Estimates suggest the logistics industry is going to be worth 15.5 trillion by 2023 – that’s a whole lot of cash up for grabs.
Though there are some big players in the logistics space, there’s still room for one man trucking businesses.
If you’d like to get in on the action, here are some tips that’ll help you build a profitable one-man trucking business. Use them and you’ll be able to earn a living on the road as you enjoy the perks of being your own boss.
Get Your Documents in Order
First things first, you need to get your documentation in order. If you don’t do this, you may end up breaking some laws.
You need something called a ‘Commercial Driver’s License.’ This is to show that you know how to operate a truck and you’re aware of the associated laws.
You also need to apply for something known as a ‘DOT number.’ You can do this by going to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.
This’ll ensure you’re recognized as an official trucking company, thus allowing the proper authorities to monitor you. It’s a legal need to have a DOT number, so don’t think you can skip this step.
Depending on where you’re located, you may need some other forms of authorization. To stay on the right side of things, speak to the FMCSA and ask them if you’ve done everything correctly.
Do You Own a Truck?
The truck you buy can have a big impact on how you run your business. The more the truck can carry, the greater your earnings can be per shipment.
You should consider the fuel capacity of a truck. The greater the fuel capacity, the fewer stops you’ll need to make outside of personal health reasons. This can improve the profitability of your business.
When getting the truck, you can either lease it or buy it outright.
Buying the truck outright can put a huge strain on your finances, especially as some trucks can cost over $100,000. There’s the alternative of buying a second-hand truck. But if you’re going to buy a second-hand truck, investigate it closely.
If the tires are in bad shape, you’ll need to fork out extra money, on top of the initial cost of buying the truck.
A lot of truckers like the option of leasing a truck.
This is a preferred option because it means you only have to pay small amounts each month, which can help cash flow. You’re not building any kind of equity as you’re essentially paying to use the truck.
Have You Got Insurance?
It’s best if you can find an insurance provider that only caters to trucking companies. They’ll be able to provide specific insurance packages that meet the needs of your trucking business.
Be sure to review your insurance package on a regular basis.
You may end up working with a different type of client and these other clients might ask you to transport different things. With this, comes different risks and so you need appropriate insurance to make sure you’re covered.
Finding Clients for Your Trucking Business
One way you can find clients for your trucking business is by using something known as a ‘load board.’ A load board is a web page that has a list of jobs you can bid on.
These boards can be very competitive, but they can be a great way to get your foot in the door with a specific client. Once you’ve done some work with a client, they may become a repeat customer and ask you to do more work in the future.
You’ll find that there are different boards for different kinds of trucking companies.
Some boards will cater to a specific region and some for a specific kind of cargo. Finding specialized boards is a good way to improve your odds of winning a job. Such boards tend to have less competition since only a specific set of truckers are monitoring these boards.
If you want to improve your odds of winning clients, pay attention to what’s going on in the world of trucking. In doing so, you’ll know how to write proposals that’ll help you win prospective clients. Articles like this one from this company can help you stay on top of what’s going on in the trucking industry.
Consider Your Staffing Needs
As you spend more time in the trucking business, you’ll eventually develop a name for yourself.
This’ll mean at some point, you may end up with more work than you can handle. When this happens you’ll need to consider the option of hiring some help. The decision to hire help is a big one, especially if you started out with the goal of being a one-man operation.
But if you’re going to take on another staff member, make sure you have enough cash in the bank.
This is so that you can pay for the equipment needed by the extra employee. You might want to subcontract so that you don’t need to make any capital investments. This should only be a short-term solution, though, as in the long-run having full-time staff can be more profitable.
Should You Start a Trucking Business?
A one-man trucking business can be your ticket to freedom if you’re sick of your current job. But if you want to succeed, you need to follow some of the tips mentioned in this post.
It’s important you have the correct paperwork, otherwise, you find yourself on the wrong side of the law. You also need to consider how you’re going to pay for your truck.
Though you might start out with the desire to be a one-man band, you may end up with more clients than you can handle. If this happens, you always the have the option of subcontracting your work. But if you want to maintain high profits, hiring a permanent staff member is often best.
Want some tips on how you can avoid car accidents? Check out this post for some advice.