There’s never been a greater time to start a trucking business.
In 2017, the trucking industry is estimated to be worth more than $700 billion and the figure is steadily growing as the demand from the transport and logistics industry is increasing at a steady rate.
Getting started is easy but having the right tools and technical know-how is key in setting up yourself for success. In this article, we are taking you step-by-step on how to start a trucking business.
Create a Business Plan
There are several business models under the trucking industry from a single semi-truck to a full-fleet company with hundreds of truck units and designated drivers. It means regardless if you’re just starting, eyeing to buy used semi trucks for sale, or already have a fleet of it in the garage, you can become a truck service provider that transports goods for other businesses.
You may specialize in transporting specific types of goods within key areas of the country or partner with transport and logistic centers to handle their shipments by truck.
Just like how you would start any business or begin a new job, it’s necessary that you are clear about your objectives with your trucking business. You will have to set your goals, outline the steps to achieve them, and prepare for the potential obstacles ahead. This may sound like a lot of work, but a business plan can actually remove the guesswork, keeping you right on track.
Get Licenses and Permits
You have to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to get your vehicle on the road. But, first, you’ll have to decide which structure best fits your business: a corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?
The key difference between the two is that corporations pay corporate taxes while any income generated under an LLC is taxed as personal income. Either way, owners of both entities are protected from personal liability for business lawsuits, even debts.
On the other hand, the licenses and permits you’ll have to get will depend on the type of service you offer as well as the area where you operate your business. Because your operations involve passengers and valuable goods, the trucking industry is quite a regulated field. Therefore, maintaining the necessary licenses and certifications is crucial for compliance.
Purchase or Lease Equipment
Whether you’re starting with just a single truck or a fleet, purchased or leased, brand new or used, it’s necessary that from the beginning, you’re creating a long-term purchase strategy. This is not some kind of investment where you can cut corners on poor equipment. Below are some guide questions to ask yourself when purchasing a truck:
– What vehicle can accommodate the goods you are transporting?
– Can you afford a brand new vehicle?
– Is buying secondhand or leasing a more practical option for you?
Beyond these initial costs, make sure to include the maintenance costs as well as insurance policies in your budget. This leads us to our next point.
As said earlier, being in a highly-regulated field requires you to secure insurance for your trucks. This should include coverage for your vehicles, passengers, and transported goods.
This has proven helpful in saving you from the costs that incur in the event of accidents that resulted in injuries, damage to or loss of the goods, and damage to your vehicle. The best insurance provider should be able to provide coverage for the following:
– Physical damage
– Passenger accident
– Lost/damaged items
Grow Your Business
There are many things you will have to do to grow your business. First, you need to keep track of your income and expenditures. This is particularly true if you’re in the logistics business where payments are often made 1-3 months after delivery. Keep a record of receipts, invoices, and any other files that will detail where your money goes. Make sure to separate your personal finances from that of your business as well. Separating your bank accounts for personal and business uses should do the trick.
While the above tips are necessary to kickstart your business, the key to building your brand and setting it up for future success is to establish a long-lasting relationship with your clients—with trust, loyalty, and quality service as its foundation. Be where your target market is and these days, they’re mostly online, on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As your business grows, so does the number of trucks, drivers, and other staff members as well. It’s worth having someone who you can outsource and delegate administrative tasks such as marketing and accounting so you can focus on growing your business.
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Author – Joie Mojica
Joie is the passionate writer and blogger of UsedVending.com. She enjoys writing and works at an amazing pace. Blessed with two adorable boys, she dreams of creating a successful career online. She also loves to write about parenting, home and family life, technology and gaming, as well as beauty and health.