“You have to spend money to make money” is an adage that holds true in a variety of business endeavors, including small-business and big-business owners in the transportation industry. If you own a transportation company and want to grow it, there are several opportunities you can explore with the right financing in place.
Use Loans in Variety of Ways
Every company wants to be successful, and every owner looks for ways to improve both the business and its profits. Maybe you can provide better service, faster delivery or offer other inducements. For most improvements, including many service-based enhancements, you’ll need money. For transportation businesses, including trucking, limo and taxi services, and more, business loans can provide the funds you need to grow.
There are many ways you can use a business loan, including;
- Pay any taxes owed
- Invest in marketing
- Hire new employees
- Renovate and expand operations
- Buy inventory and equipment
- Meet expenses such as overhead and payroll
Buy New Vehicles
Whether your business is limousines or long-haul trucking, your vehicles reflect directly on your company. The most important function in any business involving vehicles is the condition of the fleet’s engines. You absolutely cannot perform well if you don’t take care of what’s under the hood. You certainly won’t get any repeat customers if they are affected by a breakdown. Your loan can be used to repair and replace parts and keep your fleet in tip-top shape.
For businesses that transport people, you must take into account the condition of both the interior and exterior of your vehicles. Customers may view shabby interiors and dented, scratched exteriors as not caring about your company and by extension, not caring about your customers either. If you have taxis or limos showing wear, it may be time to buy new ones. For businesses such as trucking companies, minor cosmetic damage is not likely to make a difference to your customers, as long as the functions of the truck are in order. For example, a refrigerated truck must ensure the refrigeration is well-maintained.
Transportation businesses often need additional types of equipment to round out their services. If you have a medical transport company, you’re going to need gurneys and lots of special equipment to ensure you are able to provide necessary services to passengers. To be competitive, moving companies must be able to offer car dollies for towing vehicles, appliance dollies, and perhaps extra storage. Investing in additional equipment can give you an edge.
More Vehicles, More Employees
If you have plans to expand your fleet, you’ll need to hire additional drivers. If you are getting inquiries for transportation services you can’t meet, consider a loan that you can use to beef up your workforce. Your customers will appreciate your willingness to accommodate them, and you will be able to pursue new contracts from companies who have a larger volume of shipments. If you’re not ready to hire new drivers yet, consider adding part-time drivers and even on-call drivers who can lend a hand during your busy seasons.
There’s more to attracting customers than putting your name on the door and creating a Facebook page. Your business plan should include a marketing plan to attract and retain customers. You may want to build a website, buy Google ads and print ads, have banners and signs made, or print flyers, posters, and coupons. You have a wealth of marketing options to pursue. If thinking about marketing is confusing, you may want to hire a consultant to help you market your business.
Diversify Your Services
One sure way to increase sales is to add new services. Can you expand your truck use to include moving people and household goods? Do you wash your vehicles on-site? Consider offering car-wash services to the public too. Do you have your own mechanic and shop? Maybe you can take on vehicle repair for others as well. Your core business is still your main focus, and nothing should detract from that, but it doesn’t hurt to consider additional ways to make money.
Technology Drives Changes
Technology continues to spur changes across all industries. In transportation, it creates a trickle-down need for trucking services. Influencers such as Timur Tillyaev, primary shareholder in trade and transport company Abu Sahiy, continue to keep an eye on changing supply chain logistics driven by e-commerce.
As e-commerce grows (up 15.6 percent in 2016), new shipping and transportation opportunities are being created. Companies with products such as fragile electronics and special pharmaceuticals are turning to niche shippers who offer an extra degree of careful handling, security and tracking. New businesses have also appeared whose function is connecting shippers and clients via the Internet and mobile apps.
Whatever size your company, different financial products can offer you the means to improve and grow. With the right financing, you can take steps to expand your business and explore these new opportunities.