Manufacturing is such a lucrative and busy industry that demand can often outstrip supply. When physical products get made, they need to get shipped to distribution centers. And from there, they get transported again to individual retail outlets.
There are many ways that products can get to retailers from manufacturing factories. The most-common method is by road transport. Semi-trailer trucks are the vehicle of choice when it comes to transporting goods over long distances.
Credit: free photos & art
There is a great demand for trucking companies. And there is often a shortage of firms that can guarantee supply of many trucks and drivers to deliver goods on a regular basis. That means that now is the best time to start a trucking business!
Is that something that interests you? If so, keep on reading to learn more about how to get your own trucking business on the road and making money soon!
Are you ready to start a business?
People have different reasons for wanting to start their own business. Some are just fed up of working for others and feel they don’t get recognised for their personal skills and qualities. Whereas others are happy to take such a big risk to reap any large potential financial rewards.
I’ll be honest with you; running a business isn’t for everyone. People new to the business world assume that they can still work a 9-5 day whilst sitting back and watching the money roll in. The reality is quite different to that dream; I can assure you!
You will have to work long hours, and often that means working weekends and public holidays too. You might be the boss, but you have to do several people’s jobs at the same time. It’s harder to pick and choose when you work as a startup because you have to spend most of your time bringing in new business to survive.
I realize that none of what I just said sounds quite a glamorous or attractive prospect. But as time goes on, and your business grows, you will soon have enough money to hire other people to take care of various aspects.
In short, life is pretty tough when you first start a trucking business, but things will get better over time. If you are ready for a big challenge, keep reading. But if not, starting a trucking business might not be for you.
When you set up a new trucking business, it is important that you have a base to operate from. The place you choose has to be big enough to accommodate your fleet of trucks, so an inner-city location might not be the best choice.
I recommend leasing a suitable location rather than buying it for cash flow reasons. Leasing such a premises might cost you a few thousand dollars a month, but buying it will doubtless cost you a cool million bucks or more!
As a startup business, you need to keep your costs down to make a good profit.
Fleet of trucks
The next consideration to make is what trucks you will add to your fleet. You could go down the leasing route, but you might find it cheaper to buy used trucks. Just make sure that you organize the right insurance for your fleet, regardless of whether you buy or lease.
Places like Auto Trader trucks can help you to get good insurance deals for your fleet.
You might be wondering what trucks you should be adding to your fleet. I recommend researching what your competitors use, and then finding out how reliable those trucks are.
At the end of the day, you don’t want to end up with a fleet of trucks that keep breaking down all the time. It’s bad for business and could even spell disaster for your new company!
Think about getting one or two small vans as well. They are useful for transporting smaller loads. And they offer an extra revenue stream for your business. Never stick to just one thing in the business world; always spread your risk!
It’s no secret that one of the biggest expenses to any business are its employees. For that reason, many trucking companies hire drivers on a self-employed basis. That means it’s up to the drivers to sort out their own self-employment taxes – something which is a big headache for any firm.
Many employment rules and laws don’t apply to self-employed contractors. That is because you are, in effect, using the services of a third party supplier rather than an individual that works direct for you.
Some trucking companies insist on hiring their own staff. To be honest it’s not something I would recommend you do. Not unless you have a vast bank balance to pay for all these extra expenses in the outset! If you do want to hire staff, you can take advantage of freight factoring to help as a funding source to generate the needed capital.
Before you can start your trucking business, you need to register it with the government for tax purposes. I’m afraid this is where it can get complicated, because there will be many things your business has to comply with.
For example, you will need to apply for a federal DOT number and fill out a “Heavy Use” tax form. The Heavy Use bit means hauling large and heavy loads on the road. And if you hire drivers direct, you will also need to apply for a commercial driver’s license.
As you can see, there is a plethora of stuff to sort out before you can even open for business! I recommend talking to a business adviser about the federal laws and regulations your new firm needs to comply with.
The last thing you want to happen is for your business to get shut down. And all because you forgot to fill out some paperwork with the IRS or some other government department!
As with any business you set up, you must make sure that you have the right insurance cover in place. Doing so will protect you, your workers and your company from litigation by third parties.