Do you feel the need, the need for speed? Well, you need to go into the aviation industry then. If you want to start a trucking company, you must be able to deliver your goods in record time without mowing someone down on the highway. Levity aside, starting your own trucking company means you have driven a truck, know more or less about the business, and have a little nest egg set aside for capital.
Those are three of the musts that you are required to have to get the wheels rolling so to speak.
The next steps are as follows:
- Be realistic about this business. You will face competition and your former boss might not warm to the idea of having you around as an equal so approach this idea with a democratic and peaceful mindset.
- Be ready to invest your hard earned money. Since you know what it's like to work in a trucking company, you have a bird's eye view of the capital it needs to keep the business running. Make sure you have a solid cash flow projection that will keep your business out of financial trouble for a good couple of years or until it's able to pull in the expected Return on Investment (ROI). Just to give you an idea, you will need a start-up capital of $10,000 to about $50,000. If you only part of the money needed, seek potential investors like banks, coops, and other financial institutions that were out up to help out small businesses like yours. WARNING: Never go to a loan shark. Never put up your home or 401K as your collateral until you know the real and measured risks in case you default on your loan.
- Prepare a thorough and realistic business plan. You will need to present this to your investors so they can see if your business is viable or not. Your business plan should contain your business (trucking), cost estimates, expected returns, and goals.
- Find out what you need to legally comply with. Starting a business means legalizing it according to the laws and regulations in your state or county. Find out what these are e.g. licensing, permits, taxes, registration, coverage, insurance, and other requirements that will make your transition to the trucking business legal.
- Determine what kind of goods to transport. Wet or dry goods? This is so that you know what kind of trucking fleet to purchase that will customarily transport the kind of goods safely and securely to its destination.
- Review your trucking fees. How much will you be charging? Find out what your competitors are charging and work out your fees alongside the going rates. Be careful about charging lower rates because it will do more harm than good to your bottom line. You can go head-to-head with the rates or offer a promotional opening day rate to start your business off.
- Invite contracts. This is the heart of the trucking business, contracts that will make sure your fleet goes out doing its job every day. You can invite contracts by contacting your network or advertising in the local papers. IMPORTANT TIP: The way to attract contracts is to convince business owners why they should come to you for their business. Make sure you know your Unique Selling Point or the thing that makes your business stand out from the rest.
- Choose your drivers well. Pick those who drive safely, had never had to serve time for speeding or drugs, and really care about your business. Conduct a background investigation if you must to make sure you have the best drivers working for you.
It will be rough going for a while but every business wobbles at first. Keep doing what you do best. Make improvements internally and externally until you get it right.