The US trucking industry is one of the biggest sources of revenue in the nation’s economy. In 2019, the industry’s revenue reached $791.7 billion and is expected to reach $1.435 trillion by 2031.
If you, like most trucking entrepreneurs, have never thought of creating a trucking business plan, think again. Having a solid business plan is important as it will serve as a guide towards what matters most for any business – profit. Also, if you need lenders or investors to finance your business, chances are they will want to see your business plan.
Every plan is unique, but there’s still a formula to follow. To that end, we’re discussing the key sections to include in your trucking business plan.
The executive summary is the first section in every business plan, but it is written after you’ve thought through all the other sections of the plan. It represents a short (1-2 pages) overview introducing your trucking business and its plans, and describes how your organization will meet its goals. It should also highlight your company’s mission, services, and financial information.
It is very important to make the executive summary concise, accurate, and to the point, because if the reader doesn’t find it appealing, they won’t continue the remainder of your plan.
In the company description, your should write about your company’s background and history, describe your overall mission, and explain what makes you different from the competition. This section will contain important facts about your business: when it was founded, the owners, where you operate, and so on.
Use the company description segment to promote your trucking company and its advantages by writing about any recent successes, such as fleet expansions or newly-acquired customers.
Organization and Management
Here you should explain how your company will be structured. Will it be an LLC, corporation, sole proprietorship, or partnership? In addition, you should include short bios of the members of your management team, highlighting their strengths and/or niche expertise.
Include as much information as you can about your employees (driver team and office staff), including their roles and responsibilities, credentials, licenses, skills, and experience. You can also describe how you plan to handle licensing, safety regulations, and recruiting.
This section of the plan shows how well you know the trucking industry and your business. According to the US Small Business Administration, the market analysis part of your business plan should contain the following:
- Industry description. What is the size of your segment of the industry? Who are the major shippers and carriers?
- Your target customers. What are the size and characteristics of your target market? What are the needs of potential clients and how will your trucking company meet them?
- Competitive analysis. Demonstrate that you know your competitors well and describe their weaknesses and strengths.
- Pricing. Define your margins, pricing structure, and possible discounts.
Marketing and Sales
This section of your trucking business plan should be divided into two categories:
- Sales strategy, which describes your vision for your sales team. Will you be using independent agents or in-house sales reps? How will you identify prospective customers and how will you appeal to them? What is your sales team’s closing rate and how will it contribute to your business’s financial objectives?
- Marketing strategy, which describes your marketing and promotional techniques for attracting customers and building a customer base. How do you plan to promote your services? What marketing channels will you use (email, social media, ads, etc.)?
If you plan to apply for equipment financing or a business loan, this section is of the utmost importance.
Here, you should state the amount of money you need and how you plan to use that money. For instance, will you be buying new trucks, upgrading facilities in order to offer new services like storage, or do you plan to invest the money in marketing? Be sure to provide enough details on your expected ROI and how you will repay the lease or loan.
The financial projections section should contain financial statements, such as balance sheet, cash flow, profit and loss, and sales forecast.
In addition, you’ll need to explain how your business will perform over the following 5 years. Be sure your projections are aligned with any financing requests you’re planning to make.
Besides serving to attract investors, your trucking business plan will also be a roadmap to where you want your trucking company to be in five years or more. If you need help writing your trucking business plan, a good business plan template and the steps outlined in this article should be enough to get you started.