The transportation industry is one of those sectors that can be highly lucrative if you get things right. Get things wrong, however, and you could end up with a costly mistake on your hands. In today’s guide, we’re going to reveal some of the critical factors you need to consider when running a transport business – and how you can avoid many of the common issues that might arise. Let’s get started with some of the basics.
Just as you would run any other businesses, it’s vital to plan for your transport or shipping company. However, part of the problem for many new transportation company owners is that there are so many regulations to deal with and that the type of clients you need to attract have unique needs. Use both these factors as a baseline for your business plan. Ask yourself how you can attract customers while complying with regulations, and you will be a good way down the line towards forming a robust plan of action.
Lack of management
Many small businesses suffer from poor management, so it’s important to be able to cast a neutral eye over your abilities. While you might excel at logistics, you could fall short on leadership skills or people management. Perhaps you are useless with figures, and struggle to keep your finances in order. There is a simple solution, however – hire someone with the expertise you don’t have. Whether it’s a third party service provider or an employee/partner doesn’t matter – the point is you will have the help you need at hand.
To remain competitive, you need to keep your costs down as low as possible. It’s as simple as that. Start looking at buying in bulk rather than as and when you need it. A company such as New Era Fuels or similar, for example, will deliver fuel in bulk and it should cost you less than filling up at the petrol station. Make sure you maximise the use of every delivery van or truck, too. Try to avoid sending vehicles out anything less than full, and also ensure that you are maintaining those vehicles properly to prevent costly surprise repairs.
If you want your transport business to have a positive future, you have to invest in logistics. Make sure your drivers are taking optimal routes, and track them to ensure you can always improve things. And don’t forget, the location of your business is critical to logistics success. It is imperative to be situated near major transport links that give you access to your core clientele. If you are stuck in the middle of nowhere, you should be considering moving to a more central location as fast as possible.
All connections you have for your business should only exist for business reasons – and nothing else. Avoid partnerships with people you know unless there is a valid business reason for doing so. Make sure that you check the credentials of any potential service provider, supplier, or partner just as much as you do when you hire employees. A bad choice of partner will only lead to customer dissatisfaction – and your company will tend to get the blame.