Congratulations! You finally took that leap of faith and decided to start an auto transportation business. As your to-do list steadily grows in length, you should remember that the most challenging part of launching a business is behind you: taking the plunge and leaving your 9-to-5 in the dust.
Starting this business will take you on an unpredictable yet exciting and rewarding journey. Not surprisingly, there’s something incredibly satisfying about being your own boss and doing what you love for a living. Buckle up because your life is about to change.
If the recent pandemic and economic plunge have discouraged you from launching your business and pursuing your dream, it’s time to ditch those fears. As you move through the early phases of developing an auto transportation brand, refer to this California auto shipping company, aka the epitome of a thriving auto transport company. These auto shipping professionals have chosen to ride with the tide and respond to these unprecedented times with resilience and a customer-first attitude.
While the pandemic might have wreaked havoc on the global economy, these tough times won’t last forever. The time to start that auto transport business is now.
There’s no denying it. The global economy took a sharp decline when the COVID-19 pandemic hit full force earlier in the year. Most industries, including those considered essential, have absorbed some of the blow. The auto transport industry is no exception.
Fortunately, the economy has slowly regenerated, with the auto transport industry remaining functional even during the pandemic’s peak. Despite the impending risk of virus contraction, drivers have been on the front line risking the coronavirus’s exposure through daily person-to-person interactions.
Thankfully, as a full-time business owner, you can still safeguard your drivers’ health by implementing necessary preventative precautions such as frequent sanitization and social distancing measures. Are you making the right decision venturing into the auto transportation business? Without a doubt. The following are some steps to walk you through the journey.
Choose what type of auto transport business you want
Who and what do you want to serve in the auto transport industry? Have you defined your niche? For those unable to answer those questions off the get-go, there’s an endless list of options you can choose between.
You might decide to specialize in standard vehicles, vintage cars, or exotic vehicles after thoughtful consideration. If you’d rather, you can choose to specialize in a specific shipping method as A-1 Auto Transport notes on their website.
For example, an aspiring auto shipping business owner could opt for open car transport or enclosed car transport. If you’re interested in going all in, you can try your hand at both enclosed-carrier and open-carrier shipping. Suppose you can’t decide what to choose, research adequately on the demand and supply cycles in your area.
Choose your preferred business name and model
As a next step, pick a business structure of your choice and register it under auto transportation. There are several business options, including sole proprietorship, limited liability company, and limited liability partnership. Whatever your choice, be sure to select a suitable business name that conveys your brand image.
Draft a business plan
After you’ve brainstormed a name and experimented with logos and brand colors, you’ll need to put pen to paper and write out a clear vision of your new business. Using your research, develop a detailed business plan that offers an overview of the company, your marketing plans, pricing strategies, and financial projections. Identify your competitors and how you plan to deal with competition in the market. You might want to consult with a financial expert once you get to the finance section.
Secure your business’ federal tax ID number
You might want to secure a business license during these early stages after registering the business and its name. Consult with your local government to understand how to proceed with this process.
Apply for business permits and licenses
Before launching your auto transportation business, you’ll need to meet your state’s licensure requirements. Valid licensing builds your credibility among clients once your business is up and running. Depending on the exact auto transportation business you set up, you might need to acquire a commercial driver’s license, insurance coverage, fuel carrier licenses, heavy load permits, and commercial vehicle registration for your transport vehicles.
Apply for a business checking account and get a business credit card
It’s important to separate business from personal finances. Apply for a business checking account for your new company. Business credit cards are also the perfect form of funding and act as good alternatives to loans if you don’t qualify.
Source your business funding
Auto transportation businesses are physical entities that demand large investments and start-up funds. Before diving headfirst into the process, it’s in your best interest to decide early on how you plan to fund the business during these initial stages. Calculate all costs required for launch, including equipment, vehicles, and the physical office. That way, you can ensure you’re equipped to start an auto transportation business. To avoid declaring bankruptcy, apply for loans and grants that will help you jump-start your business.
Hire a few employees
While it may be tempting to adopt a do-it-yourself approach, you’ll need to delegate the workload to a team for the business to run smoothly. Consider onboarding a few employees to help you check items off your to-do list and ensure optimal customer service experiences.
By taking these steps, you should know where and how to begin your business ownership journey. After completing these steps, keep an eye out for mistakes commonly made by small business start-ups, i.e., undervaluing your services, failing to invest in your marketing strategy, or forgetting to identify your target market. Otherwise, you risk watching your business funnel down the drain.