There are over one million trucking companies in the nation; however, there is plenty of room for more. With almost 20 million trucks rolling along the highways, the delivery of products and supplies, dirt and rocks, fuel and water and everything else, requires more trucks and additional truck companies to operate them. If you are in the process of starting a trucking company or considering doing so soon, this is the right time to get trucks rolling down the road. In this article, we’ll offer key elements to build the trucking company, align it operationally, and position it for long-term growth. Let’s get started!
Research the Target Audience
One of the key elements in starting the trucking company is found in analyzing the customers you want to reach. This means determining whether customers are local, regional or national; deciding the scope of goods the trucks will carry for customers; and defining the number of customers the trucking company will want to serve. Gathering this information builds the basis for the decisions that follow, such as establishing the boundaries of the trucking service, determining the size and weight of loads the trucks will carry, and what type of trucks will need to be put into service to support the target audience.
Assess the Competition
After determining the customer base, you’ll want to consider the competition in the scope of business. There will be direct competitors, who will offer the same services as your trucking company, and there will be indirect competitors, such as local carriers who provide specific services for designated customers. Determine the pricing models of the direct competitors, as well as the scope of deliveries and the extent and range of deliveries. Note any unique value offered by the competitors or differences between your trucking company and those of the nearest competitors. Formulate the unique value and differentiation brought to the market by the trucking company as a result of this assessment. Your company should bring a unique value proposition to potential customers, stepping beyond the offers of its competitors.
Build a Business Plan
The backbone of any thriving company is found in the roadmap that guides it–the business plan. This document holds the essentials of the trucking company, as well as the projected future of the trucking company. If you need a comprehensive guide, consider this business plan for a trucking company. The template sets up every step of the process and identifies how the company will operate. To personalize the business plan, include the goals and mission for the trucking company, the funds for the startup process and financial projections for the first six months to one year. Add the marketing strategies and operational plans already in place and add any other remaining details of importance.
The completed business plan is your presentation to potential lenders, investors, banks and other financial institutions. It clearly defines the business and will demonstrate funding needs. Update the financial information as needed during the life of the business.
Implement Marketing Strategies
The marketing strategies put into place are almost solely dependent on the target audience. Decide how the company representatives will approach potential customers, whether by the creation of relationships, website content, trade show offerings or other methods. The most popular forms of customer contact include social media contacts and brief email messages. You’ll want to attend trade events and conferences to seek alliances with other trucking companies or meet with potential customers. The marketing efforts of the trucking company team members will bring vital growth to the company.
Place Operations into Action
If everything is ready to launch the trucking company, you’ll want to have the proper permits and licenses in place, insurance coverage completed, trucks serviced and ready to roll, administrative operations set up and contingency plans for every possible need. Ensure drivers have been trained in operations, safety protocols, and communications. In addition, set up the administrative side of the trucking company by using software for bookkeeping and completing other essential tasks.
Position the Trucking Company for Growth
At every opportunity, promote the trucking business to position it for growth. However, there are often roadblocks that literally or figuratively may get in the way. If you find that preliminary plans aren’t coming together as projected, it is time to review the business plan. Use this comprehensive template, how to start a trucking company, for assistance in examining the trucking business to date and applying necessary revisions. With all of the essential elements in place, your trucking company will soon be moving ahead successfully into a thriving company, positioned and prepared for long-term growth and success.