Starting a trucking business can be an excellent way to secure yourself in an industry that is lacking fresh, new business models. With freight costs at a record high and federal postal services skyrocketing, starting a trucking business that levels the playing field can be an excellent way to make a decent living and change your occupation. However, there are a lot of things to know before you start a trucking business, because if you don’t have all your ducks lined up, you could wind up running into a lot of hurdles – it may even affect your business’ bottom line and decrease profits. Here are five things to know about starting a trucking business.
- Make sure that you come up with an excellent name. The name you choose for your trucking business could mean the difference between success and failure. When it comes down to it, choosing the name for your trucking business will be a daunting task, but it will be important to come up with something that is catchy and raises eyebrows. Also, you want your business name to fit on the side of a truck and it needs to be readable by passers-by.
- Decide what kind of payload you want to carry. Your payload is basically the items that your business will haul. Some businesses will haul furniture and others may haul medical equipment. Deciding what your trucking business will haul will determine what kind of trucks you need. If you are hauling perishables, or food items, you may need to purchase refrigerated trucks, which could be much more expensive. So, make sure that you tie in your budget, background and a number of other factors to decide what kind of payload your trucking business will specialize in.
- Will your business use federal highways or commercial highways? Both have their unique advantages and disadvantages. For instance, federal highways can be more expensive – with tolls and taxes – but they can often get your payload to your destination faster. Commercial highways can be a little slower, but there are less taxes and tolls. So, make sure that you know exactly what your routes are. If you are transporting more expensive goods or perishables, you may want to go with federal highways. However, if your drivers have more time on their docket, commercial highways will usually do the trick.
- Do you go with a factor or a loan? A factor will basically will pay your company before the waybill on the payload is paid out on the client. This can be a great way to get paid for a payload before the invoice is paid. If you are on a bootstrap budget, or if cash flow is tight, you may want to go with a factor.
- Learn about the industry. It may be wise to sign up with an account at GotoTrucks.com, which is an informational platform that was started by truckers for truckers. This will allow you to do research on other trucking businesses and freight brokers. When it comes down to it, protecting your assets is critical when you start a trucking business.