Box trucks are a great way to create a business because there will always be a demand for goods to be delivered or taken from one place to another. However, there is an enormous amount of competition within the industry at the moment.
For this reason, it is worth searching for a specific product or service that makes your business stand out from the crowd. You could have experience working with freight trucks or delivery services, which would be a great way to gather information about holes in the market. Ensure that you create a service that stands out and appeals to your intended audience.
Depending on where your interests lie, it can be a great way to grow your business over time. If you already own a large truck, or if you have the additional skills needed to drive the larger size categories on your license, then you are already one step ahead on your way to creating your own box truck business.
There are a lot of benefits that come with setting up your own box truck business, including the improved credit rates and prospects of a very high income over time. If you are looking for your next business venture, then this guide will help you.
This is a complete guide to starting a box truck business, with details about your business plan, funding ideas, and the different types of services you can provide. Try to integrate something that you are passionate about into your business so that you can stand out from other competitors.
What is a Box Truck Business?
By definition, a box truck business is a form of revenue that uses trucks to transport goods. Most people begin by finding the right sized truck for their intended cargo and offering their services locally. This includes large furniture, household goods, or warehouse supplies.
There are several routes that you can choose to go down when you are thinking about setting up your box truck business. You could decide that you want to be the main driver, or that you would like to oversee a larger scale of box truck deliveries. Box truck businesses can be highly competitive, so it is worth making your brand stand out from the crowd a little.
Consider offering a unique service that is rarely offered, or being more flexible with your customers and clients. Think about whether you want to be customer-facing or deal with industries and company suppliers because this can make a huge difference in your marketing strategy. You can provide Amazon delivery services to start off, or connect suppliers with consumers.
Junk disposal, donations, or acting as a go-between for local companies negotiating with their suppliers are all great ways that box truck businesses can be useful. There are also certain gaps in the market that are worth looking into, depending on the area you want to work in and the type of service you want to provide.
Think about what type of service you want to offer, and how you can grow your business into a respected brand using this. The area that you want to focus on is also important when it comes to your business growth because you may be offering a service that already exists or is already available in abundance.
Think about where you live, and how you can use your box truck to help the local community. This could be through junk removal services, helping people move homes, or bringing donated furniture or equipment to the local school. You could easily do something that you are passionate about, and use your box truck for charitable services.
Box truck business owners that have been highly successful demonstrate a level of determination and motivation that allows them to gradually grow over time. Ensure that you are fully committed to this before seeking appropriate funding, as it can be extremely challenging to start seeing some amount of profits.
How Much Money Can Box Truck Owners Make?
Because there is a large amount of variety that exists within the box truck industry, it is worth acknowledging that there are many factors that can influence the growth of your business and therefore your salary. These include how efficiently you manage your business, average amount of cargo delivered, and what type of target audience you are aimed towards.
Truck business owners’ annual salaries start at around $23,500 and can be as high as $293,000. Because there is such enormous variation with this, it means that there is a great deal of flexibility that comes with setting up a truck business. Depending on your audience, location, and services offered, you could try to generate a higher amount of revenue.
The possibility of earning a high amount of annual income is what appeals to many box truck owners, but you should try to avoid getting blinded by the potentially high income. This is because there is a certain amount of skill, hard work, and commitment that is needed in order to start seeing the benefits.
As a general rule, box truck owners and drivers that cover larger areas are typically more likely to earn more money. However, factors such as the cargo, worker experience, and overall customer or client satisfaction can influence this. Try to focus on providing a high quality service that helps the local community before becoming sidetracked by the money.
Because the income of truck owners is so varied, it is also worth understanding that the industry is not fixed. While large companies such as Amazon will always want people to deliver their goods, there is a huge amount of competition. This means that you may not be able to see a great deal of profits after your first year.
For that reason, setting up your business as a box truck owner can be challenging as the industry is highly unpredictable at times. That is why you should focus on filling a gap in the local market rather than purely thinking about the money.
What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Box Truck Business?
