Businesses around the world rely on shipping. As might already know, its proven to be a profitable business for others like UPS, Fedex and DHL. Perhaps, it could be a successful business for you too. In this post, we’ll cover how to start a shipping business without having to stress about a large enterprise operation or hiring an insurance consultant.
Background In Logistics
Opening a shipping business requires a competitive advantage in logistics. If you have a background in logistics, you will probably have a upper hand when starting the business, just as you would for a home remodeling business if you had a background in construction. Otherwise, you may want to consider doing significant research in the field or hiring an expert as your first hire. Certainly, having the proper knowledge to run the business is a good idea when starting a new business.
Pick What Type Of Shipping Business
Narrowing down what type of shipping business you will own is a must. Many entrepreneurs may not realize that there are different types of shipping businesses. But, you will need to know this in order to start your own shipping company. You can choose to start shipping perishable goods, dangerous goods, hazardous goods or others. This will impact all the other decisions you make going forward, including warehouse equipment and much more. Regardless of what type of shipment categories you decide to focus on, make sure you learn about all the different options available to you before you make your decision.
Set Up The Business Entity
Once you have the knowledge and research to start a shipping business, it is time to structure the business. You can decided between a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation or C-corporation among others. However, many entrepreneurs and business owners will choose a structure that suits their legal needs. An additional consideration is how many owners share the business and how taxes will be accounted for. If you are unsure, seeking an accountant or legal advice can help you choose the right company.
Let The IRS Know
Once you have decided on an appropriate business structure, whether it is a LLC, sole proprietorship or other, you need to request an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, from the IRS. This number is one of the most important IRS business requirements. It renders your business capable of filing taxes, applying for wholesale accounts and opening business bank accounts or business credit cards. The bank account definition requires this business identification number. Get an EIN by visiting the IRS website, you can apply for an EIN online using an easy to fill out form. Do not forget this important step when starting a drop shipping business.
Choose Your Customer Base
Next, you have to decide how your shipping company will compete in the market. Unless you plan on raising a lot of capital, it might be a good idea to pick a niche or specific shipping need. For example, bike messengers provide a unique and specialized shipping service. The serve a targeted group of customers and companies within a region. Similarly, your business needs to have a good idea of who it will be servicing.
Funding Your Business
After determining the customer base, it will be easier to determine how much money the business will generate. From these projections, you can estimate the costs of the company and how much start up capital is needed. If you are planning to start small, you might be able to bootstrap the company and pay for it yourself. However, larger start up business plans may require outside investors or strategic business loans. No matter what your financial situation, be sure to avoid unsecured loans. Either way, securing the financing your business needs is essential to “ship” into production.
Running The Operations
With business financing in place, you’re ready to set up and run the operations. First, you will need to secure the necessary equipment and people resources, just as you would for any other ventures, including child care franchises. Whether it is planes, trucks or vans, they all require people to drive them. By securing the upfront resources needed, you will be ready to manage the business on a day-to-day basis. Unless you don’t want to run the operations, you can hire a skilled logistics manager to run it for you. However, you still have to be involved in any new business for it to be a success.
Starting a shipping business is a challenging endeavor that requires careful planning and execution. With the right expertise, customer base and resources, you could start a very profitable shipping company. Of course, the ultimate company destination is entirely up to you. Perhaps, you will be the next large shipping company that delivers to customers around the world.
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