Running a fleet management company has hardly been any easier than it is in the present day.
To start your own fleet management company, you do not need hundreds of trucks; even a few vehicles transporting goods and services in the local area will do.
With millions of fleet companies in the US, a good strategy and the right approach to the business are incredibly crucial to making it big in the industry.
Here is a quick guide on starting your own fleet management company:
Make A Business Plan
As a start-up, a business plan is the most critical tool to help your idea succeed and remind you of your aims.
Ask yourself these questions, find relevant answers from your perspective to build your goals, and choose a direction for your business.
- What are your goals?
- How are you going to accomplish it?
A strategic business plan is required if you want your company to build up from a mere start-up. Ensure that you consider the following while starting your own fleet management company:
- Type of your business
- Your financial outlook
- Customer base
- Type of market
- Marketing plan
- Your driver team
Choosing The Right Vehicle
As a start-up, you cannot afford vehicle malfunction. Ponder over the following questions, and find the most appropriate solution for your problems.
- How much load will your vehicles carry?
- How far are you going to operate?
- What is the condition of roads in your area?
Your business depends on the vehicles you choose. Compare maintenance cost, fuel efficiency, and other such factors. Without these elements running smoothly, your company is at risk of collapsing.
Even with a reputable manufacturer, it’s wise to inspect every nook and corner of the car for defects. Even if you know your vehicles, always do some research before making any major decisions.
It is good to take some recommendations, but the final decision should be based on your research.
Buy Or Lease
If you do not have a good amount of capital, leasing can be a good option. It will cut down a significant amount of expense, thus allowing you to use the saved money in other vital areas.
However, along with the advantages, there are some disadvantages to leasing a vehicle. Take a look at the pros and cons of leasing a vehicle for your fleet to decide.
- Lesser down payment
- Fixed monthly payments
- You can upgrade to newer vehicles after the contract expires
- You will not own the vehicle
- Leasing will limit vehicle modification
- You will be charged penalties for damages
- Leased vehicle equal to higher insurance premiums
Research your competitors, and determine their strengths and weaknesses. You can observe and analyze their weak links to prevent your business from making the same mistakes.
You should also learn from the things they do right and improve it for your company. Unless you do your due diligence, you cannot progress and will always play second fiddle in the fleet business.
You must also be aware that competitors are frequently and secretly prying your company. Hence, as a start-up, you need to take the extra initiative and thoroughly research all your competitors.
Invest In Technology
When it comes to beating massive fleet corporations, the single most important thing you can do is invest in the future.
You need to invest in telematics devices, monitor driver behavior, learn about parts that require maintenance, and make your vehicles ELD compliant.
It is no doubt a challenging operation for a start-up company, but this is the key to success. Thankfully, you can simplify this process with assistance from fleet management solutions.
Maintain A Healthy Relationship
The secret behind growing any business to success is maintaining a good relationship with clients and workers.
Remember that every worker, maintenance staff, manager, driver, or any other individual is equally important for your fleet. When you start to care for them, they will take the responsibility of your business on themselves.
For maintaining a healthy relationship with the client, contact them from time to time, and ask for their feedback. Invite them to your business events and get-togethers.
If you can maintain a good relationship with your clients and workers and earn their trust, no one can stop your business from growing.
Most of your target audiences would already be working with other fleet management companies.
Although your fleet offers better service than others, it’s difficult for customers to know for sure if you do not allow them to give you a try.
To attract them in the first place, consider giving your prospective clients appealing discounts. Special offers are an excellent way to make yourself known and edge out your competitors.
However, pay close attention to giving massive deals – this practice could harm your business.
Do not try to make a huge profit right from the start; begin with a small amount of profit, and work your way up to the top.
As a start-up, your aim should be expanding your brand valuation and not earning a tremendous amount of money. Once your fleet gets a brand valuation, cash will automatically come through your door.
Hire Drivers As Employees Or Choose Sub-Contractors
You can either hire drivers as an employee or bring them on-board as subcontractors.
Sub-contract drivers are more suitable for start-ups as they have their own vehicle and carry out the maintenance, insurance, and other expenses on their own.
Sub-contractors will save a lot of your start-up capital. But, they charge more fees, and you will have no control over their behavior.
If you hire a driver as an employee, you need to invest in a vehicle. All expenses for the vehicle will be on your head. However, you will also have full control over the operations.
In either case, you need to have a fleet tracking app to know your driver’s movements.
The best time to start a fleeting company is now; however, merely getting a good driver or vehicle does not necessarily mean you have ticked all the boxes for a successful trucking company.
You need to make important decisions, structure your business plan, and research as you continue to grow.