Transport and trucking companies are a great small business idea. If you are newly retired, just looking to fill a few spare days a week or you want to grow your own business then a delivery or transport company is a great option. All you need to be able to do is drive and have some basic organisation skills and off you go.
If you are planning on setting up your own transport business there are a lot of things you’ll need to think about. Let’s take a moment to consider the most important factors you should bear in mind.
Decide What Kind of Truck Company You Want to Run
When it comes to running a transport company there are many different types of trucking companies that you can choose from to run as a business. For example; home moves, food deliveries, groceries, pharmacy supplies, building, electrical or medical, providing excess capacity to existing companies and the list goes on. To keep thigs very simple you can join a delivery app as a driver – Just Eat, Deliveroo etc.
Make sure you have a look at the different things you can get involved in and decide what kind of transport / delivery company you want to run.
Create a Business Plan
When you have decided on the type of truck company that you want to run, the next thing that you will need to do is write a business plan. Don’t groan and decide to skip this step!
Your plan does not have to be a huge thick wad full of graphs, charts and cash flow projections. Writing one – even if it is only a list of bullet points – is extremely helpful to you as a business owner. It will make you think about risks and opportunities that you would otherwise miss and make you realise the importance of proper costings and cash flow management. In addition, if you need a loan for set up costs or to finance a van or two you will have to have a proper business plan to support your loan application.
Don’t overlook recurring costs like insurance for your vehicle fleet or single truck insurance. Getting insurance under a fleet policy can work out cheaper than taking out a separate 7.5t lorry insurance for each lorry in that weight category. Include any rental cost and business insurance under this section also
Don’t worry there is a huge amount of free help online so do some Googling and the plan will virtually write itself. Follow this standard 9 section business plan design and off you go.
Get the Right Insurance
The next thing that you need to consider when running a truck company is the kind of insurance that you will need. It is important that you make sure you get the right insurance for your business because this can save you a lot of money in the long run. Accidents happen and if you are on the road all day every day then you are quite likely to be involved in an accident.
Obviously, with a transport business – your main focus will be covering your vehicles, their cargo, your drivers and anyone they might injure so specialist trucking insurance is a must. Fortunately, there are specialist price comparison sites that can help you compare quotes for truck insurance from a range of different providers, which should increase your odds of finding the right policy at the right price.
You don’t just need insurance to cover your vehicles, drivers and their cargo though. You may also need other types of insurance like public indemnity insurance. To find out more about basic business insurances have a quick read here.
Another thing that you should do is budget. This involves thinking about all your costs, estimating them and then working out how many hours you need to work and what you need to charge your customers to cover them (and hopefully make some profit).
Have you got enough cash to fund the business until your invoices will be paid? Can you find ways to pay after 30 or more days giving you more time to collect your sales income before you have to pay your expenses? Are there any loyalty or discount schemes that you can use for big costs like petrol to reduce your total costs?
Each month review your budget and compare to your actual expenditure and project a budget again for the next few months. This time your budget will be more accurate and you will able to set prices for your work more confidently.