Starting out on a new business venture can be quite intimidating to anyone. Yet, the fields are very different from each other and what one entrepreneur might struggle with could be a no-brainer to your business – and, of course, the other way around.
That is why it is so important to read up on the tips and tricks that are specific to your business and the industry you’re in so that you’re able to avoid all those articles that you will never make use of in any way.
It won’t just save you a lot of time, in the long run, but you will also ensure that you’re not missing out on some valuable startup tips that only a transportation business should need to know about.
Here is a handful of excellent tips for anyone heading off on a trucking venture, opening a chauffeuring business or any other transportation business in general.
#1 Bootstrap or business loan?
First of all, your transportation business is going to need some proper equipment. Without it, you wouldn’t really be able to set up a business let alone building it to become successful in a couple of years.
The first thing you should keep in mind is that equipment is expensive and most likely one of the biggest investments you’re going to make for your business.
That’s why you might want to spend some time on saving up money or at least search around for a decent startup loan. Bootstrapping and saving up the money you need, to begin with, is surely going to take you a lot longer than simply getting that loan – but you will save yourself a ton of headaches and debt in the future.
You might want to bootstrap by simply putting off the launch of your business for another year and work to save up the money. Cut your expenses, work some more shifts, and you will be able to get there in the end although you’re going to have to be quite patient.
#2 Buying equipment vs leasing it
If you’re certain that your business will take off in no time and that you’ll be able to meet those monthly repayments without too much pain, on the other hand, you should go ahead and get that business loan.
It means that you’ll be able to make money a bit quicker, by the way, and you might find yourself in a much better position in a year from now that if you tried to bootstrap.
The choice is, in other words, yours but keep in mind that owning the equipment is way better for your business than just leasing it.
The process is much more complicated than if you were to just buy it – and you will have monthly installments on this as well which you might as well have spent on paying down the equipment in order to own it.
While we’re on the topic of saving money, you should look for ways to make those rides a bit cheaper and easier to manage. As a transportation company, there are a lot of benefits you can take advantage of as long as you know about them as it could save you a lot of money, in the long run.
A fleet fuel card, for example, is an excellent choice as it allows you the flexibility to fuel up anywhere in the US as well as monitoring those expenses.
This means that you can keep an eye on any suspicious activities on your card and even access that fuel data. You might not think that this is too important right away when you only have a couple of vehicles, but it will surely help you out a lot when you have a few to keep track of.
Try to think about your other business process the same way and have a look around the web for more benefits as well as ways to make it a bit easier for you to manage it.
If you have employees on a payroll, by the way, you might want to have a look at this article – and remember that you will be able to find both technology and programs that can take care of the heaviest lifting for you these days so that you’re not messing something up by trying to do everything yourself right from the start.
#3 Build your company brand
When you’re ready to launch, it’s time to focus on the fun stuff. Building a proper brand for your business, one that your customers will recognize and that your employees will take pride in.
Spending some time on designing the logo, in particular, is important for your business as it’s what you’re going to put on your vehicles in order to be recognized – and you don’t want to miss out on the marketing your cars are able to do on their own when they’re on the road.
If you’re not that into web design, it’s better to hire a professional to take care of this one for you. Without a proper logo to showcase your business and make it easy to spot, you could be missing out on a lot of branding for your company so don’t underestimate the importance of a high-quality and catchy logo.
The same goes for the name of your company, by the way, and it’s particularly important to stand out in the crowd as a transportation company. There are, after all, so many other businesses that are doing the same as you so the more effort you put into the name, logo, and brand of your company, the easier it will be for potential customers to remember you.
#4 Check out your competition
If you are struggling with hatching out a great plan in terms of your transportation or fleet management business brand, identity and logo, you should definitely have a look at your competitors. It is important to do this in any way, though, as you’ll have a much better understanding of where your business should place itself and where it might want to build its strengths.
Start by using social media and the Internet, in general. Everyone is online these days and your closest competitors will undeniably make use of social media in order to interact with their customers and stay on their radar.
Have a look at the good reviews they’re receiving as well as the bad ones; the good reviews will point you in the direction of the minimum standard your business should strive to be at while the bad ones will give you a good indication of where you can excel.
If most of the complaints about your competitors are about slow service or unfriendly employees, you should make sure that yours is the fastest in the area – and, of course, provided by the friendliest people who always try to go out of their way to help out.
This is clearly what the people you’re going to serve will be looking for and, by using social media and spying on your competitors, you can ensure that you’re their go-to transportation business in the future.
#5 Remember your website
Finally, you need to keep your website in mind. These days, most of your new customers are going to find you through the Internet and even through social media so it’s vital that you understand just how important it is to be on top of your game when you’re online.
While your website should be impeccable, easy to navigate, and a joy to behold, those social media profiles must also be active and helpful. These two will link up in many ways, by the way, and by referring to your website via other channels as well, you’re making sure that the official site is receiving a steady stream of visitors.
In the very beginning, you should remember to ask your happy customers for testimonials. Those working in the transportation service tend to work closely with people and their belongings, no matter if you’re serving other businesses or private people.
These testimonials will help potential customers to trust you a bit more and feel confident that your drivers are both able and friendly people who always keep them up-to-date on the progress. Place the testimonials somewhere strategic on the website, even on the landing page, and remember to use social media to keep in touch with them as well.
By offering friendly advice, helpful blog posts, and a social media platform that strives to always be there and answer their questions, your company is going to build both trust and a long-lasting relationship with the customers. This is what you need to strive after if you’d like to put those competitors far behind – and you’re not going to be able to do it unless you put some proper thought into it.
Consider hiring a social media expert, by the way, or at least a professional web designer for your website to make sure it’s professional right from the start. That way, your business is getting a great foundation and you can continue to build on what you’ve got.