Starting a box truck business can be a great way to make money while also providing a valuable service to your community. However, there are many things to consider before starting a box truck business, from the legal requirements to the day-to-day operations of the business.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own box truck business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Box Truck Business
1. Choose Your Type of Box Truck Business
The first step in launching a box truck business is to identify the type of box truck business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
Local deliveries: You could launch a local delivery business, picking up and dropping off packages within the same city or town. This type of business is often the simplest to set up.
Interstate deliveries: You could also launch an interstate delivery business, which involves picking up and dropping off packages between different states. This type of business is more complex to set up, as you will need to obtain the proper licenses and permits.
2. Name Your Box Truck Business
Give your box truck business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your box truck business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your box truck business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so customers will use your services.
3. Determine Your Box Truck Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a box truck business including:
- Door-to-door delivery: Customers can schedule a time for their package to be picked up and delivered right to their doorsteps.
- Stationary locations: Customers can drop off and pick up their packages from a designated location, such as a retail store or shipping center.
- Mobile locations: Customers can have their packages delivered to them at their current location, such as their office or home.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your box truck business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your box truck business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common box truck business structures.
5. Write a Box Truck Business Plan
All box truck business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
Read our article about how to write a box truck business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your box truck business.
For example, if you are operating a food truck business, you will need to obtain a food license from the health department. If you are delivering alcohol, you will need to get an alcohol license. And if you are driving across state lines, you will need to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
You must also register your box truck business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your box truck business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your box truck business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your box truck business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a box truck business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your box truck business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your box truck business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in a GPS system for your box truck, as well as dispatch software to help you keep track of your drivers and deliveries.
9. Market Your Box Truck Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the box truck industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Box truck businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Traditional advertising like print, radio and TV ads
- Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your website’s visibility in Google and other search engines
- Publicity campaigns to get media coverage for your business
- Sponsorships and partnerships with other businesses or organizations
- Referral programs to encourage customers to refer your business to their friends and family
Read our article about how to market your box truck business for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your box truck business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your box truck business to learn more.
Starting a Box Truck Business FAQs
A box truck business can be a great way to earn a living while providing a valuable service to businesses and individuals.
With your own box truck, you can offer delivery services, moving services, storage services and more. And you can work with clients in your local area or across the country.
Starting a box truck business is also a relatively low-cost business to start, which makes it a great option for entrepreneurs who are on a tight budget.
In order to start a successful box truck business, you need the following:
- A dependable box truck
- The right insurance coverage
- The proper licenses and permits
- Technology and software to run your business efficiently
- A well-designed website
- An effective marketing strategy
Here are some tips for starting a box truck business:
Research the market. Before starting your business, be sure to do your research and understand the industry.
Have a plan. Create a business plan that outlines your company’s goals and how you plan to achieve them.
Choose the right truck. When choosing a box truck for your business, be sure to consider its size, price and features.
Invest in technology. Technology can help you run your business more efficiently, so be sure to invest in the right tools and software.
Promote your business. Be sure to promote your business online and offline to attract new clients.
Grow your business. As your business grows, be sure to establish systems and processes to ensure consistency and efficiency.
A simple checklist to use when starting a box truck business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Box Truck Company: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Box Truck Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Box Truck Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Box Truck Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Box Truck Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting a box truck business can be a great way to start your own business. By researching the market and planning ahead, you can set yourself up for success. Be sure to invest in technology and promote your business online and offline to attract new clients. As your business grows, be sure to establish systems and processes to ensure consistency and efficiency.