Are you thinking about starting your own trucking business? If you are someone that enjoys spending time behind the wheel, it is likely that you have thought about this because there is something appealing about making a living by spending your time behind the wheel and exploring the country. Now could be a good time because there is a shortage of truck drivers and plentiful work, plus you get the benefit of being your own boss and setting your own schedule. This post will look at a few of the main steps that you need to take to start your own trucking business.
Table of Contents
Market Research & Business Plan
When starting any new business venture, you must first spend time researching the market. You will want to learn as much as possible about the trucking industry as a whole, your local market, your competitors, and your target market. This information can then be used to build a business that has a chance of finding success. Once you have completed your reproach, you can then craft a business plan. This will outline the company, give you steps to follow to find success, and could be used to secure funding.
Registering The Company
You also need to register your business early on. You need to choose what the best legal structure is for your company and this will depend on a few factors. Many people register as sole traders, but it is important to be aware of your options and the benefits and drawbacks of each so that you can make an informed decision.
Funding & Equipment
When starting a trucking business, you will find that there are various costs involved. These could include:
- Lifting equipment
- Web design and marketing
Therefore, you want to calculate your startup and ongoing costs and then secure funding. You could use various methods, including savings, bank loans, investors, and crowdfunding. You want to ensure that you secure enough capital to keep the business running so you have enough time to find your own feet.
Buy A High-Quality Truck
Leading on from this, you obviously need to make sure that you have a high-quality track that you can rely on. You should think about the kind of deliveries you will be making and determine the best truck type. You then need to spend time researching your options and find a model that is highly regarded and used by other truck drivers. Teach yourself basic maintenance to keep your vehicle in the best condition and avoid downtime and costly repairs.
Branding & Web Design
Every successful business will have a strong brand identity. You need to create a brand for your business that will stand out from the competition and appeal to your target market – it might be worth speaking with a branded expert for advice on this. Additionally, you need to make sure that you have a high-quality website for your trucking business. This website will allow people to research your business and could help you to attract new customers. Modern-day expectations are high when it comes to web design, so this is an area that should be outsourced.
Rate setting is something that many people struggle with when starting a trucking business, as you will want to get the right balance. You will want to charge enough to cover your costs and make money but not so much that your target market will go with a competitor. This is why you need to know your exact costs and spend time researching the rates of competitors in your area. This should give you a good idea of what a competitive rate is, but it is also a good idea to review this periodically (especially if you go through periods of growth).
You also need to consider how you will keep on top of your finances and have a clear system in place from day one. It is vital that you track income and expenses from a legal and tax standpoint, but also so that you can monitor the financial health of your business. Most people start a truck driving business so that they can spend time behind the wheel and will not want to spend hours tracking their expenses with a calculator, which is why it might be best to outsource accounting to a specialist. If you want to do it yourself, there is accounting software that will make the task a lot easier for you.
At this stage, you will be ready to start taking on work and making money. How you go about doing this is not easy, especially as a new face in the industry. Fortunately, there is an excellent solution in the form of load boards. These are websites that list thousands of available jobs so that you can find the right work for you and have shipping work that is always available. Load boards can make it easy for a new truck drivers to start earning and build their reputation and experience levels, which will then make it much easier to find ongoing work.
Following on from this, you also need to consider how you will promote your trucking business. You want to make as many people aware of your business as possible so that you can attract customers and start making money. These days, social media is one of the best ways to do this, so you need to be active on social media and create content that will engage your target market. You can also hire a digital marketing agency to boost your visibility online, which should help you to attract new customers. With this type of business, you should not overlook the value of traditional marketing either. You can get a lot of business and raise your profile by engaging with the local community, networking with local business owners, and using referral programs.
These are some of the main steps to take to start your own trucking business. Focus on these areas, and you will be up and running before long.