If you’re interested in starting a business, consider what markets are most in need of a breath of fresh air. Ever considered breaking into the fleet industry? Chances are, you haven’t. However, this industry is only projected to keep growing with retail giants like Amazon increasing the need for quick, reliable delivery methods. There’s a lot of room for growth and expansion, too and plenty of money to be made. If that piques your interest, here’s a quick guide to getting your fleet business off the ground.
Invest in smart business tech
Starting a business means you’re likely to have limited time and resources. Luckily, there are tech options that can handle some of the smaller tasks for you. Take a call dropper, for instance. Instead of manually calling all the leads on a marketing list, a voice mail drop uses ringless voicemail technology to reach prospects and leave pre-recorded messages. This is critical because when you don’t leave a voicemail, customers are less likely to respond. Keep in mind: stronger voicemail scripts perform better. The better your voicemail script, the more likely a prospect is to reply. On top of all this, call dropper software is usually very economical and frees up your time to focus on other sales and marketing efforts.
On top of this, make sure you have quality GPS in place on your vehicles. Fleet tracking telematics is ever important and being able to have real-time updates on delivery progress helps build customer trust. It’s also a great way to ensure your drivers are being held accountable in an industry where it’s often difficult to tell how drivers are performing. With GPS in place, you can see who delivers early and on-time and who is consistently delayed. You can then course correct or see where your employee training needs improvement.
To lease or to buy
You need equipment, but should you lease or buy? At a glance, leasing sounds like the winner. You’re not committing to any specific tractors, you’re able to test vehicles out to find the right ones for your business, and you aren’t emptying your wallet to make a big purchase. It’s helpful for business owners who are looking to get started more quickly and minimizes the amount of capital you need to have saved up. However, leasing does have its set of drawbacks. For starters, the lease length will vary. If you’re offered a longer lease, you may be stuck making payments on equipment that you’ve outgrown. Also, since you don’t own the equipment outright, there are likely to be stipulations on how the equipment is used and maintained. This can prove unnecessarily restrictive of your business so it’s important to review the lease terms incredibly thoroughly.
You could also consider buying used vehicles. Do some solid research, first. Used vehicles have a history of their own. Find out as much as you can about the equipment’s history so you don’t wind up stuck with a bad purchase. Give yourself a bit of a “buyer beware” mindset before you commit to anything. Above all else, avoid going through a private seller unless you know them perfectly. In many instances, it’s preferable to go through a reputable used semi dealer.
Know your expenses
Of course, businesses need money to run. You’ll have overhead costs, vehicle fuel and maintenance expenses, employee salaries, and so on. At times, the list of your expenses will seem astronomical. That’s why it’s important to be on top of your expenses at all times. If you don’t have a head for numbers, an accountant is likely a must. Look into ways to cut costs, like fleet fuel discounts, tire discounts, and more.
Running a fleet business is incredibly rewarding but it’s also hard work. Make sure you’ve adequately prepared, raised the proper amount of capital, and have a solid business plan in place. Then, you’ll be ready for success.