You’ve made the decision: you want to start a shipping business. You have experience in the field already, and now you want to take the leap and transition into a leadership role – and enjoy the control and potential profits that come along for the ride.
Before you can relish the benefits, however, there are many steps you have to take. Starting up a business is difficult enough but establishing it into a long-term success is another matter entirely.
To help you on the way, below are five pointers to consider when starting a shipping business.
1. Put in the work with your business plan
Your shipping company isn’t going to suddenly pop up out of the blue. It requires significant planning, and this begins with your business plan. This plan should include all necessary research, including figures, facts, and strategies you expect to use in some way for your business.
The main objective of the business plan is to eventually convince a lender they should finance your idea. However, it’s also beneficial for further understanding the industry, your competitors, and how your business can ultimately succeed.
2. Secure the necessary financing
It’s essential you know exactly how much financing is necessary to get your business up and running. If you overlook the costs involved, this could put you in trouble before you even make your first sale.
As a result, know exactly what your start-up costs will involve. Not only will you need suitable modes of transport, but you also have to splash out on equipment, recurring bills, and employees.
3. Identify your niche
Will you be shipping overseas? Perhaps you’ll keep deliveries locally? Maybe the aim is to offer specialized services such as same-day shipping or the handling of fragile items? Whatever you decide to go with, it’s important you identify a niche for your business.
By doing this, you have a clear idea of your target market. This then helps with putting together a strategy in all areas of your prospective company, particularly when it comes to marketing and reaching customers.
4. Find jobs
Gaining customers can be a difficult step for many businesses. Thankfully, shipping services are in high demand. There are also platforms available that make it easy to find relevant shipping jobs for your company.
Along with securing shipping jobs straight away, these platforms also open the door to building long-term relationships with clients. Furthermore, they can help with finding additional work to stop drivers from returning with empty vans or trucks.
5. Carve out an online presence
While you can build a business by using specialist platforms to find jobs, you also want to avoid chasing every potential customer. A strong online presence is a great way to advertise your company.
This begins with a professional website, which is simple yet informative. You should also sign up for a Google My Business account and flesh out the profile. Regular posts on social media can also help with building visibility.