opportunity to start building your firm’s credit by making applications for a company license, permits, and insurance.
6. Obtain Funding
Because of the critical role that equipment and trucks play in the trucking industry, beginning a trucking business nearly always requires an initial investment of funds. As your company expands, you will be responsible for paying for various expenses, including automobiles, office supplies, payroll, insurance, and other charges, such as maintenance and employee bonuses. To create a trucking company, you may need to get business loans or find potential investors to finance the initial start-up expenditures. When looking for money, it is a good idea to check with various financial institutions, including major and smaller ones. It may be challenging to secure a loan from a large bank if you do not have a history of your company dating back at least two years. You can also look for trucker loans online if that’s your style. Before they even consider doing business with you, most of the lenders, investors, and possible business partners you approach to fund your trucking company will require you to present them with a business plan.
7. Get Your Trucks
If you want to get around, you’ll have to get some wheels after you’ve enough funds. You can buy it or sign a lease to use it. Your purchasing power as a business owner plays a role in deciding whether to purchase or lease. And each alternative comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Unlike leasing, no ongoing monthly payments are required when you buy a truck outright. Trucks have built-in equity that is used to facilitate future trade. It, of course, requires a more significant initial investment, anywhere from 10% to 25% of the total price, depending on whether the item is brand new or used.
One does not acquire ownership of a truck through a lease. You’re tied to regular payments and can’t use the equity to buy a replacement car. Furthermore, some regulations must be followed, such as keeping the truck safe operating and not exceeding the permitted mileage. On the other hand, leasing has many advantages, the most notable of which is that the less typically covers repairs.
8. Launch Your Truck Business Website.
Your customers can access additional information regarding your trucking company’s operations through your website. Most consumers will look up a company’s website before purchasing that business. In addition, your clients will check out your trucking company’s website in the beginning to learn more about your services. Consequently, the pages of your website ought to have all of the relevant information clients frequently seek from companies. Check to see that the website contains essential parts like “about us,” “contact,” “home,” “services,” “your rates,” and “testimonials,” among others. Nevertheless, you should check to ensure that your website’s design is not unique but straightforward. To build your client’s faith in your company and the people that work there, consider uploading images of your staff, especially your drivers.
9. Establish An Efficient Administrative Operation
Establishing a reputable transportation company requires, first and foremost, the development of a practical administrative framework. It becomes an absolute requirement when hiring drivers who are required to be available for immediate assignments. In addition, it may become increasingly difficult for a trucking firm to keep up with day-to-day operations as the business grows.
You can hire a broker or dispatcher to conduct the administrative work for you; however, this may be a costly option, and you need to be careful about who you pick because a poor broker or dispatcher can bring your trucking firm to its knees. Alternatively, you may start by doing everything by yourself and managing your trucking firm while sitting in the cab of your truck. These days, all you need to run a business successfully is a smartphone along with some form of fleet management and GPS-tracking software or a trucker dispatch mobile app. It is all you need.
10. Hire Competent Staff
Employing aid from others is essential if your firm intends to grow beyond your current level of involvement. Depending on the scale of your company, consider hiring various types of workers to achieve your profit objectives. These roles include drivers, salespeople, marketing professionals, logistics coordinators, and dispatchers. While some trucking companies prefer to outsource certain administrative, accounting, sales, and marketing tasks, others prefer to wait until the volume of work requires in-house personnel before making this decision. You are free to choose any option that is appropriate for you. Finding the proper people to work for a company can either be a benefit or a loss. Make sure the people you hire are qualified for their jobs, can be trusted, and are a good fit for the tasks they will be doing.
11. Ensure A Consistent Flow Of Cash
The early success of any business needs to keep a consistent flow of income coming in, and trucking companies are no exception to this rule. Before your trucking business can begin to generate a profit, a significant amount of time must pass. Remember that it typically takes a client to make their final payment and settle all their outstanding balances between two and three months. Consequently, even though you have customers and are providing the services they require, you might only be paid for a few months. It indicates that you need to have enough cash on hand to pay the monthly expenses as well as the salaries of your employees consistently. In addition, you’re going to need money for things like gas and repairs to your car. A company that “factors” invoices might be able to give you the quick cash you need for working capital.
12. Get A Business Card
Using business cards to introduce people to your company is one of the most effective ways to do business. It’s a popular misconception that the primary function of business cards is to make it easier for people to exchange contact information with one another. The accompanying business cards have your contact information (telephone number, email address, and fax number) printed on them. On the other hand, receivers are more likely to remember a card that a professional artist produced. It is because of the quality of the design. Customers will have your business card and contact information if they need transportation services. It means that you need to put some thought into creating a unique design for your business card, complete with appropriate hues and fonts. The logo will verify your identity on the card.
13. Create Social Channels For Your Truck Business
It is challenging to imagine a business that does not have a presence on at least one of the various social media platforms available today. Even the smallest companies need to step up their game regarding social media because the number of people using the internet continues to rise. You must ensure that you promote your new trucking company on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram daily. This kind of exposure may do wonders for the brand’s recognition. Facebook and LinkedIn are other social media platforms that allow you to promote your trucking business by sharing images and content about your services with a broad audience. Suppose you want people to spend time on your social media accounts. In that case, the content you provide should be engaging on multiple levels:
- It should be entertaining.
- It should be helpful.
- It should be visually appealing.
- It should allow for interaction.
14. Request Feedback For Improvement
One should always prepare themselves for the possibility of making errors when managing a trucking firm. Recognizing when adjustments and improvements are needed is one of the most crucial components of successfully managing a profitable organization. It would help if you took advantage of your company’s website and social media accounts to seek feedback from your customers actively. It will help you develop your business. Pay close attention to the specific recommendations for improving your services’ quality. It is also wise to consult with some professionals in the trucking sector if you want to advance your career in the field in which you work.
15. Be In Compliance With The Rules And Regulations
As the owner of a trucking company, you must guarantee that all applicable rules and regulations are complied with. It involves submitting quarterly tax reports, maintaining a valid CDL, and remaining current on local and national laws governing the trucking industry. In addition, to reduce their risk of being held liable for losses, brokers favor recruiting and working with carriers whose standards are kept current. Compliance monitoring and maintaining up-to-date knowledge of rules will be critical to gaining business as a truck driver.
16. Utilize Truck Blogs To Promote Your Website
Businesses frequently disregard a large portion of the trucking industry. Trucking companies are consistently interested in growing their operations, but only some are aware of the opportunities presented by the internet. If you advertise your website on websites devoted explicitly to trucking firms, you will be able to reach a large audience of people looking for a company much like yours. While bringing in new consumers, it is even more important to keep the existing ones coming back. There are several different approaches to taking this step, but the one that is the least complicated is just informing others about your company. One of the most effective methods to accomplish this is to provide them with things. Blog entries are an excellent method for achieving this goal. Because there are so many trucking blogs out there, you should have no trouble finding one relevant to your company’s operations. After that, you should be able to locate a blogger who is eager to write about your company on the trucking blog.
Launching and growing a trucking business takes hard work, reliability, and patience. If you want to make the most of your money, time, and effort, it’s best to focus on one aspect of the transportation industry at a time. Then, you should be fine if you practice the 15 strategies above.