If you’re a new entrepreneur trying to build a successful freight brokerage, there are some strategies you should consider. Here are 10 tips that range from simple, innovative hacks you can use right now to bigger strategies that will help you reach your long-term objectives.
- Start with a Great Business Plan
You’ll find it much easier to manage and grow your freight brokerage when you know everything that goes into it. You need a detailed business plan to serve as your success roadmap.
The plan should cover everything from your long term goals to the cost of equipment, software, and an office space. A detailed plan will help you bring optimization opportunities into focus.
We recommend using the online tool provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration for step-by-step plan building instructions.
- Take Advantage of Smartphones
There’s a reason smartphones are popular – mobile apps. An app is a little tool that can provide the invaluable information you can use with business analysis.
Your business can use confirmation apps, delivery logs, and GPS tracking. While these apps are great, you’ll begin to see some real benefits when you use site-specific apps to track things like fuel efficiency.
An app can provide various data and statistics that can help you micromanage your business on a new level. You can read more on how to start using logistic mobile apps in your business.
- Try Freight Management Software
While mobile apps are good for certain tasks, you still need freight management software if you want in-depth management. Freight management solutions like Cerasis Rater can eliminate manual tasks.
These solutions have multiple transit shipment and consolidated shipment capabilities, which can be used to optimize your business.
- Be Location Aware
When you think about new opportunities and expansion do you only consider your present location? Have you looked in neighbouring counties? You should.
You can use the Forbes list of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. to look for potential clients. A county with fast growth has an increasing demand for food, beverages, cars, furniture, and housing, which makes it the ideal location for a freight brokerage.
- Crowdfund Your Freight Brokerage, Or Don’t
With crowdfunding, the chances that you’ll benefit from a campaign is 50-50. Crowdfunding allows a large number of people to fund a business endeavor or project. This offers a company some market exposure and opportunities for rapid expansion.
However, failed campaigns can have a negative effect on your brand and funds from the campaign are slow to arrive.
There are a number of other great ways to fund a haulage business. According to Rob Sinclair Equipment there has been a big uptick in people utilising Low Doc finance depending on their business circumstances. This among others could be a good way to fund your freight.
- Be Proactive
The freight brokerage industry is downsizing, which means you can’t wait around for business opportunities. You need to create some for yourself is you want your business to stand out and prosper.
Reach out to potential shippers, but don’t wait for them to call. Send out a set-up package, check on them regularly, and always offer to help in any way you can. This attentive attitude will help grow your business.
And remember to maintain your online presence. When you create your company website, make sure to add a blog. Today’s blogging systems are user-friendly, so you don’t need to be an IT pro to use them.
Blogging shows shipper that you are active in your business and the industry. Your blog can help raise your authority and make it easy for shippers to discover your business on the web. This will ultimately help you bring in more new clients.
- Reach Out
You should not limit your proactive attitude to finding new shippers. Active networking can help you find partnership opportunities and keep you up-to-date on industry trends.
When networking online, remember all social networks are not the same when it comes to business. Twitter and Facebook may be popular among your end consumers; however, LinkedIn is the best place to find professionals and business owners.
LinkedIn offers numerous groups for businesses. This can create excellent networking opportunities. Transport Network Freight Brokers Logistics is a group that receives a lot of attention with almost 2,500 members.
- Identify Your Niche
To determine your niche, you need to do some marketing analysis. Do the research, organize your data, and make an informed, educated choice on whether, or not, you need to restructure your business.
Some of the factors you need to consider include the type of cargo and geography. Keep in mind that the niche you enter may require innovative developing. If it does, don’t take the easy way out and choose another niche, instead create an original path for your business.
- Never Stop Learning
The internet has made education easier than it has even been before. You can find full online classes, various free webinars, reports, and case studies that you can learn from.
The internet offers you valuable resources that you can use to keep up to date with your industry and general business practices at a minimal, or no, cost.
- Consider What Shippers Are Looking For
When a shipper looks for a freight brokerage, the first thing they want to know is if the business is bonded and licensed. With the recent 75K Broker Bond, most shippers have become vigilant about this.
While the price of a bond has increased, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have adequate bonding. This means you need to find a good freight broker bonding solution.
The list of things a shipper is looking for may include your carrier selection policy, the options for cargo insurance, the quality of your billing department, or even how well you and your staff communicates. These factors directly affect your brand image, so you should try to excel at each one.
When it comes to running a successful freight brokerage, you need to strive to continued business development. You should be trying out innovative ideas and business practices that can keep you from being another victim to the 75K bond.
Testing out new ideas can also help to increase your profits, improve your stability, bring your brokerage up to a new level and boost your overall success.
Now it’s your turn! Do you have any creative strategies that can support your business and keep your profitability up? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below.