People live in the world of goods and are used to move their possessions from pillar to post, they organize moves and personal items transportation, etc. This gave birth to a whole market where thousands of trucking companies operate.
What this business is all about? Is it in signing moving services contract, packing goods, on-time delivery, unpacking and arranging things on its places?.. You know, things are never as simple as they seem. This caused appearing a plenty of small trucking companies on the market. Trucking business involves all the world and his dog. All the several movers need is just to hire a home-based call center agent, who takes orders, and they may start home run trucking!
Business Registration, Licenses and Permits
To find correct legal form for your business, you must think carefully over your main goals. It may be a LLC, corporation or S-corporation.
While choosing a name for your small trucking business, be sure to use your legal name for it will show your company in a more reliable manner. If you are going to work as a sole proprietor, register than your business through the Secretary of State’s office. Fill in Articles of Incorporation or similar document in case you have chosen another legal form.
Visit Public Utilities Commission within your state to determine what permits and licenses are required to start a trucking business. If you are going to provide interstate moving services, apply documents to Federal Motor Safety Administration. You may need to register for Authority to Operate (MC number) or Department of Transportation depending on the type of cargo or vehicle used.
Services and Pricing
List of moving services:
- Office relocation.
- Household shifting service.
- Cargo insurance.
- Shipping container insurance.
- Transportation of overweight and oversized goods.
- Security guard service while transporting goods.
- Full packing of goods.
- Safes and cash machines transportation.
- Tackling cargos.
- Modular cargo transporting.
- Transportation of overlength cargo.
Transportation costs depends on cargo’s weight or volume, overall dimensions, distance to the destination point, time of loading, and mileage.
Drawing Up a Trucking Contract
The problem is that consumers can’t avoid contractors blandishments and sign contracts for cheap and low quality moving services in many countries. For example, part of them tries to save on moving and find the most underbidding proposal. As it often happens in these cases, the services are rendered without signing a contract at all. So, the consumer may get spoiled or scratched cargo. Rustles may take place too.
The mission of every honest sole proprietor is to draw up a detailed trucking contract that describes liabilities for cargo loss and damages. Of course, you must realize that it is goods carrier upon whom liability for damages is laid during relocation process. But don’t be afraid of this! It will increase the prestige of your business in consumer’s opinion in case the relocation process is perfected, and your movers pack and transport goods in an extremely responsible manner. The next time this consumer will apply for your company again and recommend it to friends.
Cargo insurance is an obligatory condition for running business effectively. As typically happens in these cases, sometimes driver doesn’t cause a cargo damage, but acts of God do. In such cases insurance policy helps either cover cargo loss or damage to the consumer or sets service provider free from financial obligation.
The insurance requirements for USA are described on FMCSA website.
Provide Correct Legal Assistance for Your Business
To draw up correct contract, it is better have a lawyer in the company’s staff. It is difficult to maintain orders according standard contract. As a matter of fact, each time you will treat different types of relocations and consumers. Many of them want to fix the contract and amend it according to their requirements. You had better take extra fee for transporting expensive goods, for this is you upon whom the liability for damages will be laid. Your contract must obligatory describe this situation.
It is not a secret that consumers differ. You may set insurance claim and estimate the damage cost after disaster in case something unexpected happens and your employees damage the cargo. Remember, that you have already met your liabilities towards consumer and this is the main thing. In any case, signing a contract and legally correct assistance of relocation process help you and your consumer avoid many problems.
Start Business from Making a Staff
The ultimate way is to hire several employees and pay them a regular salary on the base of hours of distance. It is evident that you will not be able to provide the employees the decent operating conditions and a good salary, but this is what you must be targeted on. If so, you will get a dedicated staff that is closely related to your business.
Six movers are enough during the initial days of operation. As for manager and call center agent’s positions, the owner can cope with their responsibilities on his own.
One more important tip: don’t hire nearest and dearest. On one hand, it would be easier for you to communicate with your close friends. On the other hand, it would be harder to punish them. As a result, you may lose your friends and cause family feuds in your business. You may probably be left without staff at all.
Buy a Multichannel Telephone Number!
Your office location doesn’t play a role. Consumers don’t used to visit you, it is you who used to visit consumers. The most important thing you should buy is a multichannel telephone number. Well, and it’s clear that your call center agent, who takes orders, must be polite. As a matter of fact, a circumstantial conversation with a consumer takes time. But you have no right to miss the next call because a consumer will apply your competitors in case he or she isn’t able to get you through. So, you appear to have only one option: to buy a multichannel telephone number for your commercial location.
Don’t forget about mobile VoIP option.
Build Long-Termed Relationships with Consumers
Some people believe strongly that relocation is a one-time service and relationships with trucking company are over as soon as the company moved into a new location. But this is a big mistake! In some cases your consumers may need trucking service again soon after relocation was done because he or she managed to be fairly offensive to a leasing holder, for example. So, you may expect the next order if the previous moving was done well and on time and a bond had grown between you and consumer. Besides, the employees of the moved company may apply for your services too for their personal needs. The well-done and professional trucking will attract more consumers for your business than any ad can do.
You must build your own website. Internet is a major source of serious consumers. Ads of transport trucking companies in mass media are not always effective. At first, there is multitude of different companies ads printed near your advertisement. At second, a reliable moving business must avoid publishing ads in mass media where all the world and his wife can post an ad without being checked by a newspaper’s staff.
The ad on your commercial vehicle’s box and your movers’ working uniform will be more effective.
Be Loyal to Your Consumers!
It’s sound ordinary, but try to meet consumer’s requirements each time. If your consumer feels like guarding property while hauling, negotiate with security guard service by your own. If your consumer applies for intercity moving service, render it to him even if you had never done it before. Be sure to use packing supplies and set a consumer free from boxing goods. Never fool your consumers. Of course, you will have to work hard during the initial days of operation, but your efforts will be paid by consumers’ loyalty to your business!