Millions of tons of textiles, food, equipment and raw materials are hauled across the highways of the United States every year. No matter what the current state of the economy, freight will always need to be hauled. Thus, starting your own small freight business can be a stable and lucrative venture. However, you should not think that success in this type of business is guaranteed. You will need diligence, patience and good direction in order to make your small freight business thrive.
Define your target market by deciding what types of freight your business will haul and what geographic area you will service. Identify the types of freight you want to specialize in moving so you know what type of equipment you will need. Target a specific geographic region or route you want to service; the freight business is a competitive one, so don’t make the mistake of thinking you won’t have competition for every contract you bid on.
Identify what type of customer will you serve, and what load volume you will haul to begin with. Research what type of customer or business will find the most value in your service; you will then be able to zero in on where that customer type is and what marketing strategies might be most effective in attracting their business. Decide what load volume you will haul initially so you can better focus on customers who move that volume without wasting time on customers who don’t this also allows you to plan your equipment purchases to handle your capacity requirements.
Write your business plan specifically identifying those competencies that will make your business a success in the freight markets you intend to target. Describe your plans to grow within your market and your plans to expand to other freight markets in the future. Outline the advances you intend to bring to the industry in order to make your company more competitive.
Secure the required licenses, insurance and bonding needed to operate your small freight business. Use your well-written business plan to secure the funding necessary to purchase equipment, obtain capital assets, and hire and train any staff or drivers you intend to employ.
Market your business directly to your targeted customers. Bid on freight contracts to guarantee regular business. Plan and establish your regular routes and schedules in order to fulfill your business commitments.
Thanks to Malik Sharrieff, Demand Media