Of course, every business requires a certain amount of upfront payments, which is why they are widely considered to be long-term investments. Try to keep this in mind when you are faced with significant initial costs because short-term loss is absolutely long-term gain when it comes to setting up your own business.
For box truck businesses, one of the main costs is the purchase or hire of the truck itself. The prices of these vary depending on what size and type of truck you are looking for. However, the equipment itself is typically the most substantial upfront cost when starting a box truck business.
It is worth purchasing your first box truck outright if possible so that you do not need to worry about regular payments or security checks for this. Ensure that you are fully insured and licensed to drive the truck. There are a range of size categories that will determine the rough price range involved.
Starting prices for brand-new box trucks begin at $25,000 for a class 2 light duty truck. On the other hand, some of the most expensive categories include $90,000 for a medium-duty class 6. Depending on the savings that you have available, you could finance a new truck, or consider spending less money on a second-hand box truck.
Of course, there are drawbacks to this because it will be a little older than something brand-new, and could have its own selection of engine issues or internal dirt and grime that will need to be addressed before using.
Think about the type of work that you want to be doing, and how your services would cope with a second-hand box truck. Compare this with a brand new one and decide which would be best for you and your business in the long run.
It is also worth comparing the price of additional equipment. This includes a hitch and lift gate, a heavy-duty toolbox, and a ramp. However, these can be left until your business is a little more successful so that you can save a little money during the initial stages.
It is worth remembering that it takes a long time and a great deal of initial costs to set up any business. This means that you are less likely to see a huge amount of profit within the first few months. Try to focus on the bigger picture and ensure that you are staying motivated so that you can keep your business functioning as well as it possibly can.
These are the main steps that will help you hit the ground running and start your box truck business on the right note.
Steps to Starting a Box Truck Business in 2022
Step 1: Establish Your Business
The first thing you need to do is establish your business. Think about what type of service you want to provide, whether there is a demand for it, and the area that you plan on covering. Whether that is local to you or close to a certain district that is in need, you should ensure that you have a concept that is desirable and that makes you unique.
Think about what is important to you, and how you want to use this to make your business stand out. This can be done by creating a unique logo and name. There are plenty of ideas available online that you can use for inspiration, as well as useful ways to contact designers and check that your business name isn’t already in use by someone else.
You can then use your newly designed branding to set up a website. This is a highly important step that many customers will use to contact you, so it should not be skipped if possible. You could do your own research at this stage and compare how existing box truck businesses have made their website. However, it isn’t worth spending a huge amount of time on this, as you can change it over time. The main thing is that you have a site that the public and potential customers can use to contact you.
During this stage, you can think about your options in terms of corporation, LLC, or partnership. It is worth speaking with a lawyer about these to see what would be right for you and your business, although it can be a useful precautionary step to protect some of your assets in the case of a claim.
Depending on the type of people you want to reach, you could consider different advertising methods at this stage. These include printing business cards, getting your logo printed onto the side of your truck, or even creating a social media presence.
Compare existing truck businesses to see how they successfully grew as a brand and try to adapt some of these tactics to make them work for your business. It could also be worth contacting local brands to see if they would like to collaborate on a project. Whether that is a design on your logo, or a promotional deal.
Step 2: Create a Business Plan for your Box Truck Business
It’s essential that you create a business plan as soon as you have the small details figured out. Ensure that you are allowing for changes that can emerge over time and that you are realistic about your predictions. This can allow you to speak with local investors and banks in an attempt to gain funding. You can check out our sample box truck business plan to see how a simple business plan should be.
Your business plan will act as a roadmap that will estimate the growth, progress, and total expenses of your business over time. This can be a highly useful tool to show potential investors, accountants, and other advisors as an illustration of your ideas and the opportunity for growth.
Try to make your plan highly comprehensive, and use it for your own benefit. While it can be changed, adapted, and modified over time, it could be worth keeping a copy of your original ideas safe so that you can come back to it when your business is ready to grow or evolve.
