The trucking industry proved to be resilient despite the pandemic. The industry saw revenues hit $193.21 billion last year, according to statistics published by Statista. It’s even expected to grow by $3 billion more this year. The industry also saw sustained growth from 2018 – the market was worth $185.14 in 2018 and $189.29 in 2019.
There are ample reasons to see growth from the trucking industry in the future. It would make sense to take steps as early as now to expand your trucking business and grab more market share. Here are 7 things that you must do to expand your company aside from taking out a trucking business loan from a company like 1West.
Tip 1 – Invest in Technology
Technology will make your business function more efficiently. This means more happy customers for you and more revenues. You need those revenues to sustain your business’ expansion and to pave the way for further growth as well.
Global Positioning Satellite or GPS technology is an investment that you must make. The use of GPS in your fleet will help you or your drivers identify the best routes and shorten transit time. With GPS, you get your parcels to your consignees faster. GPS helps you build a solid reputation as a trustworthy and efficient courier.
There are other apps and technologies that you can integrate into your business. These include the electronic logbook KeepTruckin and the free fuel price directory FuelBook.
Tip 2 – Keep Up With Industry Legislation
You also have to comply with what the government wants in addition to keeping your customers happy. This means keeping yourself updated with the laws that affect your industry. There were five new laws passed that changed the trucking industry considerably. President Biden’s administration appears poised to pass the INVEST Act as well.
It is your responsibility both as a businessman and a citizen to keep yourself abreast of the laws in the trucking industry. Crossing the path of the law might affect your reputation significantly.
Tip 3 – Review Your Cash Flow
Deciding to expand the business is just one step. Determining your business’ actual financial health is another. You have to check on your cash flow and see if it is really robust enough to sustain your planned growth for the company.
Sit down with your accountants and review your balance sheets. Check to see how much cash is going to your expenses. Compare it with how much you are earning. See how much extra cash your business has left after taxes and expenses. These should give you an idea of your business’ readiness for expansion.
Tip 4 – Update Your Business Plan
You undoubtedly wrote a business plan when you started your business. It’s time to make an update to this document in preparation for your expansion. Your goals and your operational concepts will change scope as a result of scaling up. You will need to write that down on your business plan.
This document will play a big role when you talk with sources of financing. These lenders will want to see how the expansion that they’re funding will help you gain more revenues. What they’re really looking at is how you can keep up with your payments for the loan that you’re applying for.
Tip 5 – Calculate How Much You Need to Borrow
Identify what you need to acquire to expand your business. Look at all the truck models in the market and decide which ones you want to add to your fleet. You could also look at the apps that you want to integrate into your business to support its enlarged operations. Sum all of their prices up and finalize the loan amount you want to apply for.
Consumers tend to overestimate their needs when applying for loans, but that could mean disaster for businesses. Entrepreneurs need to keep the cash flow going towards profits. This means minimizing expenses. Choosing the right amount for your loan will make sure that the repayment terms will be within your business’ capacity to pay. Otherwise, your business is at risk of defaulting on the loan.
Tip 6 – Market Your Business Aggressively
Getting new trucks to grow your fleet will be for naught if you don’t have the orders to fulfill them with. You need to grow your client base. In other words, you need to launch an aggressive marketing campaign. You have to demonstrate as well to existing customers that you’re getting ready to serve more orders.
The Internet is a great resource to use for this. You don’t have to spend too much money on advertising. Social media itself is free to use. Sponsored ads are cheap and very cost-effective as well. These alternative marketing methods have nearly the same reach as traditional techniques. They are great for building up your client base without breaking the bank.
Tip 7 – Organize Your Paperwork and Start Looking for Lenders
It’s time to grab your paperwork and make sure you have everything that you need when talking with potential lenders. As mentioned earlier, the business plan is a crucial document in helping lenders understand your business and how you earn money.
You should also bring with you during the application process your financial statements. Lenders will want to look at your balance sheets and gauge your short-term financing capabilities. They will want to know how much working capital that you have. These are all important for showing the lenders your capacity to pay for the business loan that will fund your trucking business’ expansion.
The Bottom Line
Statistics indicate that the trucking industry will continue to grow this year and the next. The demand for logistics will continue to increase. Expanding now will put you in a favorable position to earn some business from that growing demand.
Your goals as an entrepreneur should not be limited to just earning revenues every month. It’s also important to seek out opportunities for growth and expansion. With industry growth on the horizon, now is the best time to consider scaling up your trucking business.