Making money by starting an expedited business may provide you with more freedom compared to being a company driver.
That means having more control over your times, routes, and rates.
But if you are determined to enter the game of good trucking service whether driving a sprinter cargo van or a semi-truck, you'll enjoy the outcomes.
Make sure to understand what an expediting company does and you are good to start.
Below, find a list of steps for starting an expedited trucking business.
The list of things to start an expediting business
Here's a list of everything you need to set up a trucking business:
- Decide on the business structure of your future expedited company.
- Get a business checking bank account.
- Hire an accountant.
- Get the necessary capital to fund your business needs.
- Get insurance.
- Market your business.
- Build your reputation.
Step 1. Give your business a name and legalize it
To operate an expedited business, you need to start a trucking company first.
At this step, you need to decide on the business structure for your company. The options are a "sole proprietorship", "partnership", "corporation", or "LLC".
Sit down with an accountant or an attorney. Let them explain to you which business structure suits your company's needs best.
The type of business structure you choose determines the types of taxes you’ll have to pay.
Next, you need to license your business with your state. Get a federal tax identification number.
Apply for a U.S. Department of Transportation number. Each motor carrier must have a USDOT number. File for your USDOT number under your business name. There is no cost to receive a DOT number.
After that, apply for operating authority.
The U.S. government requires all interstate carriers to obtain Motor Carrier (MC) numbers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The cost of insurance depends on a few factors. They are the amount of coverage you get, your driving history, and the amount of time you're in the business.
Step 2. Open a savings account
Get your free EIN number from the IRS.
Once you have that setup, you can go to a bank and open a business account.
Think of a business account as a hub for you to put everything related to business into that account.
Another reason why you need a business bank account is because of filing for taxes.
You want to know what is your company income, expenses, and net profit.
Step 3. Get an accountant
An accountant helps you prevent all the finance-related issues.
An accountant explains to you how your expenses impact profits.
He/she prevents the company from having issues with the State and Federal Tax Department.
When you operate as an expediting company, you need to focus on delivering good service. This is the core activity that brings money into the business.
The least what you want is to run into problems with taxes, labor, or insurance.
Here's when an accountant comes into play.
Step 4. Acquire the necessary capital to fund your expedited business
What if you don't have money to invest? Can you start a trucking company with no money?
You may need to buy a van, a pickup truck, or a semi-truck. These expenses are not cheap. But to offer expedited trucking services, you need a vehicle.
If you already have one, your startup costs can decrease significantly.
To acquire capital for your expedited freight business, you need to raise money from external sources. These could be your friends, family members, or coworkers, or it can be a business loan.
If you consider applying for a small business loan, thoroughly assess your current financial situation.
Once, your business grows, you might need to hire more people. You may need an office. And you'll need to buy office supplies for it.
This will be required to run your trucking business efficiently.
If you plan to hire new staff upfront, make sure to hire someone who already has experience in this industry.
Step 5. Get insurance to cover your business needs
Getting your business insured allows you to recover the financial loss.
Let's say that the vehicle or the customer's freight is damaged due to a bad road or an accident. In this case, the insurance company may cover the loss.
This gives you and your customer peace of mind.
In a perfect world, you'd purchase all-in-one insurance to cover all the company's needs. But, this depends on your available funds.
Contact your insurance company to determine the coverage you may get for your business with the available funds.
Step 6. Market your business
When everything is set up, you need to find customers.
But to find them, you need to market your business.
Here's a list of ways to market your trucking services:
- Use vinyl stickers with all the company services and contact details on the body of your van or truck. This catches the people's eyes when the vehicle runs on the road.
- Consider placing an ad in your local newspaper or phone book.
- Personally, contact small businesses in your local area. Stop at their location and let them know that you are available. Make sure to specify the type of vehicle that you have and the type of freight that you can deliver. Make a list of the types of cargo that you plan to expedite for your customers. Also, set the geographical reach of your preferred routes.
- After informing local businesses about your trucking service, hand them your business card.
- Build an online presence that targets your local area. Build up social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Also, build a cheap website and optimize it so that it can be found on Google in your local area.
- After you have a happy customer, ask them for referrals.
Step 7. Build Your Reputation
Once you have your first job set up, make sure to deliver on your promise.
Keep in mind that some of the customers may need moving service once again. And guess who they are going to call.
That's right! The expedited trucking company they had the best experience with.
Establishing repeat customers will help your business grow.
To achieve that, provide a high level of customer service. That means:
- Communicating with the customer every step of the way.
- Dressing professionally.
- Make sure your vehicle runs clean.
If you do a great job, they will use you again or will recommend you to their friends.