Make sure that you are as specific about target market, operational plans, target market, marketing strategy, pricing strategy, and current as well as aspirational competitors. This can allow banks and future investors to appreciate your determination and understand that you have done your research into the industry.
Of course, the world of box truck businesses is a growing industry that is highly competitive. If your first year sees a high amount of success, however, it could be worth considering an upgrade. Hire another driver or add a much-needed piece of equipment to your set-up so that you can continue to increase your profits during the following year.
Step 3: Open Up a Business Checking Account And Credit Card
It’s important that you are monitoring your business’ progress on a regular basis so that you know what is working well and what you should try differently next time. Set up reminders or alerts when a certain payment reaches your business account so that you have some amount of regular positive reinforcement.
Make sure that your payments are not coming from your personal account, because there is typically a little more leeway when it comes to business checking accounts and credit cards. Try to use this for essentials like filling your truck with gas, vehicle payments, and promotion.
The majority of the money earned is likely to be fed back into the business during the beginning stages, and it can be a great idea to use a business account for these as soon as you can. This allows you to build up a respectable credit rating and show the banks and credit card companies that you are serious about your business.
Formal legal entries and other business-related services should all come from the checking account specifically designed for your business. This can prevent any overlap between your personal and the business’ income and provide a more accurate picture of your regular expenses.
Of course, at the start it is unlikely that your purchases will be predictable, but it is worth using a different account from the beginning to allow yourself a little work-life balance and ensure that all of your assets are protected.
It is also a legal requirement that you treat your business as a separate entity rather and take it seriously in order to qualify for specific services. Try to hit the ground running during this stage and ensure that you have all the tools for successful business growth.
Business credit cards are another useful tool because they can keep you covered for expensive items including engine repair or delayed payments. Building up your business credit rating makes it easier to apply for loans when needed, which can help with long-term growth.
In addition, business credit cards have a range of additional benefits including bonuses, rewards, and points. This can be a highly useful resource when you are just beginning to set up your business, because you are likely to be struck with unexpected payments along the way. Use your business credit card for unforeseen circumstances and consider making the most out of the benefits in a profitable way.
Step 4: Obtain Funding
Depending on your financial history, it is worth comparing your options for funding. This can help you to grow your business by ensuring you can make ends meet in the beginning. Whether this will cover safety deposits on a truck, office hire, or advertising, it is worth obtaining funding so that you can support yourself and your business.
If you are fortunate enough to have a large amount of money saved within your personal account, it could be worth using some of this to set up your business. This can either act as a nest egg to fall upon when needed, or used for some of the initial costs that you may face.
Another option is credit cards, however these can be a little risky in the long run. Most credit card companies have hidden costs, but you could search for a 0% teaser rate that you can use on certain deposits or other business expenses. It is recommended that you shop around for a great deal, and that you find one that lasts at least one year. This can allow you to get your business up and running with fewer worries about money.
You could speak with your friends and family about supporting your new business. Depending on your relationship with them, however, it may not be the best move. This is because there is a toll placed on your friendship or relationship with them if they do not get their money back once you are able to repay them.
Banks are the most traditional form of getting funding for new businesses, and they can be a valuable tool. The main thing to be aware of when negotiating with a bank is that they may take a little longer to approve your request.
This is because they want to be sure that your new business is legitimate and that you are fully committed. This is where your comprehensive business plan comes in use, as it can be a great indicator of realistic predictions and intended customer base.
Online funding is another option to help your business grow. This includes Kickstarter campaigns and other online means to generate funds that can be used for supplies, equipment, and deposits.
Step 5: Obtain Licenses, Permits And Insurance
Larger trucks with higher capacities will require additional courses and licenses in order to be safely driven. Make sure that you allowed yourself the funding and time to get the right amount of training and base level of knowledge within the industry and driving experience.
Insurance is also essential when you are setting up your box truck business, because you should protect your employees and the cargo. Whether you want to work closely with local companies to supply their core materials, or if you plan on helping homeowners to relocate, damaged goods can lead to negative reviews. Make sure that your business is fully insured in order to see positive results.
