How to Start a Small Haulage Company
Whether you’re an experienced transporter driver with thousands of miles of experience on the road, or you are looking to take on a new management role by starting up your own company and hiring employees, haulage is a booming sector to establish a new business within. Not only does haulage encompass the transport of energy resources, livestock and raw materials, but in our modern world it now involves transporting equipment or infrastructure for music venues, retail items and delivering goods – thanks to the shift towards technology and online consumerism.
Set Yourself Apart
Haulage is a growing industry and whilst there is a huge demand for these services, there are also many competing haulage companies. Your new haulage business will have to fight against these existing competitors in order to gain the attention of potential clients by making your own company stand out among the rest. This will involve finding a niche in the market that you can tap into, and offering a unique service that differs from the rest of your competitors.
Find a Base
Although the nature of haulage means that you are never in one place at any time, your company will need an operation location to base itself within so that you have storage facilities for goods and vehicles.
A key factor in deciding where to base your company, is considering whether it is situated near key road links to ensure it is accessible for your drivers and any clients who are delivering their goods to you. Being close to key routes also cuts the time that a haulage journey takes, as you are close to faster roads as you don’t have to use smaller urban roads or windy country roads.
Another vital thing to consider when relocating is your budget, and whether you can afford the rent for a warehouse in a certain area of the UK. Rental rates vary greatly, with London inevitably being higher than more isolated areas of the country, like Scotland and Wales. This could be the deciding factor on whether you base in one area over another.
Purchase and Hire
Essential to any haulage company is the vehicles to do the hauling, and employees to drive! If you’re already an experienced haulage driver and you’re starting your own haulage company to allow you to be self-employed, you might not feel the need to purchase new vehicles or hire employees just yet. However, once your customer base expands and the demand is higher than you can fulfil alone, you should look at purchasing a new vehicle or finding an existing haulage driver with their own vehicle that you can employ for certain haulage jobs. From this, you can pay wages to the employee and cover their vehicle gas, but still receive a cut of the profits made from completing the haulage job for the client.
If you have enough capital behind you, you could invest in new vehicles and instead employ staff to drive these. This method allows you to take a greater proportion of the profit than if you hired an employee to complete haulage jobs with their own vehicle. By owning the vehicle and hiring an employee to drive this vehicle, you don’t have to pay the employee extra for using their own vehicle.
Obey the Law
Being aware of any legal obligations that you need to fulfil and having these laws at the forefront of your mind when making any business decisions will mean that you do not start a company that is doomed to fail from the beginning because you have failed to comply with the law. Hiring out the services of a lawyer, who you may need for advice when creating employee and client contracts, can also be extremely useful for navigating the legal world of business.
There are a range of different laws that apply to businesses and haulage companies specifically. For example, you should check if you need fleet insurance. On the link, you can find a detailed explanation of when fleet insurance is needed and can also compare the prices of insuring your vehicles across a range of different insurance providers.
With these key considerations in mind, the only thing left to do before starting your haulage business is to trust your instincts and go for it. Starting any business is scary, particularly if you have no prior experience of running one or managing people. However, there are endless tools that can aid you in your journey as a business owner, as well as a range of experienced expertise available online. There should be no hidden nasty surprises along the way as long as you do your research correctly and operate legally!