Planning is always an important part of starting any business. This transport and logistics cheat sheet will give you some important steps to consider before you get going. From making sure your finances are organised to insurance to correctly marketing your business.
Related: The Essential Start-up Cheat Sheet
Here are seven steps to consider when starting a transport and logistics business:
Step 1: Organising your finance
When you’re at an advanced stage in your business you should have precise facts and accurately calculate your expenses. Don’t wait for surprises. Surprises can be quite expensive and could set you back.
A good idea is to put money aside for breakdowns. Breakdowns can impact you financially and will affect your profits. You should also have some clearly calculated financials on spreadsheets: A recipe for disaster is if you’re still working your expenses out in your head and that is all you’ve done with your financial projections.
Step 2: Choosing your Type of Transport Business
There are many options available in the transport and logistics business such as:
- Limousine or taxi service
- Medical transportation
- Courier service
- Auto transport business
- Charter, bus company.
Each one has its only challenges and benefits. When deciding, go for an option which doesn’t have a lot of competition in the area you’re operating in. You should also do some research and make sure there is a need for that type of transportation in the area.
Step 3: Getting Registered
Your next step should be contacting your local public utilities commission. You’ll need to find out what documentation you’ll need to start your transportation business such as:
- Registering with area, province or national transportation departments.
Step 4: Putting Insurance in Place
Insurance is very important for any business. Contact an insurance company that specialises in a business that has your specific mode of transportation. Research different companies to understand what you will be paying for and what each insurance solution will cover.
It may help to ask someone already in the industry who they are insured with and why.
Step 5: Buying Vehicles
The amount of money you spend in this step will affect your business quite dramatically. The type of vehicle and whether you’re buying new or used vehicles will impact your finances significantly. Buying used vehicles can help reduce costs.
If you find vehicles that have low mileages and are the type of vehicle you’re looking for have them checked out by a mechanic.
Purchasing a large fleet of vehicles at once can often qualify you for discounts from dealers. Your vehicles are the key to your transportation business so you should make sure that you buy the right vehicles for the right price.
Step 6: Marketing your Business
Advertise your business to your specific target market when your business is running. Here are a few advertising ideas you can use:
- Have an advert placed in your local telephone book
- Create a website for your business
- Create a business card with your URL on it as well as any vital information
- Word of mouth can be very powerful so tell everyone you meet about your business.
Step 7: Financial Support
Be patient. Any venture will take time and effort to build up a customer base, vehicles and profits. It’s a good idea to financial backing to get you through at least a year of hard times. You don’t want to have to close your business after only a short period of time because you ran out of funds.
The Road Freight Association of South Africa (RFA) has an SMME Starter Kit which is designed specifically for businesses which are starting out. It includes tips and tricks on how to go about getting into the transport industry, sourcing contracts and calculating financial predictions as well as various other essential information.
Which Side Hustle Should You Try? (Infographic)
For a little extra spending money, find the right side hustle for you.
For many of us, ditching your nine-to-five so you can pursue your entrepreneurial dreams is not an option. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about those pursuits altogether. In fact, a number of entrepreneurs work on their side business while keeping their day jobs.
But sometimes it’s hard to even know where to get started or what you should pursue. The good news is, choosing a side hustle to bring in a little extra cash every month is easier than you think. Just focus on your interests and passions, and you’re halfway there. Another key factor to take into account is your lifestyle, so you can choose something that best supports you.
To figure out what you should pursue on the side, check out Quid Corner’s infographic below.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
10 South African Apps For Our One-of-a-Kind Country
South Africa’s population is diverse and dynamic, with unique needs compared to the rest of Africa and the world. These local innovators are creating ground-breaking apps to suit our one-of-a-kind market.
The amount of apps created to meet South Africa’s unique market needs is on the rise. Apple’s famous ‘there’s an app for that’ slogan is becoming reality, as more apps are created to cover a wider variety of options. South Africa’s mixed culture and diverse society can benefit from this growing variety of apps.
Here’s a list of homemade South African apps for our unique, one-of-a-kind market.
10 Businesses to Start That Can Weather Any Economy
Worried our economy is headed south? Here are 10 ideas to build a recession-proof business.
I don’t like to be an alarmist, but I continue to believe that we live in very unsettled economic times.
There are some major unknowns that could push the economy south quickly and in a major way, such as:
- The price of Apple stock. If it tanks, it might be like a second Internet bubble bursting. (Although, in full disclosure, I did invest recently.)
- Who knows what’s really going on in China? The government has been making major moves to prop up many elements of its economy.
- The Euro. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of European leaders in panic mode.
I could probably drum up a few more goblins that would scare us, but that’s enough for now.
Entrepreneurs and startup addicts won’t let these little threats stop them, but I think they will be looking more closely at the kinds of businesses that tend to be more recession-proof.
Recommended: 5 Thought Experiments to Test Your Business Idea
If that’s you, here’s a list of industries and businesses that you’ll want to consider.
Most businesses built around beer, wine and spirits do fine during a recession. Pricier beverages don’t fare as well, but middle-of-the-road and lower-costs liquors weather the down turns like a champ.
There’s an important principle here: If something is truly a habit – like wine with dinner or an evening cocktail – people do not quit no matter what the economic circumstances are. They merely adapt. Consider a liquor store or wholesale distributorship.
While there are barriers to the booze biz, cosmetics are a much easier industry to get into. I suppose when people are crying in their milk all day, they need some good cosmetics to put on their happy faces at night. But whatever the motivation is, cosmetics weather recessions quite well.
There are many ways to pursue a business here, from becoming a Avon representative to selling over the Internet.
Movie attendance weathers economic downturns very nicely, although the entire industry has been in a slump recently.
The big chains have a stranglehold on new releases. So why not consider a local indie theatre that cashes in on the trend toward combining movies with meals? Could be a big hit in your hometown!
Again, many segments of this industry have virtually insurmountable barriers to entry. But with a huge aging Baby Boomer population, there will be opportunities in home health care services. I also think a peer-to-peer, Uber-like nursing service might be possible.
Recommended: 10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time
Specialty food stores
Smaller, boutique stores specialising in organic products should do well. This could be a scaled-down version of Whole Foods or you could create a line of products that you sell yourself or offer through other outlets, and this ties into the next idea.
That industry over-extended itself, but there are many independent cupcake bakers who are still doing fine.
Give your dessert an organic, gluten-free or vegan twist and maybe you can cover two bases at once – specialty food and sweet thing!
Rather than buy new, we repair our cars and major appliances during a recession. Check your local market to see how well it’s covered.
If there’s a glut of HVAC repair shops, for example, consider moving to a fast-growing community to start your business.
In the same way that we keep our old appliances and cars limping through a recession, we tend to hit the thrift shops looking for bargains.
Spend some time binge-viewing old episodes of “Storage Wars” to see one way you can pull together an inventory for your second-hand store.
Even in the worst recession two things are certain: Death and taxes. Again, with the aging Baby Boomer population, this is a growth industry no matter what’s happening with the economy.
Yep. You can ditto some of what I said just above. For some reason, accountants and tax professionals skate through the hard times better than most of the rest of us.
I suppose people are more concerned about keeping every penny they’ve earned and at the same time the IRS is focused on collecting every penny possible – that creates the perfect conditions for boosting the demand for tax professionals.
And hey, even if we manage to dodge all the gloomy economic omens I referenced at the top, these are still solid startup ideas.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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