Starting a trucking business is a fantastic way for you to run things yourself and do something you’re passionate about. However, just like starting any business, you cannot merely purchase a fleet of trucks and expect to succeed.
You likely know already that the trucking business can be one of the most competitive around. But don’t let this put you off, as if you get it right, your trucking company venture can be very profitable. However, this is only possible if you understand how to build a profitable company, so here are ten things that your trucking business must have if you want to stand out and succeed in the industry.
No business can survive and thrive without adequate funding, so this is the first thing you should look at when launching a trucking business. Without the right amount of funding, you will not get your business off the ground. You will not even be able to purchase (or lease) a fleet of trucks to start your delivery and transport service.
So, where can you find these funds? Crowdfunding is a popular and modern solution for getting the capital you need. However, with so many crowdfunding campaigns, you can’t always expect that yours will stand out.
Other solutions include bank loans or even government loans, especially considering you are trying to launch a business. A bank loan will come with a demand to pay it back and be able to convince the bank you’re capable of doing so.
The Right Niche
Someone who hasn’t done their research about the trucking industry does not expect each company to have its specific niche. This means that there are very few one-size-fits-all trucking companies. Instead, these businesses will focus on one particular type of product for transportation.
This can be refrigerated (or reefer) trucking; it could be commercial products such as anything ordered from Amazon or other eCommerce platforms. This is just the tip of the trucking iceberg, and there are such a plethora of possible niches that you will be spoiled for choice.
Deciding on a single niche early on will help you cement your claim in the industry, and it will save you from trying to do too much. Once you get a solid foothold, you can consider diversifying your shipping niche to accommodate more products.
A Unique Logo
A logo and brand name, along with a catchy tagline, may not necessarily be as crucial as more ‘Big Money’ factors. Still, it is vital for any business regardless of the industry they operate in.
Why is a logo so crucial, though? Your logo should be something that people recognize easily. It is something you will plaster all over your fleet, which will travel all over the country. Because of this, you want a logo that will grab people’s attention, as these could become customers in the future.
Business owners will try to design their company logo themselves. However, without experience in graphic design, this does not always work. The best approach, especially to ignite interest as quickly as possible, is to work with a professional logo designer to work from a draft mockup you might have imagined. Theory knowledge can help you choose the right logo, font, and colors to ensure your trucking company has a logo that stands out.
Of course, customers are a crucial element of any successful business. One could suggest that they are the most critical aspect of any business if you want to succeed. Fledgling companies will often struggle to build up a stable, reliable, and consistent customer base, though, which is why it can be challenging to get your foot in the proverbial door.
Suppose you have experience in the trucking industry. In that case, you may be able to lure customers away from other companies by taking advantage of the relationships you have built up with them. You can do this by offering lower prices per mile, which will be more appealing than more established businesses.
While this will help you build a loyal customer base, though, you cannot rely on ultra-low prices forever, as this will make it challenging to make any profit, which will severely impact your business.
All companies, regardless of the industry, need to rely on modern technology to provide the most efficient and effective experience for their customers. The trucking industry is no different, so you must invest in the right tech to fit into your trucks to provide the quality service that will help build your reputation.
One piece of technology that will enable you to provide the best service possible is GPS tracking. This will help you minimize the chance of delays while also keeping your customers up-to-date with their product’s current location.
GPS tracking can also help prevent Truck Accidents, as it will identify upcoming hazards along the highway, which is crucial for sticking to your schedule. As your reputation will still be in its infancy, you must provide exceptional service early on to build it to a level that will make waves within the industry.
You can’t expect potential customers to work with your business if you do not allow them to find the details of your business. If you want to get as many customers as you can handle (and even more), you will need to list your contact details online.
Your website is the best place to start, and although you shouldn’t plaster your phone number, email, and office address all over the site, you can still make it easy to find, both at the top and the bottom of the page so your customers can see it.
You must also list your business on search engines and fill in as much information as possible, including your phone number, location, and opening hours to make it straightforward for customers to get in touch.
Experienced drivers are a must for any business that uses vehicles. Like a taxi company would want those familiar with the local city streets, the same goes for trucking companies familiar with driving a truck and navigating the highways.
With experienced drivers, you will minimize the risk of late shipments, and you will have the confidence that your freight will get there safely and on time. This experience will be crucial for building your reputation, especially if the drivers themselves already have a reputation in the industry.
However, some drivers may feel they know more than you do, so you will need to watch out for ego-driven employees that do not listen to what you want.
An Efficient Office
While much of the trucking industry is focused on the roads, your back office must also be a well-oiled machine to ensure all logistics are in order. Without an office, you will struggle to keep up with the demand for shipments, and there’s a risk you could send the wrong product to the wrong person.
When it comes to your efficient office, you can do it yourself or outsource the service. Doing it yourself might make you more confident, putting you in control. However, there’s a risk you could get too overwhelmed.
Conversely, an outsourced office can free up time for you, especially if you’re planning on getting behind the wheel yourself. But a dispatcher can be more expensive, so you’ll need to budget correctly for this.
A Solid Budget
A substantial budget is crucial for maintaining a suitable amount of funds that will help your company succeed. However, there is likely much more to consider than you would expect. Aside from purchasing or leasing your trucking fleet, you will need to account for fuel, repairs, paying your drivers, and more.
You will also need to think about marketing, which will be crucial for ensuring word spreads about your trucking company. Maintaining the website and having a dedicated platform (including a designation domain name) will make your business look more professional.
Without a robust budget, you will struggle with your cash flow, and this will put your trucking business in danger before it has had the chance to succeed. It may take some time to generate decent cash flow, and for your business to feel stable, so you will need to budget well enough before getting started.
All businesses should take customer feedback on board and make adjustments to provide the best service possible. Early on in your trucking company’s existence, be sure to take advice and feedback into consideration.
If this is your first time running a business, this advice will be crucial for helping you overcome the teething problems that you might encounter early on. Your customers will be grateful that you have shown such a willingness to adapt your business, which will make them more willing to work with you again.
Keep On Truckin’
As you would expect, there is no single solution to creating a successful trucking business. Instead, you will need to combine a wide variety of factors that must work together in perfect sync. As the industry can be competitive, there is little room for error. If you prove yourself unable to provide the exceptional service in a profitable niche, your business will not flourish as you want it to.