People living in the world of things are constantly forced to move their goods in space: moving, traveling to the country, transportation of refrigerators and televisions, etc. This is a market in which hundreds of transport companies operate. Among them are many small enterprises, but there are also large players, such as the Russian Crew. Director of this company Igor KOROTKOV shares his advice with novice entrepreneurs who want to organize their own freight business.
Offer a quality alternative to cheap services!
What is the business? Signing a contract of liability with the client, packing of the transported things, timely delivery, unpacking and installation at the appropriate places. But, everything is simple only at first glance. That is why today a huge number of tiny transport companies operate on the market. Everyone who is not lazy is engaged in transportation. A company is being assembled from several movers, they’ll “put on the phone” the operator accepting applications, and you can work! Here are just customers, as a rule, are unhappy. Often, customers call one carriage cost by telephone, and in the end, completely different numbers sound in fact. Often, movers go to all sorts of tricks: for example, you can’t park the car near the house, extra meters, floors appear, so you will have to pay extra for every step from the entrance. It’s good if they announce the full amount right away. At worst, the client learns about it when things are already loaded, which means there is nowhere to retreat.
So, if you want to organize a business in this area, then the first thing you have to oppose to cheap and not always high-quality transportation is a worthy alternative. There are few serious, responsible companies providing quality services on the market right now. And this means that conscientious services will be in demand, and customers will certainly be found.
Draw up a liability agreement
The problem is that customers themselves most often fall for the bait of cheapness. For example, they are trying to save on transportation at an expensive cost of several tens of thousands of dollars and find the cheapest company. As a rule, no contract is drawn up. As a result, they get damaged, scratched furniture. Theft often occurs.
There is a slight legal subtlety about which not everyone knows. Today, everyone can buy, for example, "Gazelle", register as a private entrepreneur and start a business without any contracts. But the fact is that at the time of moving the property passes into the hands of the carrier. And in the case of "left" firms, no one guarantees the customer that his property will arrive in place intact. So your task is to legally draw up a contract with the client on liability. In this case, of course, in the process of moving you will be fully responsible for the property of others. But do not be afraid to take responsibility if the work process is debugged, and your movers conscientiously treat the packaging and transportation of things. But in the eyes of the customer, the prestige of your company will rise significantly. The next time he will again use your services, and even recommend to all his friends.This article may be out of date. More relevant articles on this topic:
Road freight market: analysis and development forecasts
Market Overview: Trucking
Build the legal base of business
In order to correctly draw up contracts, it is advisable to have a lawyer company on staff. Working under a standard contract is difficult. The fact is that you have to constantly work with various types of transportation, with different customers. Many of them often want to make adjustments, remake the contract "for themselves." When transporting expensive items, you should keep a certain percentage of the cost of the goods, because the material responsibility for the transportation lies with you. This moment must be displayed in the contract. In addition, in this business there is a danger of being “thrown” with payment. Therefore, such advice - try to work only on the basis of one hundred percent prepayment and - by bank transfer.
And last, it’s no secret that customers are different. Even if the unexpected happens, and your employees still damage the cargo, you can make an act and evaluate the cost of damage after the fact. But the main thing is that the move took place, you fulfilled your obligations to the customer. In any case, the preliminary signing of the contract and the correct legal support for the relocation will save both you and the client from many troubles.
Start a business with team building
At the initial stage, when a large number of orders are not expected, it will be more correct to hire movers for one-time work. However, over time, try to create such conditions for employees that they want to stay in your company. Consider the possibility of free food and travel by public transport ... The best option is to hire a few people for piece-rate, but constant payment, for example, a salary of $ 100 and 1, 000 rubles for each trip. It is clear that at first it will not be easy to ensure winning conditions for employees. But this should be sought. After all, the result will be the honesty of people who are most directly related to the core business of the company.
At the first stage, six loaders are quite enough. The entrepreneur can perform the functions of manager and dispatcher by himself.
And one more valuable advice: do not hire friends. On the one hand, with friends it is in a sense easier, but on the other hand, asking them is much more difficult. As a result, you can stay without friends, and without employees.
Do not buy Russian cars!
The initial cost of organizing this business will be a maximum of 5-7 thousand dollars, but this does not include the purchase of decent vehicles. You can start a business with one machine. But, it must be fully equipped to transport furniture. Then, having reached a stable volume of traffic, purchase cars of different volumes. It can be, for example, "Gazelle". However, if possible it is better to avoid the use of Russian cars, do not add yourself problems with the repair and maintenance of the fleet. From experience, we strongly advise you to purchase imported cars, even if the only foreign car at your disposal will cost like two Russian cars. As a result, she will still last longer.
Connect your multi-line phone!
The location of your office does not matter. After all, usually not the client goes to you, but you - to the client. The main thing you need to get is a multi-channel telephone. Well, of course, a polite dispatcher who takes orders. The fact is that a thorough conversation with a client will take time, but you do not have the right to miss the call of the next customer, because without calling the first time, he will most likely contact other companies. There is only one way out - a multi-line telephone in your office.
Build long customer relationships
Some are sure that moving is a one-time service, the company has moved to a new office and that’s all, the relationship with the transport company is over. But this is a big mistake! There are situations when your customers are again in a state of moving, for example, a relationship with the landlord has not developed. And, if the last time you had a good relationship with the customer, and the move itself was carried out efficiently and on time, wait for a second appeal. In addition, employees of the client company can contact you privately. Therefore, competent and professional relocation will attract more customers than any advertisement. By the way, there is a “seasonal” factor in this market. So, at the beginning of summer everyone leaves for summer cottages, and at the end of the year lease agreements expire, then the offices begin to move. But after the New Year for a while, the “dead" season begins.
Use the internet
You should definitely create your own website. This will be evidence that your company is not a “one-day” business. The Internet is the main source of serious customers. In print media such as From Hand to Hand newspaper, advertising for transport companies is unprofitable. Firstly, a lot of ads of tiny companies working at dumping prices are placed nearby, and secondly, a serious transport company should generally avoid advertising in mass media, where anyone can post information about themselves without any “input control”. Advertising on the back of your car and even on overalls of movers will work well.
Request letters of recommendation
Feel free to ask your clients - large companies or famous people for letters of appreciation or appreciation. Subsequently, they can be demonstrated as a guarantee of the reliability of the company. The presence of letters of recommendation helps in negotiations with corporate clients.
Show customer loyalty!
No matter how trite this sounds, try to always meet the wishes of the client. If he considers it necessary to protect his property during transportation, take on the negotiations with the interagency guard. The client needs to deliver his things to another city - be sure to fulfill his request, even if you have never done this before. Be sure to use packaging material in your work and save the customer from the hassle of putting everything in boxes themselves. And never fool customers. Of course, at the initial stage, you will have to work hard and hard, but it will pay off handsomely for the loyalty of customers to your business!
Based on materials from an interview with Olga Mitina for Business Magazine08/18/2019