You have a van and wish to go into the transportation business. But you don’t want to make a jump into the dark; you desire to know everything there is to know about starting and running a transportation business – with one van – in the United States.
You’re in luck – since this article covers the A-Z of transportation business in the US, with particular emphasis on using only one van.
To succeed in your one-van transportation business and not run foul of local laws, you need to take care of two major things: the legal aspect of the business and the profitability aspect of the business.
The Legal Aspect Of Starting A Transportation And Logistics Business
To ensure that you do not violate any local laws, you must adhere to certain regulations instituted by the local and state governments where you plan to run your business. Some of these include:
Obtain Official Licenses And Industry Permits
Depending on the type of your van and the transportation services you want to operate in, you require government licenses and industry permits to get your business off the ground. For starters, your van must be duly registered with the relevant vehicle authorities and you must have your driver’s license valid.
You may also have to register with transportation regulatory agencies to obtain certain permits before you put your vehicle on the road – these may cover goods haulage and passenger commute.
Obtain Vehicle Insurance
Since you will be transporting goods from one location to another, or carrying human passengers from one point to the other – you need insurance.
The insurance may cover the goods you haul from accidental events or environmental damage, and it may cover your passengers in case of an auto crash. A suitable insurance policy will protect your vehicle in case of accidental damage, protect other vehicles on the road, protect the goods you are contracted to haul, and protect your passengers.
Get The Services Of Lawyers And Tax Experts
It is best to speak to lawyers and tax experts before launching your transport business. Consulting with legal and financial experts will make you understand the legal aspects of your job and the financial aspects that relate to taxation.
This is because you do not want to run afoul of the government in any way and you want to conduct a business that is legitimate and compliant with government regulations.
The Profitability Aspect Of Your Transportation Business
To ensure the success of your new business, it must generate profit. The profitability of any transportation business is dependent on several factors which shall be examined below.
Choose The Right Vehicle For Your Business
Assuming you had not obtained a vehicle initially, it is best to consider a van that can take care of commercial haulage. The best vehicle for the haulage business is either a van or a truck, and you must choose the most suitable one for your particular needs.
In choosing the best vehicle for your business, you must consider-
- The kinds of goods you will carry;
- The volume and frequency of the goods, and;
- The terrain you will travel to supply the goods.
Register A Commercial Name For Your Business
It will be a nice idea to have a commercial name for your transportation business. You may have registered your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a sole proprietorship, but it is always best to make it a legal entity.
You must then choose a name by which clients can refer to your business; a name reflecting the kind of transport service you offer is the best. Examples are-
- XYZ Haulage Services
- ABC Transport Service
- KLM Express Delivery
- MTU Removal
- Transcity Moving Company
When the name of your business is emblazoned on your van, it will serve as a form of advertisement to the general public and bring clients your way.
Choose Your Niche
The transportation industry is very wide and highly competitive since there is a very low barrier entry. Anyone with a suitable vehicle can decide to go into transportation, so choose your niche carefully so you don’t have to compete with the big fleets out there.
Depending on the type of your van, some of the transport services you can render with your vehicle include-
- Passenger/cab services
- Haulage and logistics
- Hire and charter
- Packers and movers
- Courier and delivery
- Livestock transportation
- Ambulance for senior citizens
- Waste removal
When you specialize in one area of transportation services with your van, you will generate more local clients and earn more trust from people.
Understand The Local Industry
It is pertinent that you understand the local transportation industry by conducting relevant research. There must be a form of transportation service that people desire more in your locality for you to cover.
If your community is a highly residential area or a business area with lots of marketing activities, you may be inspired to meet the movement needs of the people in one way or the other. You may also consider taxi services if there are lots of commuters in your area.
You may offer tourism and sightseeing services for tourists that want to visit tourist attractions in your area if this is the situation; you may provide transportation to senior citizens who have no means of getting to the doctor weekly for medical checkups; you may help new house owners to move their property from one area to the other, and you may also facilitate the movement of goods and stocks for business owners in your region.
Grow Your Transportation Business
Obviously, you do not want your business to remain limited to just one van; you want to increase it to two vans and then five until you have a fleet of different vehicles for transportation services. To grow your one van, you must-
- Understand the pricing policy in your sphere of operation
- Access startup capital or necessary loan facility
- Decide on driving the van yourself or hiring a paid driver
- Decide on working from home or renting an office
- Operate from your community or move your business to another area
- Understand and beat the competition in your niche
- Boost service awareness by creating a corporate identity
Your success in the transportation business with only one van will be determined by the above factors and your willingness to work hard.
There will be lots of challenges along the way, but you must resolve to make a sustainable income with your van and grow it into a fleet of national relevance.
Photo by Вальдемар
Photo by Вальдемар: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-a-man-leaning-on-white-van-2594966/