Growing your trucking company is hard work - not only do you have to manage your drivers and trucks, theres the constant struggle of finding more business and more loads to move. This process - customer acquisition - is the central goal of all businesses. Without the ability to grow and make money from your customer base, you're stuck where you are. However, there are definitely ways you can find more business without breaking the bank.
Here are some practical ways you can grow your trucking business without breaking the bank
1. Provide a carrier "info package" or resume for potential customers
One of the easiest things you can do to get more business is to send out an "info package" or "resume" detailing your services to your target market. This can be past customers who you'd love to start a long term partnership with, tips on potential new leads from friends, or referrals from social media. This doesn't have to be an essay either - find a tagline for your business (e.g. "Customer Service Is Our Mission"), write a paragraph or two about why shippers should use your trucking services, and list your capacity. To spice it up and provide that finishing touch, you can even get a customer testimonial! If you need a place to start, check out our free info package templates on our resources page.
2. Use social media to promote your business
Another powerful tool in your growth tool belt is, unsurprisingly, social media. While you're probably already on a variety of these platforms, whether its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, you might not have started advertising your business yet. Do that immediately! Not only is it a free way to promote your business - it's an easy way to make yourself more visible and more professional looking. Some general tips for an amazing social media page: make sure you have a profile picture that reflects your company (logo is great!), add a relevant cover photo (how about a truck!), add contact information, and reach out to friends, family, and customers to like and share your page. If you want help starting to share and grow viewership on your page, just like our Facebook page, our Twitter, or our LinkedIn and we'll share your page (great way to reach shippers!).
3. Use cold calling effectively to grow an audience
Of course, sometimes there's nothing that can replace a good old fashioned phone call to your customers. As we say here at FreightPath - cold calling is one of the most important ways of growing your customer base, and hence your business. However, this doesn’t mean it’s easy - it can be nerve-wracking, embarrassing, and frustrating to say the least. However, with the right skills, plenty of practice, and perseverance - cold calling can help your trucking company grow incredibly fast. With the right practice and strategy, cold calling can be your secret sauce strategy of scaling your company incredibly fast. If your interested in starting - I'd recommend you check out the book on cold calling we wrote - The Definitive Guide to Cold Calling - available for free on our resources page.
4. Start marketing your services via email to past customers
Another way of marketing and selling your business (thats very closely linked to cold calling and the info package) is beginning to market to your prospective customers using email marketing. Not only is this an incredibly easy and affordable way to begin to build an audience and a brand for your business, there are platforms online like Mailchimp that offer free email marketing services that are easy to use, setup, and succeed with.
5. Create a loyalty program for recurring customers
If you've already tried ways of reaching out to prospects but haven't been able to turn these one-off transactions into repeated business, an interesting strategy could be creating a loyalty program for your recurring customers. Many retailers do this to keep you a loyal customer - special perks, a rewards system, long-term discounts - these are great ways that you can use to keep customers from jumping ship and hunting for the next deal.
6. Make sending freight orders easy for your customers (the shippers!)
Finally, the best way to grow your business sometimes is the simplest. There's simply no replacement for great customer service - in this case making the process of sending freight orders effortless for shippers. This means that they should be able to request an instant quote directly online, and have it responded to within minutes. If this sounds daunting, it's because it is. We found that with FreightPath, we were able to accomplish this with the customer portal installed directly via a link on our website. If this is something that you want to provide to your clients (or something they've already requested), check out what FreightPath can do for you.