3 Tips for Starting a Trucking Business After a Transportation Operations Program
February 22, 2017
For students in dispatching school who have an entrepreneurial spirit, opening a trucking business could be an ideal career path. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the trucking industry’s services will be increasing in demand by 2020. In addition, a whopping two thirds of the country’s freight trade is shipped by truck. These numbers indicate great potential for up-and-coming trucking businesses, and the perfect opportunity for new grads to make their mark.
Before starting up your own trucking business, here are three helpful tips you might want to consider.
1. After Dispatcher Training, Conduct Thorough Research Before Opening Your Business
After graduating from dispatcher training, it’s important to conduct research before starting up your own trucking company. By conducting thorough research, you can help prevent unexpected problems from arising after you’ve made a significant business investment.
Here are some important questions you should ask yourself before starting your own trucking business:
- How big (in current dollar value and projected growth) is the trucking market in my ideal area?
- How many competitors will I have?
- How much capital do I need in order to get my business off the ground and have a backup fund in case of an emergency?
- What type of trucking services do my ideal customers want?
By knowing the answers to these questions, you can be sure that you’ll be very familiar with the market in your area. In addition, you’ll also be well prepared to smoothly handle any bumps or obstacles you might encounter once you start your trucking business.
2. Write a Business Plan Before Launching Your Trucking Company After Dispatcher Training
After conducting thorough research, it’s important that you develop a business plan for your trucking company. A business plan is a formal document that outlines your company’s goals, objectives, and strategies for achieving success. Essentially, a business plan is a road map. If you ever have tough decisions to make with regards to your business, you can look back at your business plan and use it as a tool to guide your decision making. For example, let’s say you’re trying to decide if you should purchase more trucks for your company. Refer to your plan and see if buying more trucks will help you achieve the goals and objectives you’ve set for yourself. If it doesn’t, it’s probably not the right time to invest in more equipment just yet.
Not only is a business plan essential for helping you steer the direction of your trucking company, but it’s also an important tool for securing financing. Many banks and lending organizations require you to present a business plan before they’ll consider lending you money. By creating a detailed and well thought out business plan, you’ll set your company up for a smooth beginning.
3. Focus on Finding Quality Customers When First Opening Your Business
Part of the excitement of owning your own business after completing a transportation operations program is that you’ll get to watch your company grow as you get more and more customers.
As an entrepreneur, one of your first challenges will likely be to build a loyal client base. This should be one of the first major priorities you tackle after you officially launch your business.
Some new trucking companies use load boards—online platforms that match truckers with freight loads—to find their clients. These online boards can help you reach new clients, but they can also come with some added competition as each company tries to offer the lowest price possible. As a result, it might be best to focus on finding a few quality long-term clients through networking events and by reaching out to local businesses. Make sure to wow them by offering excellent customer service and by being punctual and efficient. Eventually, word will spread about the excellent service you provide. Your loyal clients might even send a few referrals your way!
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