According to the American Trucking Association, the trucking industry is expected to grow by 2.9% in 2019.
Many people feel like the trucking industry is just getting started. If you agree, you may want to start a trucking company so you can get in on the ground floor.
This post will help you understand the basics of starting a trucking business. Use these tips, and you’ll know how to take your trucking company from a tiny operation to one that can compete with the market leaders.
Who Will Do the Driving?
When starting a trucking company, you first need to decide who’s going to be doing the driving.
If you’re the one that’s going to be driving the trucks, you’ll need something known as a ‘Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).’ Without this, you will not be able to drive the kinds of trucks required for a trucking company.
Keep in mind different states will have different rules regarding CDL’s. These differences might relate to the minimum age you have to be to get the license, but also the types of tests you have to do.
If you’re not the one that’s going to be the driving, you need to make sure anyone you hire as a driver, has a CDL. When hiring a driver, always verify their CDL is valid, by contacting the relevant authorities.
What Will Your Business Model Look Like?
It’s worth noting you can use many different business models to run your trucking company.
At the most basic level, you’ll still need to find jobs and bid for them. But the way you fulfill these jobs will come down to the kind of business model you use.
One option is to hire drivers that you’ll employ on an hourly basis.
If you adopt this model, you’re going to be the one that supplies the trucks. You’ll also be the one that takes care of any insurances bills, both for the driver and the vehicle.
The other option is to use the help of subcontractors.
This approach involves working with drivers that’ll supply their own trucks and pay their own overhead costs.
Using subcontractors can result in lower profit levels because the drivers cost more per hour than a salaried employee. That said, when using subcontractors, you don’t have to pay any equipment costs.
Thus, if you’re short on startup capital, using subcontractors can be a good idea. Provided your business keep growing, you may get to the point where you can replace your team of subcontractors with in-house drivers.
Who’s Going to be Your Customer?
If you have little to no experience with the trucking industry, then it’ll be difficult to figure out whom you should serve. The best way to get around this problem is to do a little bit of trial and error.
This means you should work with a wide range of clients to figure out what you like to do, but also to find out which market is underserved.
Speaking to clients is a good way to learn about underserved markets. For instance, clients may tell you that there aren’t any trucking companies that help them fulfill a specific need.
If you hear such a story, you need to jump on this opportunity and make an effort to cater to this ignored segment of the market. If you can do this, you’ll be the go-to company for that specific need, and you’ll be able to make a healthy profit in the process.
You can then use this money to enter other markets or to improve the profitability of your operation. One way you could do this by hiring in-house drivers instead of subcontractors, as mentioned earlier.
How to Keep Your Business Trucking Along
Once your business has secured some contracts and is humming along nicely, you then need to focus on how you can maintain your good results.
One way you can do this is by making smart hiring decisions.
Take a look at your business, and then think about the kinds of people you’d need to hire so you can take the company to the next level.
Do you need help closing more clients? If so, then you need to hire a salesperson. Do you struggle to manage the day to day aspect of your business? If so, you may need to hire a manager.
You also want to make sure you keep your trucks in tip-top condition.
After all, if they breakdown you’ll end up losing money. This is because you can’t take on any new jobs, but also because existing clients may leave you, due to late delivery times.
Outside of maintaining them, you’ll also want to think about how you can make your trucks perform at a higher level. For instance, if you can improve the fuel efficiency of your trucks, you’ll be able to improve your overall profit levels.
Fortunately, you can improve the efficiency of your trucks, by investing in some performance truck parts. Note that installing these parts can be difficult and so you may need the help of a mechanic.
Ready to Start a Trucking Business?
With the help of this post, you should be able to fulfill your dream of starting a trucking business.
If you’re new to the business world, the idea of starting a trucking company might intimidate you. It’s normal to feel this way, and the best way to conquer your doubts is to focus on taking one step at a time.
First, think about how you’re going to fund your business. Then, once you’ve solved that problem, consider how you’re going to get clients.
If you can consistently hit small, meaningful goals, it won’t be long before you’re the owner of a profitable trucking company.
Need some tips on how you can market your trucking company? Check out this post to learn how you can get clients with the help of content marketing.