If you are keen to start your box truck business, you could begin by using a smaller truck which does not require the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This can give you an advantage of time over other trucks, that will allow you to start generating a market and potential customer base.
With that said, however, it is important to ensure that you are working within the law, and that you are fully permitted to operate. You will need to apply to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for a Motor Carrier (MC) number. Ensure that you are fully insured, and that you file a BOC- 3 form.
Another thing worth thinking about is if you intend to work across state lines. Additional legal filing is needed for this, and you should get a Unified Carrier Registration (UCR). Make sure that you have also applied for a business license, and contact your county clerk’s office if you want more information.
Step 6: Secure a Location and Hire Drivers
Setting up a base for an office, warehouse, or even customer facing location can be highly beneficial because it is easier to employ staff when your business grows. It can also help to source an office that is connected to a large and secure warehouse. This ensures that your trucks are kept as safe as they can be.
Try to compare local prices for places to safely store your box truck and other equipment. Certain storage facilities can be highly expensive, and you should try to find a secure location close to your target neighborhood, city, or region.
Depending on how you want your business to operate, and what your intended role is, you should consider the role of other employees. Those who want to work as owner-operators will not necessarily require additional staff or drivers. However, it can be useful to hire somebody to negotiate with clients or who will deal with existing accounts to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
If you want to grow your business, then it is definitely worth acknowledging the role that additional drivers can play. When you are posting for the job, try to be as clear as possible about what will be required of them, and what type of qualifications or skills are desirable.
Avoid discriminating against any particular group, and invite potential candidates to interview based on their qualifications. It is also important to make sure that you have the infrastructure for regular payroll in place before hiring more staff. Depending on what type of scale you are dealing with, it could be worth seeking financial help or searching for an office administrator.
Step 7: Get Contracts for your Box Truck Business
There are a lot of ways that you can generate regular business, depending on your intended clientele and where you are based. Try to draft up contracts with your existing clients for regular deliveries and trips on a monthly basis. This can be perfect for ensuring that your business is active and that you have regular customers.
It could also be worth reaching out to large institutions to provide a go-between for your local area. This can be services such as Amazon deliveries, prescription services, furniture suppliers, and more.
Load boards are another valuable resource that you can use to see what needs to be delivered within a certain time frame. Amazon is one of the most frequently used load boards, and their relay program is free and easy to use. It can be a great way to start your box truck business and begin generating income.
Another option is truck dispatchers which you can use to find certain sized loads and compare the jobs available within your area. You could also consider renting out your truck to people who are moving house or relocating. However, this has the added risk of causing damage to your box truck.
Depending on what type of services you want to provide, it could be worth applying for the appropriate insurance. It is also worth making your advertisement and website appeal to your intended target audience, so that your business is reaching the right people.
Whether you want to focus on changing the layout to a more retro design, or add subtle colors, it is worth doing your own market research and staying on top of the latest trends that are best suited to your target market.
There are so many things to consider when you are setting up your own box truck business, that it can be a challenge to stay on top of everything. That is why these steps have been made to hopefully act as a checklist that allows you to keep your business on track, and working as it should be.
Try to create something that expresses your personality and that you enjoy working towards. This includes the target audience, for example if you want to engage in more charity work, then you could aim to work with local donation services.
Another option would be to support the local community by working with regional suppliers of furniture and school supplies to ensure that children have access to educational resources at school and at home. Try to help people if that is something that is important to you, as you can use your box truck to improve the lives of others.
You can use your box truck for good as well as working on developing your profile as a successful business owner. Try to create a balance between paid work and donation services so that you are still able to earn a living and feed some money back into developing your brand.
Box truck owners can earn a high amount of money with regular work, and it is worth allowing your business to grow in a way that works for you and your lifestyle. Ensure that you have applied for the appropriate permits and that you can expand your business when necessary in order to maximize profits.