And, the point is not only to get the customers, but to keep them happy as well!
100 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GPS AND FLEET MANAGEMENT
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In order to get and keep your customers, you will need a team of professionals. So invest in your people and train them well. They need to develop negotiating skills and among everything else, make sure they are:
- Polite and efficient;
- Responding effectively;
- Solving the issues as soon as they appear.
If customers have million of questions your people need to be there for them, sharp and prepared, well organized and proficient.
They need to answer any concerns that the customer might have!
By providing the best customer service possible, you will earn costumers trust. They will appreciate your effort to build a long-term prosperity business relationship with you.
Having the best customer service means that your clients will be with you for the long run!
Step 4: Find the Best Trucking Office Location
Now here is one that seems obvious but is often not considered. The reason is simple most new trucking company owners have a budget (ok so do all other businesses). This budget won’t go as far as you think.
Are you buying/leasing vehicles and equipment? Are you buying or renting the facility? Is it a warehouse and a trucking lot? There are just so many things to consider.
While you are considering things, here’s a few more a trucking company owner should think about, like you don’t have enough. Location, not the type of facility, but where will it physically be located?
Cheap rent is great, but not if it is in a bad spot. You need to consider major highway access. Check out the secondary streets connecting your business like:
- The size of the truck parking lot;
- Other businesses in the area;
- Crime levels.
Yes location is more than a spot on a map, much much more. You have to look at the big picture as compared to your overall business plan. Is it close to other warehouses?
Depending on the nature of your business, is it close to the rail lines, airports, water ports/docks? One other consideration is your competition, where are they located compared to your trucking company?
Step 5: Know Your Expenses
Now here is an issue that seems to jump up and bite the new trucking company owner.
So you find some software and built your business plan. Perhaps you hired an expert to either assist or write it for you. But when you putting everything together how were your math skills? Did you take everything into consideration?
Everything? -Yes, here’s a bare bones expenses 101 class. The money that needs to be paid out before you can start counting profit.
Just because you bid a job for $100,000 doesn’t mean you made that much.
- You have all the overhead (rent, office equipment, utilities, internet, and phones, marketing…);
- Then you have salaries (office staff, dispatchers, driver’s salaries, cleaning crew…),
- Equipment (truck maintenance, vehicles, forklifts, tools, trailers, fuel…) don’t forget insurance (truck insurance, other vehicles insurance, employee health, company, renters, vendors…),
- We can’t forget governmental (licenses, permits, fines…) the list goes on.
But you can see just how quickly that $100,000 dollar contract gets carved up.
Oh, and the final thing I forgot as a trucking company owner you need to try and pay yourself.
As you are well aware there are ways to cut expenses. But that doesn’t change the fact that the costs are there. So knowing your expenses is the key.
Step 6: Run the Office Efficiently (Organize, Maintain a Positive Attitude…)
Perhaps this goes without saying. But if you’re a trucking company owner you can’t let the stresses of running and conducting business get the better of you.
Find yourself a good office manager and learn how to delegate responsibilities. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom and pop trucking company owner or multi-million dollar enterprise.
More businesses lose money from poor efficiency and bad record keeping, than anything else. I know what you’re thinking, “what about salaries, insurance, this or that”?
Those are expense that comes with doing business. Sure you can find cheaper insurance rates or cheaper drivers. But you have to ask yourself are they what you need as a trucking company owner?
However, there are other ways to save on cost and stress. This is where an efficiently run office helps. A few steps to achieve this is cut redundancy (don’t use three forms when one will do).
Don’t take on more than your operation can handle, but always take on enough to grow. A good office runs like a fine timepiece.
Step 7: Avoid Cash Flow Problems
If only it were that easy. If a trucking company owner could discover this trick and patent it they’d be a billionaire overnight. We have all being there!
Whether it was as a teen digging in the seat cushions for spare change for gas, or as the finical head of a business, we’ve all been there!
Cash flow is really the main concern. You might be thinking finding customers and quality staff would be more important. Well, yes and no. You can’t have one without the other, but cash flow is what connects them.
Customers get you your cash with which you pay your staff and creditors. The thing that many trucking company owner doesn’t properly prepare for, is their cash flow.
This is because in the trucking industry nothing is a sure thing. You will have highs and lows; some might even experience feast or famine.