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Looking Both Ways

Building a Foundation For Your New Trucking Business - First Steps

By John Mueller, CDS, COSS
Posted Jul 11th 2014 7:09AM

Building a Foundation for Your New Trucking Business

The Crucial First Cinder Blocks for Your New Business Foundation – The Business Plan

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This post of Look Both Ways is the second blog in a series on starting your own trucking company. The first cinder blocks you lay for your business foundation are the most crucial because all other bricks or blocks will be built off of these first blocks.  These first blocks are the “cornerstones”. Solid ground - as in financial capital - is the first thing you need to place those first few foundation blocks on. A well thought business plan will help determine needed capital, as well as other building materials. A business plan is usually the sole component you can offer to any potential investor when requesting that investor to part with their monies for your new venture. Even if your new business requires no additional financial funding your business plan will help you establish goals and how you intend you reach them.

This business plan thing sounds pretty difficult and intimidating. You think “I’m just the average person”. Rest assured you can do it. A bit of advice I’ve always offered to friends when they asked me about starting a business is to “just start the business”. Starting the business means to begin working on it. Come up with a name for your new venture. May not be all that easy, but it’s the start. You will discover that the start – the cornerstone of your business happens on day one – the day you take any action to begin the new business. Soon you have an entire foundation built. Next you see a wall, then two walls, then three and four walls. Next a roof magically appears atop your structure. The interior begins to take shape, and so on. Time passes. Eventually you rearrange the “furniture” by making important changes that affect the functionality of your business and contents.

Like writing an article or paper, it might be a great idea to just brainstorm. Write all of your ideas for the business plan on paper, in no particular order. Just write down all ideas. Revisit those ideas throughout the next few days or longer, writing down ideas whenever a new idea enters your mind. Revisit your business plan in progress periodically – as long as you are in business.

Organize all of your thoughts from the paper. Sort them into important categories or paragraphs to form:

· Your Mission Statement

· Who owns and/or manages the company

· A detailed description of your company and the services you intend to offer

· A description of the industry you wish to enter – Expedited trucking

· What makes your service unique (refer back to describing expedited freight)

· How you plan to market your services

· Analyze and describe the opportunities available to your new business. Point out your strengths and weaknesses and how you intend to improve on those items that present challenges. Be sure to list important assumptions – you may need to revisit some of these assumptions later to make important adjustments.

· Put together a realistic cash flow statement or projection including realistic revenue projections. A sales forecast. Base your forecast on realistic, factual, attainable projections. You may want to use actual settlement statements you have from operating your vehicle at the various carriers you have been leased to in the past.

· Funding request. If you are seeking financial assistance you should list required amounts and describe the purpose for each.

· Conclude your business plan with a summary that ties all parts of your business plan together. Make a simple statement about each paragraph or part of your business plan.

· You may wish to compile an Appendix for your business plan which would include any additional information that may assist others in better understanding your new business, such as resumes for the management team, a list of property owned like trucks or buildings, and any permits or licenses you have secured for the business.

Organizing your new venture by completing a business plan won’t guarantee success but will surely give insight to help make better decisions with your new business. Others from whom you may be requesting financial assistance or capital will have a better feel for your game plan.

Dig the foundation, lay that first corner stone and get in the game.

Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to give legal advice, nor be a substitute for any training required by the Regulations.

Till the next blog,Thank you drivers for all you do! Please be safe!

Read Part 3: Building a Foundation for Your New Trucking Business - Part 3

John Mueller, CDS

jmueller@PTLLLC.com


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