Starting a transportation business in 2020 can be a very lucrative proposal. There are many new possibilities coming in the near future that can change transportation as we know it dramatically.
Developments like autonomous vehicles and drone delivery will catch many of the existing transportation companies completely unprepared, creating a lot of opportunities for new and technologically-savvy businesses to claim a portion of the market.
Before you start buying trucks and cars, read below what you will need in order to start a transportation business in 2020.
The Type of Company
You probably already have an idea of whether you are starting a trucking and logistics company, a taxi service, or something else. Still, it may be a good idea to think about that for a while. How much in terms of competition do you have in your area? Are there many tourists coming there that will need transportation or will you rely solely on residents? Is there a substantial industry that needs a lot of cargo moved on a daily basis? These may seem like trivial questions, but answers to them will decide whether your idea is a viable one.
Make a Realistic Business Plan
A business plan is a viable road map toward your goals, not a collection of fairy tales. It is important to be honest at this critical stage and not overestimate your strengths, nor underestimate your weaknesses and challenges you will encounter. A business plan should include all the relevant info about your company, like name and location, as well as key personnel. Your goals should be clearly stated, well defined, and above else, attainable. Then you can proceed to make a plan on how to achieve them.
The financial section should contain all the expenses you will have, like starting cost, operating expenses, labor cost, and maintenance, as well as projected profit. Your startup capital should be explained in detail, especially the sources. Do you plan on financing the company yourself, will you take out a loan, or will you seek partners? This will decide the form and ownership structure of your company.
Marketing strategy is an integral part of a business plan. It is vital for a startup to have effective marketing, but without breaking the bank. Informing potential clients and customers of your services is critical for your success. Then again, you probably won’t have plenty of money to spend on a lavish marketing campaign. Finding a balance between the two can be tricky.
Obviously, the first thing on your list is vehicles. Don’t overextend at this phase. Many entrepreneurs make a mistake of buying as many vehicles as they can, spending their entire budget. This is a mistake that may cost you your new company. Always leave a cash reserve.
There are many things that can happen during the first year and you must be able to cope with everything that comes your way. Make sure to equip all your vehicles with ELDs. You can see a PeopleNet ELD Review on bestelddevices.com. They can help you keep track of your vehicles and drivers and vastly increase your fleet’s efficiency.
Make sure you know the exact purpose for which you are buying a vehicle. Getting a van to deliver some heavy cargo will not only look ridiculous but can also damage the vehicle. Also, getting a semi to haul a few pallets is just a waste of fuel. You may want to buy some universal vehicles, but the majority of your fleet will need to be tailored for a specific task. You need to know what you are carrying, how much of it, and over what kind of terrain. You can also visit flyersenergy.com and check how you can reduce costs of the fuel and provide savings.
Delivering supplies in the city will require a different vehicle than hauling industrial cargo across the country. All this will need to be taken into account when planning your visit to the dealership. Your budget will obviously play a major part in any decision you make, so you will need to keep an eye on it. Don’t shy away from buying used vehicles, especially for hauling cargo, but only if you have the experience to judge their condition correctly. You can often get vehicles in great shape for a fraction of the price.
You will also need a home office, which needs office supplies and equipment.
Apart from your home office, you will need a secured lot to park your vehicles when not in use. A garage of sorts should be a part of that space. Taking your vehicles to the shop for every minor repair will quickly drain your budget, not to mention create a lot of downtime. You want them out on the road making money, not sitting in the shop. Hiring a skilled garage manager is always a prudent decision. They can help you with keeping your vehicles running by doing preventive maintenance on them.
Insurance is very important for any transportation business. Running a company that has dozens or even hundreds of vehicles out on the streets involves traffic accidents and having good insurance is critical.
Shopping for a provider that can meet your needs at the cheapest possible price is a must. Don’t settle for the first offer you get. Ask around for better deals. In most cases, you can find one that won’t compromise your cover. Apart from driver and vehicle insurance, you will also need coverage for your cargo and/or passengers.
Employees are another critical part of your transportation business. As with many other things, you will need to make a few compromises in the beginning. You can go for experienced drivers that will demand higher wages, or with beginners that you can get cheaper.
By saving money on wages, you run the risk of inexperienced drivers damaging your vehicles or making late deliveries, because they are unfamiliar with the routes. Perhaps the best solution is to have a mix of veterans and rookies. That way you can establish an on-the-job training program that will churn out skilled drivers in no time.