Did you know that more than 60% of adults aspire to become business owners? It’s not mysterious why they’d want all the pressure and responsibility of business ownership either. Despite all the work, it means exerting tremendous control over your own life.
Of course, you need the right kind of business idea in mind before you start. Coffee shops and tech startups are all well and good for some. Some people prefer a job with less time in offices or behind a counter. If you’re one of those, a dump truck business might suit you just fine.
If you need some pointers on how to start a dump truck business, keep reading for some key tips.
If you plan on operating the dump truck yourself, then you’ll need a CDL license. Each state issues its own rules about the license, but you must typically do the following:
- Pass a written exam
- Pass a vision exam
- Pass a medical exam
- Pass a maneuverability test
- Pass a road test
Your state may ask for additional information or impose additional requirements. While truck driving school isn’t a mandatory step, you may find it helpful in preparing you for the tests.
Investigate Your Market
A dump truck has a limited practical range in any given workday. In most cases, you’ll likely operate within 25-50 miles of your home. That means you must understand a few key pieces of the local market.
You must find out how many other dump trump businesses will operate in that area. Don’t just search in your home town or city. Companies from nearby towns or cities will likely overlap your service area.
If there are already several established dump truck companies in the area, it can make owning a dump truck and making it profitable a serious challenge.
Most of your work will likely come through the local construction industry. For example, they might hire you to bring in a load of sand for a pool. You need a clear picture of how active the local construction industry actually is overall and seasonally.
If you live in the southeast or southwest, the construction industry remains busy for much of the year. If you live in a state like Maine, the weather keeps construction work fairly well confined to late spring to early fall. It is too cold or too wet for the rest of the time.
You can find probably find some off-season work, but it’s likely the work will prove irregular.
If the construction industry is very active where you live, that gives you a better opportunity of successfully starting a dump truck business.
The other thing you should consider is what niche your business will occupy. Dump truck owners often specialize in particular kinds of work, such as moving construction equipment to local or even long-distance job sites, moving waste products, or moving construction materials.
Sometimes you can find a niche that no one else has a firm grip on and establish yourself that way.
Once you finish your market research, you’re in a good spot to develop your business plan. A good business plan covers a lot of ground. Some of the key areas of a business plan include:
- Executive summary
- Market analysis
- Financial plan
- Financial projections
- Business legal structure, such as an LLC
- Services and marketing plan
Putting together a business plan does a few important things.
It ensures that you think the reality through in terms of market, finances, and odds of success. It helps you pin down details you might otherwise gloss over. The plan will also prove helpful when you look for financing.
There will be several legalities you must navigate before you can launch your business. You will likely want the protection of a corporation, which you must set up and register. You’ll need a business license, at a minimum, from the state.
If you secure funding, you’ll also likely need permits from your town, city, or county. Don’t forget to look into insurance for your dump truck and your business. You won’t buy immediately, but quotes will give you an idea of what insurance will cost you when you are ready to launch.
If you want to run a dump truck company, you need a dump truck. You also need a secure location where you can store your dump truck and maintain an office for essential paperwork. All of that costs a substantial amount of money.
You can explore a few different options for funding.
You can always approach a bank for a loan. Your business plan will do most of your selling at the bank. If it covers all the ground and makes believable claims about projected revenue, you may secure a loan.
You can also fund it out of your own pocket. Although, most people find the total expense is more than they can reasonably bootstrap.
You can also look for investors in the business. You can approach family or friends if they have money they want to invest.
Local business owners in related industries will likely prove your best bet. You can offer them a partial ownership stake in the company with a percentage of the profit going back to them.
Once you secure funding, it’s time to get a truck, lock in your location, get insured, and get to work.
Getting Started on Your Dump Truck Business
In many ways, the hardest part of the process of launching your dump truck business is the simple act of starting. The number of details and steps can overwhelm you when you think of them all at once.
Pick one thing and start there. Market research often proves easiest, but you also begin by working on parts of the business plan like the services section or the business structure section. Once you start, the next steps will often become obvious and you can move forward from there.
Looking for some extra tips or advice about starting or running a small business? Our Small Business section contains excellent articles that will help you.