Trucking is a very profitable business. In fact, thousands of new trucking companies get registered in the US every year. However, there are also plenty of truck companies who fade away as time goes. As profitable as this business may seem, it is also very demanding and highly competitive.
If you are looking into venturing into this kind of business, or perhaps you have already started one, it is important to look into some important tips to keep your trucking business running smoothly.
TIP#1: GET ENOUGH FUNDS TO START
A trucking business would require an enormous amount of capitalization even if you start on a small scale. Trucks alone can be very expensive, not to mention the equipment and operational costs. Since not all people can afford to personally finance a trucking business, it is important to establish where to get some funds, like the bank or other financial services. If you plan on doing this, you must be able to arrange the necessary papers to support your loan.
TIP#2: KNOW YOUR MARKET
Trucks are designed for different needs. Therefore it is important to identify in the beginning what segment you are planning to cater. Segments range from logistics to food and beverage, package delivery, construction, distribution, and more. These segments require different kinds of trucks, so you can’t just shift from one segment to another that easily. For example, if you want to cater meat delivery to various stores, you must purchase a truck with refrigeration; otherwise, your goods will perish way before it gets into the hands of the consumers. By identifying the kind of market you wish to serve, you will have an idea how much capitalization you will need.
This is also the most crucial stage in your trucking business. The niche you will pick will make or break your business. Don’t pressure yourself into buying the truck that you won’t need, remember there are a lot, even semi for sale in the market today.
TIP#3: BUILD A WEBSITE
People nowadays are very dependent on the web, and clients who wish to look at your portfolio will always ask and visit your website. Build your brand and put all relevant information, such as about us, home, services, prices, testimonials, and don’t forget to publish great photos. Customer service should also be linked to your website to answer inquiries and concerns. You must also link your business social media page to your website so your prospects and clients can easily gain access to you.
TIP#4: KNOW YOUR CASH FLOW
In every business, cash flow is very important. Usually, you have to wait for 30-90 days for you to get paid and it is important to ensure that in between those periods you will have enough cash to sustain your operations. Your back-office people will matter so much in this aspect, especially the finance. You must be able to keep accounting records of all your expenses and sales. It helps you make sound decisions, especially when you plan on expanding or cutting costs.
TIP#5: BE OPEN FOR FEEDBACKS
Yes, trucking is still a service industry. Your client will rely on your efficiency and customer service so they can get their business rolling too. It doesn’t matter how big or expensive your trucks are. What matters is that you are able to deliver services as promised. Now, any kind of business is never perfect. It will always have its ups and downs, errors and mishaps. So feedback is always important because these will help you learn and improve. It helps point out your strengths and weaknesses so you can correct it as early as necessary. Do not hesitate to consult some experts in the industry as they may give you helpful suggestions and insights on how to improve your business further.
Before getting into the business, make a thorough research about the industry and the market you wish to enter into. Look for disadvantages as well so you can get a realistic and holistic approach on the kind of business you’re getting into. Remember, the trucking business is not cheap and easy, but it is worth it.