Succeeding at Logistics: 5 Startup Tips to Help Your Logistics Business Thrive
Succeeding at logistics means mastering the ability to coordinate, handle, store and ship your client’s merchandise safely and securely.
That seems like a pretty big undertaking and frankly a burden to steer clear of.
However, with global commerce in an ever-increasing growth spurt, and with customers from all over the world purchasing products by the millions every single day, launching a logistics business might very well be a lucrative career path, and a sound way to achieve your long-term business goals.
Think about it, you could be the middleman between the vendor and the customer, the intermediary that everyone needs. Without you, there is no Ecommerce, there is no supply chain.
Even though there is always a need for new logistics brands out there, that doesn’t mean that you’re not entering a competitive marketplace. What’s more, the barrier to entry can be quite high, as you will not only need to invest in facilities and your fleet, but marketing and other financial challenges as well.
Here to help you launch a thriving logistics startup are the five tips you need to take to heart.
Get legal involved
Before we tackle the problem of building a viable business plan for such a grand undertaking, let’s address a problem few entrepreneurs consider in the planning phase – the legal aspects of your trade. As a logistics business and a part of a cumbersome supply chain, you will need to make sure that your company is always treading on the right side of the law. To that end, your legal team needs to ensure complete compliance across the board.
Succeeding at Logistics means that companies will need to obtain a number of permits, certificates, and licenses in order to operate within the scope of the law and build their reputation in the industry. The concrete licenses you will need to obtain depend on the country and region you’re in, but you will need to:
- Register a company and get a business permit.
- Ensure compliance with the revenue bureau in your country.
- Obtain your tax identification number.
- Obtain a certificate with your department of trade.
- And more.
Develop a business plan
Next, you will need to build a solid business plan. This comprehensive document should contain everything from your financing strategies, all the way to your brand’s visual identity and beyond. Most importantly though, this document should contain a detailed funding strategy that will allow you to build your fleet, invest in advanced software and processes, acquire the necessary manpower, and build your brand through marketing and research.
Given the fact that entering the logistics industry requires a substantial financial investment from the get-go, you will need to look into multiple means of funding. A business loan is a stable, tried-and-tested choice that allows you to obtain full ownership of the company. That said, be sure to look into affluent investors as well, but be wary of their intentions for the long-term future of your company. If you do decide to fund your startup through investments, develop a plan to buy back your stocks in the years to come.
Invest in your motor pool
The most important part and the most important investment you need to consider is how you’re going to build your fleet. While it’s obvious that you will need to obtain money through the aforementioned funding tactics, you will also need to research and find trucks for sale that can accommodate your immediate requirements. Your focus should be to find transport vehicles that fit your short and mid-term goals, to build a fleet that will get your startup off the ground.
In time, you should invest in more trucks and specialized vehicles to help you expand your business into new areas and regions, and allow you to obtain new partnerships with special vendors and companies. Start small if you’re launching on a tighter budget, but keep your eyes on your long-term goals – such as expanding into B2B Ecommerce and transporting cumbersome products across the country.
Invest in fleet management software
The modern logistics world operates on smart technology, and if you want to get ahead early on and improve last mile delivery, you will need to make yet another investment. Smart logistics solutions such as fleet tracking and management should be the foundation of your company, as they give you a comprehensive overview of your operations, allow to monitor fleet status and performance, optimize shipping routes, reduce costs significantly, and improve your bottom line – among other benefits. Choose a cloud-based solution that fits your company profile and size, and make sure that it can scale easily as you grow.
Do your competitive research
And finally, succeeding at logistics means keeping a watchful eye on your top competitors. In order to succeed in such a highly-competitive industry, you will need to implement the best practices that drive the industry leaders, but also innovate in order to surpass them. This is why competitor analysis is so important, as it will give you insights into the unique strengths and weaknesses of each competitor, and help you build your success on their tactics and strategies. During this process, you will also be able to fine-tune your brand in order to differentiate yourself even further in the eyes of your demographic.
To launch a logistics startup amidst a global rise in trade and online commerce, means to venture into a highly lucrative market with high chances of long-term success. However, you need to do it right from day one. Use these tips to build a thriving logistics company and future-proof your brand.