How to grow your Road Freight Transportation Business
After you complete the challenging task of establishing yourself as a transportation business and bringing in a stable revenue stream, your next problem will be maintaining steady growth. Many businesses begin to notice that their growth rate has slowed to a crawl after the initial 1-3 year starting period, and combatting this issue becomes their chief concern.
Here are a few ways that you can start growing your business again and (most importantly) increase your profits.
Identify the reason for slowing growth
If your transportation business is suffering from declining growth, then you need to find out why this problem is occurring before you can start to fix it. There could be one specific culprit, or the issue could be caused by a series of different factors concerning various elements of your business.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to try and diagnose your slow growth.
- Are you offering a competitive service compared to what’s out there?
- Are you struggling against several competitors? How many are there?
- Have your existing customers cited any issues with your service? Are they recommending your business?
- Are your staff/contractors satisfied and performing well? What is your turnover like?
- Are your facilities/equipment outdated or too limited? Do you need to upgrade or expand?
- Are your finances being managed effectively? Are you overpaying for certain things?
Expand to other sales channels
When you’re encountering a slowdown in sales growth, it makes sense to see if you can expand to other sales channels to bring in more revenue. You might discover a new avenue for generating sales that accelerates your growth.
Logistics industry conference events could be a great way for you to generate more leads for your transportation business. They’re an excellent opportunity to network and get face to face with potential clients who you would otherwise only have a chance of speaking to via phone or email.
Grow your product and service offering
On top of expanding to other sales channels, you might also consider expanding the services you offer. Expanding your services also means expanding your potential to generate sales, since you’ll be offering something distinct that you didn’t before.
For example, acquiring the necessary equipment and permits to transport agricultural goods can open you up to a market you previously couldn’t serve. Perhaps you could be an early adopter of a new technology that makes your road freight service more efficient/cheaper for clients.
As a transportation business, it’s useful to examine wider B2B trends to see where you may be able to fill a gap that your competitors aren’t. Being proactive rather than reactive with regards to supply and demand is what will make the difference for your business.
Merging with another company may not be what you envision doing when you get started, but a lot of the time it can make economic sense to do so. Combining your assets with another company can reduce costs, expand the customer base, and increase profits across the board.
Of course, a merger requires a lot of negotiation and planning before it can occur. You would need to identify another entity that has a similar amount to gain from the merger.
Another way to get your growth back on track is to try and generate trade mentions for your company. This is effectively a form of PR (public relations) where you try to increase the mindshare around your business by encouraging conversation surrounding it.
A cross-promotion strategy with another business can be a useful way to do this, and it could be as simple as both entities publishing social media posts that reference the other. This strategy is more likely to work with another entity that has a similar following to your own.
Increase industry knowledge
Sometimes expanding your knowledge of the industry is the key to discovering a new competitive edge for your business. Even something as simple as reading an online article or watching a video could give you an insight that you can leverage to renew your sales growth.
When you’re running a business, it can be easy to get trapped in an information bubble where your view of the industry becomes very narrow and self-centred. Taking some time to explore aspects of the industry that aren’t directly related to your current operation can reveal opportunities you could have never imagined previously.
“Our competitor vs our company”
Publishing a post on your website that compares your company to a competitor can attract search engine traffic from people looking for reviews about said competitor. In this post, you would make sure that your USP is made clear and that it’s obvious why your company is the superior choice for a business requiring road freight transportation.
Look at your pricing
Your pricing is another factor that you should pay close attention to. You may need to adjust your pricing to ensure you are achieving an adequate profit margin. On the other hand, you may need to find a way to lower prices so that you more easily attract new customers (and keep your current customers from switching to a cheaper competitor).
You should endeavour to ensure that your prices fairly represent the value you bring in the eyes of customers. If a customer knows they are getting a significant advantage through your USP, then they won’t mind paying a little extra to engage your road freight service.
Connect with your customers / customer service
Your success in the logistics and transportation industry often requires you to form long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with your customers. If you can build and maintain a solid base of happy customers, then you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that you have a secure cash flow.
Building and maintaining a customer base requires you to practise excellent customer service. If you give your customers a pleasant and trouble-free service, they will be happy to continue working with you and will recommend your services to others.
As one of your chief methods of attracting new clients, it’s worth checking over your online marketing channels when you notice a slump in sales growth. Here’s a list of things you should make sure you have:
Google My Business
- Website Link
- NAP: Business Name, Address, Phone
- Opening Hours
- Service Area
- Service offerings: Describe the types of cargo your trucks can transport, what their maximum load capacity is, and other relevant information about how your service operates.
- About us/meet the team
- Contact information
- Links to your social media accounts
Social media accounts
Social media is an effective way to engage with customers on platforms they use habitually, such as Facebook. While you might have already established a rudimentary social media presence, you can leverage social media as a potential new sales channel/marketing tool if you dedicate time to it. Your social media strategy requires you to have a precise understanding of your audience and the kind of content they find most engaging. On top of this, social media platforms also allow you to construct and publish paid advertisements to reach a wider audience.
Improving your email marketing strategy is another step you can take to bring in more sales. Staying connected with customers by sharing updates about your services and promotions will keep your business relevant in their minds. Encourage customers to subscribe to your mailing list so that they don’t miss important updates and potential savings opportunities.
Since referrals are one of the most reliable ways for your transportation business to grow sales, incentivising this behaviour is a great idea. Offer discounts to your customer who refers others to your business.
OnDeck helps businesses finance their growth with flexible loans ranging from $5k to $250k with repayment terms between 6 to 24 months. Applying online is easy via our website. Alternatively, you can give our friendly team a call on 1800 676 652.
Road Freight Transport Frequently Asked Questions
To build a successful transportation company you need to purchase/hire the necessary equipment and facilities to start completing deliveries for various clients. Your ongoing goal should be to build and incrementally grow your client base by delivering a reliable, transparent service. You should also leverage various marketing strategies to promote your business.