If you are a budding entrepreneur looking to start a logistics company from the ground up, then you are probably standing at the starting line, scratching your head, and wondering where to begin.
This is perfectly understandable because starting any new business is incredibly tough. Breathing life into something which does not exist yet takes a monumental amount of time, effort, and energy, as well as the personal resolve to keep going even when it is soaking up your money and doubts are creeping in about whether it will ever become a success.
Indeed, this process is only made more difficult when entering into a business model as complicated and expensive to set up as a logistics company.Unlike an online business, you will require overheads from the very beginning. After all, you will need to transport goods from one place to another, which means having a van or truck at the very least.
If you are still cash-strapped, this can present its own issues because there will be the familiar business ‘chicken and egg’ situation of investing in a company even when you don’t have the money to invest and without the customers to provide the cash flow yet.
Well, if this all sounds rather negative, don’t worry. While logistics companies are not easy to get off the ground, the process is far from impossible. This is how to start a logistics business from the ground up.
Find Freelance Customers On A Job Board
When you first consider starting a logistics business, you may wonder how on earth you are going to find your first few customers.Well, a great way to kick off your logistics company is to start out as a freelance delivery driver. You won’t have to affiliate yourself with brands, which means you can openly advertise your own business, and it will get your foot in the door with several potential future customers.
You can use a shipping work job board,such as https://www.shiply.com/us/hot-shot-trucking, to source delivery runs that make the most sense to you and offer you the most money. This way, you can start building up the number of deliveries you do while leaving enough time free to take care of other aspects of building your business.
Invest In More Equipment
When starting any business, you need to invest in a considerable amount of equipment in order to deliver your service and grow as a company. As you start to receive more and more orders from customers, you will need to capitalize on this uptick in demand by increasing the number of total orders you can handle at one time.
For a logistics company, this likely means buying or renting more vans and trucks, sourcing warehouse space, and hiring a team to take care of the additional loads. Obviously, this needs to be a gradual process; otherwise, you can quickly become overexposed when the orders dry up a little, and you are left with overheads you can’t pay off.
You could mitigate this by using a temp team and renting the additional vehicles at first to keep costs down and ensure your budding business remains agile.
Gradually Increase Your Customer Base Through Marketing
Another aspect of your business that you need to be investing in is your marketing. Without a prominent brand position in the marketplace, you will stand little hope of demanding more market share or landing an influx of new customers. Therefore, you need to be marketing your business effectively from the very start. This could mean setting up your website and publishing SEO content on it, investing in Facebook or Google Pay-Per-Click advertising, or even starting a YouTube channel.
You could also do it the old-fashioned way by promoting your business in the local area. Perhaps you could hire a billboard, advertise on the local radio, or give a service discount to locals, to spread the word about your logistics firm.
After all, when you are just starting out, the best asset you have at your disposal is your personality. While bigger companies are more well-known, they are also inhuman and difficult to warm to. By promoting yourself as well as your business, you will build a bond of trust with your audience and grow your company far more quickly.
Only Take On Staff When You Cannot Capitalize On Demand
One of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs in all industries make is to hire a full time team far too quickly. It is perfectly understandable because when you start to get consistent demand for your services, you may want to capitalize on it by getting other people to do the additional work for you.However, the sheer cost of these yearly salaries can mount up – especially if you suffer a rough month financially and are struggling to pay your staff.
Instead, consider leaving your staff hiring until you absolutely cannot cope on your own. Alternatively, you could use a temp agency to help you find freelancers who don’t mind only working when there is necessary demand. This way, your logistics business can remain agile, growing, and shrinking with the demands of the market.In the long run, it will make your business a lot more profitable.
Have A Clear Differentiation From Your Competitors
If you want to succeed with your logistics business, then you need to clearly differentiate yourself from your competitors. It is no good copying what they do to the letter, hoping to somehow overtake them in market share.You need to offer something fresh, which the market is crying out for.
Thankfully, this difference doesn’t have to be stark. You don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel; you just need to position yourself in a different place in the market from your competitors. Perhaps you undercut your rivals on price, or you market yourself differently. Whatever the case, do not be afraid to carve out your own place in the market because it might be what makes your business a success in the longer term.