Business plans are similar to roadmaps: while it is possible to travel without one, you are more likely to become lost while establishing your freight forwarding company. Business plans enable you to plan ahead of time and ensure that you are heading in the right direction.
Market analysis, competitor analysis, marketing plan, operation plan, cash flow projections, and other details are common in business plans.
Even though creating a comprehensive business plan may appear time-consuming and exhausting, it is critical for the growth and success of your company.
Developing a business plan for your freight forwarding firm:
One of the first steps in developing a freight forwarding business plan is usually market research. Whether you are new to the logistics industry or an experienced freight forwarder, it is critical to devote adequate time to conducting an industry overview and assessing all of the challenges you will face.
Before you start your freight forwarding business, you must decide which niche market (or simply sector) you will focus on (air, sea, rail, road, customs brokerage, warehouse, etc.). Examine the competition in your area to see if there are any services that are currently lacking. Of course, you must ensure that there is sufficient demand for the services you choose to offer.
Furthermore, during this stage, or the competitor analysis stage, you should consider the differentiating factors that will set you apart from your competitors. The ultimate goal is usually to increase customer satisfaction because the majority of your profits come from repeat customers.
There are still many opportunities in the freight forwarding industry because many companies have not implemented advanced technologies such as real-time tracking in their daily operations.
One of the most important phases is developing a financial plan to determine whether starting a freight forwarding company is profitable and economically feasible for you. A financial plan includes an estimate of the startup costs for a freight forwarder, such as office space rent, license fees, training costs, and employee salaries.
Finally, you will be able to determine whether there is sufficient incentive for you to start a freight forwarding company. The money you invest and the returns you will receive should be in a healthy balance.
Registration, License, and Insurance
Before you begin your freight forwarding business, you must prepare several documents. The documents required to start your business may differ depending on the country; thus, you must conduct research or consult with a logistics expert to determine which documents you require.
Examples of the documents you may consider:
- Certification of Corporation
- Business License & Certification
- Insurance Policy
- NVOCC Registration
- Carrier Tariff Registration
- Ocean Transportation Intermediary Bond
Infrastructure & Staff Selection
Infrastructure and personnel are the foundations of your freight forwarding business in logistics. Plan ahead of time to see if you can locate your office in a strategic location, and determine whether you need to outsource certain aspects of the freight forwarding process, such as warehouse and truck delivery.
Furthermore, hire employees who are eager to learn about and implement freight forwarding technology. The freight forwarding industry is undergoing digital transformation, and those who refuse to use freight forwarding technology, such as freight forwarding software, will be eliminated from competition.
Investing in the right facilities and professionals from the start will make a significant difference in the growth of your freight forwarding company.
When you are just starting out in freight forwarding, marketing can be extremely beneficial in obtaining your first few customers. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. If you don’t have a lot of money to start, you can always join shippers’ Facebook groups and post your offerings for free.
On the other hand, you can enlist the help of a marketing firm that specializes in logistics or freight forwarding. The specialists will advise you on what you need to do to increase business visibility and highlight your industry differentiators.
Before you begin operating your freight forwarding business, you may want to conduct some research on the most recent freight forwarding software solution on the market. Despite being a little later than the other industries, the freight forwarding industry is also undergoing digitalization.
Papers and Excel spreadsheets have traditionally been used in the freight forwarding process. However, with the development of all-in-one freight forwarding software, many of the previously manual tasks have been eliminated, resulting in significantly fewer inefficient operations.
Implementing freight forwarding software, such as GoFreight, from the start will maximize your efficiency, reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive edge. Feel free to schedule a free meeting with GoFreight experts to learn more about how GoFreight can help you achieve KPI targets and accelerate your business growth.
Here is a free sample business plan for a freight forwarding company that you can look at.