The Small Business Times

How to Start a Trucking Company: A 5-Step Checklist

The total revenue of the trucking industry reached a staggering $791 billion in 2019. And that number is on an upward trend heading into this decade as well. Because of that, it’s not surprising that more and more entrepreneurs and former truck drivers are considering opening up their own trucking companies.

But while it’s clear that trucking can be a very lucrative business, merely starting a company does not guarantee any success. In fact, if you want to have a shot at being successful and thriving in competitive markets, you need to have a reliable trucking company business plan that lays out every step you need to take to launch your company.

To help you get started with building your trucking business, let’s go through a checklist that includes some of the most critical steps you should consider.

Create a Business Plan

As mentioned before, one of the first things you should do when you’re brainstorming ideas is to get everything down into a structured trucking company business plan. Following a structured process is the single best method for ensuring that you don’t miss any crucial details that could derail your business before it even has a chance to take off.

A comprehensive business plan should include a mission statement, goals, marketing strategy, a financial plan, and an executive summary that provides an overview of the foundation that your business will be built upon.

As you create a business plan, you will also gain deeper insights into the market, the competition, and the potential opportunities you could focus on. And that information can guide you through every decision you make as you set up the business.

Establish Your Business

In order to operate as a trucking company, you need to establish a legal business entity through which you will provide services, hire drivers and other employees, as well as pay taxes

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If you want to protect your personal assets, it makes sense to establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which would shield you from business liabilities and provide more security as you start your company.

When creating an LLC, you will need to appoint a registered agent who will oversee the entire process and communicate with the officials that handle business registration.

You will also need to provide all the necessary information about your business, including your business address and other details. Once you receive your EIN, you will be able to open a business bank account and handle various business tasks. 

Equip Your Trucks With the Right Tools

If you want to remain competitive in today’s trucking industry, you need to leverage every little advantage you can get. And that includes equipping your trucks with the necessary tools and technology to boost efficiency and keep your drivers safe.

Whether it’s finding suitable containers and fridges for special cargo, or even something as seemingly simple as a low profile light bar, there are a variety of ways you could prepare your truck drivers to meet any challenges they might face and handle the jobs they have on time.

You should also think about the broader aspects of running a trucking business, including accounting, employee management, communication, and even marketing software that can help streamline various processes and help your company stay ahead of the competition.

Sometimes, you may even find that the equipment you need can add significant costs upfront. Rather than cutting corners, consider whether it wouldn’t be more worthwhile leasing equipment so that you don’t have to compromise on anything important.

Select the Right Insurance

Keeping your trucking business protected and managing risks should be a top priority, especially when you’re just starting out. In the trucking world, there are always things that can go wrong, and you don’t want to be left without any coverage in case something happens and causes damage or losses for your company.

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The good news is that there is a variety of insurance coverage options that help mitigate many of the biggest risks and allow you to operate your business with more confidence. Through popular insurance solutions like cargo insurance, physical damage insurance, and primary liability insurance, you can keep your assets and employees protected should something go wrong.

At the same time, make sure you implement comprehensive safety policies in your trucking business, educating your employees about how to conduct themselves and respond to various situations that might arise.

Start Looking for Clients

Any business is only functional if it has clients that keep the cash flow coming. Therefore, once you have everything set up, you will need to find ways to attract your first customers and grow your business consistently.

If you have been in the trucking industry for a while yourself, you may already have some contacts or local relationships that could help you get started while you gain some traction. Otherwise, you will need to get on the phone and reach out to government contractors, fleet owners, businesses, and other potential organizations who could find your services useful.

Bottom Line

The trucking industry is one of the most lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs today. But succeeding in the trucking world requires you to follow the best business practices used today.

With the steps listed above, you should have a good chance of creating a sustainable trucking business that will have a good chance of growing