As you think about the steps to starting a trucking company business plan, it can seem overwhelming. Writing a trucking business plan is not one of the most exciting things you need to do to start your business. However, it will become the foundation of your business, allowing you to move forward, establish your goals for the business, and ultimately grow.
How do you write a business plan for your trucking company?
A key thing to remind yourself when you are writing your trucking business plan is that there is no wrong way to do it. Start by gathering information and thinking through the goals for your business, including who your competitors are and what you will need to be successful. You need to make sure you cover everything that is important to your business, your goals, and to others who will use it as a basis for evaluating your company, such as a bank or other finance company. The same thoughts, ideas, and sections are essential for writing a hot shot trucking business plan, box truck business plan, owner-operator business plan, or other types of trucking company business plan.
Why do you need a business plan for your trucking company?
There are a few key reasons why having a business plan will help your trucking company be successful:
- It will help you establish business goals.
- Once you have established business goals, it will help you achieve them.
- If you need funding from a bank or other finance company, they may require a copy of your business plan.
- Having to write things down in black and white will help you make decisions you might otherwise not consider or put off.
- It can help give your business a direction and plan for the future.
- It can help you think about things you might not have considered and give you new ideas.
- It can help you monitor and understand your cash flow, which will help you avoid short and long-term problems. It is essential to have a handle on your cash flow so you have access to the funds you need for payroll, fuel, maintenance, and more.
What goes into a business plan for your trucking company?
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are nine possible sections in a business plan, and you should use the sections that fit best for your business and your needs.
- Executive Summary – A concise overview of who your company is and where you are headed. Key sections to include are your mission statement, what type of loads you will haul, where you will be based out of, who your team will consist of, financial information, and an overview of your growth plans.
- Company Description – Provide details that paint a picture of your company, from who your customers will be to the specific information on the owner, how long you have been in business, what sets your trucking business apart from others, and where your company is registered.
- Market Analysis / Opportunities – This section is all about what things look like now and in the future for the trucking industry, your competitors, and your target customers. It should include details on who your competitors are, what they do well, and how you can do it better. It would be best if you also had an overview of your target customers’ industry with details on the size of the market, your pricing, and how many brokers and shippers you expect to haul for.
- Organization and Management – Include details on who is on your team, what specific expertise they bring with them, and how they will contribute to growing your business. You should also include the legal structure for your business, for example, sole proprietor, limited partnership, or LLC.
- Services – Provide specific details on what services your trucking company will provide and how your services benefit your customers. Additional considerations are if there is a particular reason you chose the types of loads you will be hauling, such as an increase in demand in your area or extended season for items for the area you will be covering.
- Marketing and Sales – Marketing and sales for many companies evolve over time but in this section, detail your short and long-term plans for how you will go about getting customers.
- Funding Request – This section should be included if you are using your business plan to acquire financing. You should include your funding needs for the next five years and a detailed description of what you will use it for.
- Financial Projections – If you are using your business plan to acquire funding, you would include this section to provide details that prove you will be able to repay your loan and show that your business is stable and prosperous. It would be helpful to include cash flow statements, income statements, and balance sheets for the last three to five years if your business is already established. It would also be helpful to include any collateral that will be used to secure the loan.
- Appendix – The appendix of your business plan should include any supporting documents that the audience would find helpful or that they had previously requested. The supporting documents could include resumes for the owner or key staff, licenses, permits, credit histories, and letters of reference.
If you are looking for more business plans for trucking company samples, there are many useful and free online sources for trucking business plan examples and owner-operator business plan samples. A few you might want to take a look at are:
Once you have a business plan for your trucking company, what is next?
Since you have conquered the trucking business plan, hot shot trucking business plan, box truck business plan, owner-operator business plan, or other types of trucking company business plan, now is not the time to just sit back and relax. If your goal for writing it was to acquire funding, now is the time to approach your bank, investor, or other finance company to see what they have to say.
If you wrote your business plan to help move your business forward in other ways, now is the time to execute your plan and reevaluate as you go. It is essential that you don’t forget about your plan once it is written but refer back to it and modify it as you grow and things change. It could be beneficial to plan to revisit it monthly or quarterly or at another interval that you think is obtainable. It could be helpful to add a reminder on your phone, so you don’t forget. When you revisit your plan, you should have updated financial information in hand to help ensure you are staying on top of our cash flow and have an accurate look at the financial health of your business.