Step #1: Register As a Legal Business
It’s very important for you to have a legal business, especially in the trucking industry. You can start by registering a corporation(INC) or a limited liability company (LLC). It’s very easy, and the costs are below $250. You can do this on your own by using services such as incfile, or legalzoom. It’s important that you have a EIN numbers, which works for IRS filings, having business accounts, and more.
Step #2: Learn About Trucks & Freight
Many believe they can make a phone call, send it to the driver and collect money from their homes. This is not true, and you will not succeed unless you take a bit of your time and learn about the trucking industry. Learn the map of USA. It sounds cheesy, but it’s important to know the distances between states. It’s region of USA has it’s markets for freight depending on the season. You have to learn these to know where the good freight rates are. Besides knowing where the good rates are, it’s also important that you must know what a good rate is. Besides knowing what the good rates are it’s also important to know what rate is good for what equipment. You must know equipment such as vans,reefers,and flatbeds for starters. Down the line, you can learn more about other equipment used for transporting goods through USA. You want to learn products as well, it’s a big difference between hauling cart boxes and frozen beef. All these lessons will help you negotiate better freight rate for your client (trucker or a carrier that uses your services). Or you can call, and blurt our numbers that sound good to both parties (brokers and carriers), which you won’t get far in this industry, and you will call it quits.
Step #3: Laptop or Desktop, Fax Machine, Phones Are a Must!
You have to have those 3. They will be your best friend. Internet, ink, and paper, a lot of ink and paper actually!
Step #4: Access To Load Boards
You can sign up for a lot of load boards, but the main ones that are being used, and the best ones on the market are DAT, and ITS. To sign up for these you will need a carrier that will allow you to use their MC/USDOT number. After all, you are representing their company. This is where you will find loads from load boards. However, if you are really good at what you do, you can get direct freight, but it can not be under your name. By law it’s for a carrier that you represent, and the direct shipper’s freight must only be given to them.
Step #5: Power Of Attorney/ Contract Agreement
This is to protect you, and also the carrier that you work with. In this agreement it should state what you are held responsible for, and what you are not held responsible for. It should also state what type of terms and conditions such as payment type, and how much of a payment is being charged for your services.
Step #6: Marketing: Put Your Dispatch Services To Work
Now that you have a grasp, and everything in order you need TRUCKS! This is where many people fail because they don’t know how to reach out to people that may need their services. First, always have a business card, and a website explaining what you can do, and how you can help your clients. Too many people talk, but have no information to provide to potential clients. Second, find ways to get clients by making friendly cold calls, or connecting with them through social media. There is always a 1 man trucking company that needs this service. Some guys that have 5-6 trucks do too, because they simply hate dealing with paper work, and negotiating. However, make sure your services are good. Every client is different and may need a different type of work. Some clients only need paper work being filled out and faxed. Some clients may need you to book loads, and also do all the paper work for them.
Step #7: Get PAID!
It’s important to finally get paid based on the agreement with a carrier. Remember, the carrier always does the billing can you can’t pay the carrier. The carrier has to pay you. You have to find a way for a carrier to pay you. Maybe a direct deposit, paypal, moneygram, and those sort of options will work for both of you. What if a client doesn’t pay you? There are things that can be done, but not much. However, giving good services to your clients will make them pay, otherwise their operation might come to a stop. 90% of the time you will be paid if your dispatch services satisfy the client.