Transportation and logistics are quite resilient to even the greatest recessions. Trucks are not that prone to depreciation, which means that it’s relatively easy to get your money back even if you do change your mind at some point.
Moreover, it’s an industry that is needed by virtually every business type out there, which makes it quite easy to find work. Naturally, it comes with some challenges of its own but starting a trucking business is far from impossible.
Your trucking business tips and tricks:
Here are several tips and tricks that should help you get there.
1. Make a plan
What kind of truck business do you want to run? This is a question with multiple answers. You could buy a truck and become an owner-operator but you may also want to get some experience as a driver first. You could also skip the driving part altogether and hire a driver from the very start. If you already have a day job that allows you enough time to organize a driving business and set up lucrative routes, this could be quite profitable. One more question worth asking is whether you’ll settle for one/two trucks or do you intend to grow a business until you can afford an entire fleet.
2. Take legal steps
Inquire about all the necessary legal steps that you would have to take in order to run a business. For instance, you might need a commercial driver’s license, which means that you would have to get a heavy rigid license. You will also need to get your Tax ID number, a registration plan and an international fuel tax agreement. Ideally, you would find a seasoned owner-operator or an owner of a trucking business. Better yet, talk to a professional. Look up the information on the government website or look for a contact number. This is really the only way to be safe.
3. Shop for vehicles
The next stop is your task of shopping around for a suitable vehicle or vehicles. Keep in mind that depreciation works with the mileage and age of the vehicle, as well as its model. The problem is that buying a vehicle that’s too frugal, usually means buying a vehicle that is in suboptimal condition. In other words, whatever you believe you’ve saved for buying cheap, you’ll have to pay for through repairs and maintenance. In other words, always look at the big picture. There are numerous platforms out there that you can check out, so you should probably start with this.
Once you know which vehicles you need to get and which licenses to look for, you will have an idea of how much money you need. Sure, there are operational expenses and additional expenses to keep in mind but once you know all the major expenses, you will cover the bulk of it. The majority of business owners fund this through personal means (usually from savings, selling an asset or getting a personal loan). Others borrow money from friends and family members. Lastly, you can always look for a business loan.
5. Hiring truck drivers
The toughest part of the job will be hiring suitable drivers. You need someone who is sober, reliable and plans to stick around. Keep in mind that driving is just a part of this deal. Vehicle maintenance and responsibility regarding transported goods are far more important. A reckless driver will drastically increase the cost of maintenance, repairs and fees, even if they’re eager to drive wherever you decide to send them. Checking the record of the driver is usually a good idea but inquiring about their previous work experience should probably be your first stop.
6. Think about fleet management
If you plan to start with more than one vehicle, you need to seriously think about fleet management. This will allow you to monitor your fleet, keep an eye on your drivers and come up with more efficient routes. The first thing you need to do is find suitable fleet management software. The last part directly affects your profit and profitability of your business, which is what makes it so pivotal. Depending on the scale of operations and your own responsibilities, you may also have to hire a fleet manager. On the other hand, you may assume this role, as well.
7. Growth of your trucking business
Once you start, you need to know where you’re going. This will help you plot a course for the future expansion of your enterprise. You need to establish an acceptable workload and work schedule for your truck. Once your business starts exceeding the capabilities of your truck, do you A) hire one more driver so that the truck can operate locally in two shifts or B) get another truck? How much work should you have in order to get another truck? How many trucks would make a premium license for a fleet management software worth your while? These are just some of the things you need to focus on.
8. Have a Web Site
The online presence of a business has a massive influence on its triumph. Nowadays, some businesses still don’t believe that a large number of their customers will take a look at their website before making a purchase.
The quality of the website that presents your business will definitely impact your sales. In some cases, companies are hesitant to get online because they think that they are not able to manage a website.
Here are some of the reasons to consider before neglecting your website: increase in credibility, showcasing your brand, increase the chance of getting leads, attracting organic traffic, saving time, live chat and better customer service, easier updates and announces.
The key thing about running a trucking business is that it’s a lucrative field that takes a lot of work. Figuring out efficient return rounds is something that can maximize your profit, which is why a pivotal network of contacts and suitable fleet management software may be pivotal. Also, finding an adequate workforce is never something that you can reliably handle. Nonetheless, expecting everything to be perfect is merely an excuse to procrastinate some more. Instead, learn how to start a proper trucking business and you’ll set yourself on the right course.