In your eagerness to climb into the cabin of your new truck and begin your first contract, a business plan may seem like a time-consuming (and somewhat unnecessary) task that you’re tempted to just skip over.
We’re here to tell you to avoid that temptation because a business plan is far more important to the success of your business than you may think. In fact, a business plan is essential to any entrepreneur who wishes to compete in a mature market. Remember, over 50% of new businesses fail in the first five years and, if you’re lucky (or unlucky), you won’t have to wait five years; 25% typically fail in the first year.
Preparing a thorough business plan is a great opportunity to establish business goals and the relevant strategies you will need to put in place to achieve them. Well-defined goals and strategies will allow you to focus your energy on immediate priorities as well as give you the capacity to put strategies into action for the future, rather than aimlessly working with no clear direction or plan.
When writing your business plan, you’ll need to take time to investigate:
The trucking industry and competition in the local market
Do you know the local market you’re venturing into? It’s important to take stock of the current trucking industry climate and the competition in your local market before you make the deep drive into starting your own business. This is will give you vital insight and get the wheels turning when it comes to asking yourself important questions about your new business.
Where your business will stand in relation to competitors
In an established industry such as trucking and transport, how does your business measure up to the competition? Looking into your competitors and their offering will help you define where your business fits.
Competitive differences and opportunities
Once you have looked at your business and where it stands in relation to your competitors, it’s now time to define your competitive differences and opportunities. Have you identified a gap in the market that you want your business to fill? Or maybe your business has a clear strength compared to your competition, what opportunities are there to leverage that strength? Figure out how you can give your trucking start up a competitive edge.
Challenges and weaknesses
During this process you may become aware of areas of your business that could be classified as a weakness. How are you going to address those weaknesses? You may also be able to foresee potential challenges that will occur once you have your business up and running, how will you deal with and overcome those challenges? Preparation is key!
Last but certainly not least, your business finances are crucial to your business success. Before you get behind the wheel you need to understand your finances and what will be required of your cash flow to break even and cover expenses. Start off strong and take away the guess work by knowing the numbers you need to make ends meet.
Now you know what you need to investigate before getting in the front seat of your vehicle it’s time to put pen to paper and start on that small business plan. Before you know it you’ll be ready to commence your first trucking contract!
If you’re looking to start your own trucking business, start by protecting your one of your businesses most precious assets. Truck Assist’s Drive Pack Truck Insurance package is a well thought out solution for small businesses who are seeking to protect their company vehicle. Get a quote online to see how we can have your back on the road.