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A successful haulage company can be incredibly profitable and provide a positive working environment for employees. This is a growth industry in the UK, and beyond, and there are many opportunities for continuous expansion to cater to the needs of clients looking to transport items far and wide. Whether you’re looking to set up a haulage company, or keen to improve existing operations, these are our tips for success.
Focus on cash flow and planning
Running a haulage company can be capital intensive and the temptation may be to turn to debt to fund investment. It’s essential to ensure that the business doesn’t become over burdened with debt to the point that it cripples cash flow. Financial planning is a key part of the process of decision making when it comes to debt and hire purchase is often a better choice for this type of business than borrowing to buy outright.
Invest in robust management
A strong management team will benefit the business in many different ways from ensuring that productivity targets are met to monitoring for issues with employees.
Advertising and marketing is essential
Especially when you’re first starting out, smart marketing will be key to building a strong customer base. As well as traditional advertising – such as newspapers or TV – there are a wealth of digital marketing methods that can help to support growth. From maintaining a social media account for your business to taking out Google ads, it pays to think broadly when targeting new customers.
Make sure your workforce is well trained and motivated
Trained and licensed drivers are essential, both to ensure you meet productivity targets and to avoid issues such as incidents and accidents with your vehicles on the road. Incentivising drivers can be a great way to speed up growth, whether you offer bonuses for performance or pay on a per trip basis.
Invest in tracking and security
Fitting your vehicles with tracking and security features has a number of benefits. Not only will it make it easy to get perspective on where drivers are at any time but you’ll also be able to ensure transparency and consistently positive driver behaviour as a result.
That could be joining trade unions and trade associations or attending local business group events. Ongoing networking will enable you to increase your contacts and boost your reputation as a haulage company. If you’re looking for new business, the more contacts you make the more likely it is that you’ll be able to generate it.
It can be expensive but insurance is essential in haulage. The cost of replacing vehicles or lost or damaged stock can be difficult to handle if you don’t have insurance in place.
Focus on increasing your fleet
There is a direct correlation between the size of the fleet and the speed at which the business can grow. So, the more vehicles you can add – in a way that is manageable for your existing cash flow – the faster your business will be able to expand.
Running a successful haulage company requires a combination of strong management, financial insight and dedication to growth.
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