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Logistics

Starting a successful transportation business

Jan 29, 2019

by James Daniels

Businesses that manufacture and sell goods need a way to get them from one customer to the next. This has created a perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs over the years in the area of transportation. It’s a crucial part of every industry unless one is solely operating virtually. If you’ve ever wanted to start a transportation business or you’ve been curious about where to start, you should know that it entails a significant amount of logistics-related work. Nevertheless, as with every successful business, careful planning, research and organization can get you ahead. Continue reading to find out how you can start a successful transportation business.

To begin with, to start a successful transportation business, you’ve got to choose an industry. As mentioned earlier, just about every industry needs transportation, so which will you focus on?

Choose an Industry

Before choosing an industry, think about which has the least competition and which your presence is most likely going to be felt in.You could decide to focus on delivering medical supplies to local pharmacies or choose to deliver food to supermarkets instead.

In order to transport things, you’re going to need to figure out your mode of transportation. Will you be shipping items by road, land or sea? Here are a few modes of transportation to explore.

Before going ahead to start your business, you’ve got to think about how you’re going to fund it. The mode of transportation you’ve chosen will determine how expensive it’s going to be to start. There is a range of funding options that range from crowdfunding if you want something unconventional to bank loans for a more conventional option. Before looking for funding, however, it may be a good idea to ensure you’ve got your debt under wraps and you have relatively good credit. There is a wide range of credit scores that you can likely get some sort of funding with, but the higher, the better.

Once you’ve determined how you’re going to fund your business, it’s time to put more flesh on your idea and create a plan. This should be a business plan that details exactly how your business is going to operate. It’s so important that you don’t skip this step as it will help poke holes in your ideas and identify any areas that could increase the chances of your business failing. Here are a few elements to focus on in your business plan.

One of the last things or maybe even first to do would be to network. You need clients to run your business so attend industry-related events and get to know people who could become potential customers. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool so get the word out about who you are and what you do.

Choose a Mode of Transport

  1. Van: You can start a transportation business with a single van if that’s all that you have access to. The purpose of the van will largely determine the type of van that you need. If, for instance, you intend on transporting people, you’ve got to ensure it’s appropriate to seat people comfortably and spacious enough.

  2. Air: If you decide to transport things by helicopter or air, you should know that you’ll need a significant amount of money to start your business. This is because going into air transport requires that you get equipment, licensing from the Federal Aviation Administration, insurance and so much more. It can be complex, so be sure air is the best option for you and that it’s likely to be profitable.

  3. Sea: The third way you could decide to transport your goods is via the sea. There are two different sea shipping operations that you can choose from, and both require licensing. The first sea shipping operation to consider is an ocean freight forwarder which owns the ships that carry the cargo and takes responsibility for the transportation of goods from start to finish. Seeing as this can be expensive to start up, the second option would be not to operate vessels and provide shipment services.

Find Funding

Before going ahead to start your business, you’ve got to think about how you’re going to fund it. The mode of transportation you’ve chosen will determine how expensive it’s going to be to start. There is a range of funding options that range from crowdfunding if you want something unconventional to bank loans for a more conventional option. Before looking for funding, however, it may be a good idea to ensure you’ve got your debt under wraps and you have relatively good credit. There is a wide range of credit scores that you can likely get some sort of funding with, but the higher, the better.

Create a Plan

  1. Execution:The execution of your business is something that you’ll go through in your plan. This is important as you need to know how you’re going to take your business from theory to practice and what potential stumbling blocks there will be.

  2. Financial Plan:As mentioned in the funding section, finance is the legs of a business which enable it to stand. On these premises, create a financial forecast and cash flow that will predict your incomings and outgoings for the first year of business at least.

  3. Unique Selling Point: Your business won’t be the first or last transportation business around, so determine what is going to make you stand out. Will it be your competitive rates, fast delivery, or unmatched customer service? To find your unique selling point, you’ll need to identify areas of your business that would be hard for the competition to imitate.

Look for Clients

One of the last things or maybe even first to do would be to network. You need clients to run your business so attend industry-related events and get to know people who could become potential customers. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool so get the word out about who you are and what you do.

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.

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