Running a shipping business takes a lot of work. The competition is tight in this industry, so you need to think outside the box.
It’s crucial to build connections, research the market, and have a solid business plan. In 2015, shipping services from Amazon generated over $5.02 billion. A few years from now, you could become one of the big players in this industry.
To help you get there, we’ve compiled a list of tips for growing your shipping business.
Learn the Ropes
First of all, take a job inside of the industry to see how things work. This will allow you to build connections and assess the overall market.
For instance, you can start a local shipping business. Contact small stores that operate in your area. Offer to deliver their goods nationwide.
This kind of business doesn’t require a huge investment, so the risks are minimal. All you need to do is to rent two or three vans, hire drivers, and complete the legal formalities.
Research the Market
Before starting a delivery business, research the market and your competition. Check out the U.S. Small Business Association to see who you’re competing against.
Determine the number of potential clients and estimate your profit for the first year.
Remember to check out the bid load board in your city or state. This will help you anticipate your expenses and get the best freight bids.
Choose a Type of Delivery Service
Next, decide what types of goods you’re going to ship.
Consider your target market and the legal jurisdiction. You can specialize in hazardous goods, perishable goods, livestock, and more.
There are several types of shipping services, and each has unique requirements. These include but are not limited to:
- Air freight
- Heavy freight
- White glove delivery
- Less-than-truckload shipping (LTL)
Since you’re just getting started, you might not afford to provide air freight or heavy freight delivery.
Plan every step of the process and invest your money wisely. As your business grows, you can expand your services.
Make a Business Plan
Set realistic goals for your delivery business. Do some brainstorming and decide what strategies you’re going to use.
Think about how you’re going to attract customers and what makes your business stand out.
Identify potential leads, anticipate challenges, and seek ways to reduce operating costs. Figure out what type of loan best suits your needs.
Promote Your Business
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Without it, no one will know what you have to offer.
Set up a website and optimize it for the search engines. List your business on local and national directories, such as Yelp and Angie’s List.
Connect with local businesses on social media. Follow their pages and introduce yourself. Let them know about your delivery services.
Is a Shipping Business Right for You?
Now that you know the basics of running a shipping business, you might wonder whether it’s right for you. It all comes down to your goals and budget. You need money to rent a truck or van, pay your employees, and handle the paperwork.
Ready to take the plunge?
Use our business directory to find potential clients!