Before you begin business operations, it’s important to get your administrative “ducks in a row” and get things in order. Creating a business website, business phone number, and business email address are great ways to separate business operations from personal life, build business credibility, and formalize your business. Focus on creating the following items for your business as soon as possible:
How can I create a business email?
There are plenty of free email options out there for your business. To position yourself professionally, we recommend creating a personalized business email either using a free option or purchasing a domain for a small fee. Trucking companies commonly use the following email and organizational software:
a. Using a free Gmail account for business could look something like this – email@example.com
b. If you need storage and more collaboration tools (this is unlikely at first), you can pay for a plan through Google Workspace. You can also receive a free custom domain if you choose the Google Workspace option.
Create and purchase a personalized domain on a third-party site like GoDaddy and link that domain to any email platform you prefer.
If you have a personal email you prefer to use, you have the option to set up an email alias which helps keep your inbox organized and provides a layer of privacy. An email alias is another email address that uses the same email account. A single email account can typically have multiple email addresses that send/receive to a single inbox. For example, if your personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org you can set up an alias in your email account that is another email address such as email@example.com that can be shared with your business contacts. This adds a layer of privacy between your personal and professional life. To learn more about creating email aliases, please visit your preferred email administrator’s website and search ‘email alias’ in their forum.
What are my phone options?
Setting up a business phone number is another way to separate your personal and professional life and build business legitimacy. Most options will ask you to use your personal phone with their app which allows you to make inbound and outbound calls from a separate business phone number. For example, to make an outbound call you will log into the app and make the call within the app. The receiver will see your business phone number rather than your personal phone number. If you receive an incoming call your phone will identify it as a call for the business number and not your personal number. Here are a few popular phone options:
It’s important to note that choosing to use your own personal phone and using your personal phone number or a business phone number is typically tax deductible! Check with a certified tax advisor or accountant to confirm your options.
How can I create a website for my business?
Creating a website or an online presence is a crucial step commonly skipped by small businesses. Having an online presence creates credibility for your business and helps customers perceive your business as reliable and trustworthy. If you lack the time or skill to create an online presence, work with a professional team, like Soshaul, who can get you up and running in no time. We highly recommend completing the following items to maximize your online presence:
Create a Google Business Profile (FREE) – this will create a business listing on Google when someone searches transportation services near them or your company name
Create a Business Facebook or LinkedIn (FREE) – this is a great way to build an online presence and build a community around your business. Ask your friends and family to follow your page! Be sure to take a moment each week to update regularly – whether it’s a cool photo of your travels on the road or simply saying hello!
Create an official website – this seems like a daunting task, but there are many ways to do this without a ton of effort. Your website does not need to be elaborate. We recommend having a contact page with your business contact information, a page (or paragraph) describing your services, and an ‘About’ page describing yourself and the purpose of your business.
a. Option 1: Build it yourself using Wix, Squarespace, or Wordpress templates. We promise this isn’t as difficult as you think. If you feel lost in the building process, there are tons of resources available on YouTube.
b. Option 2: Hire someone to build a website from Fiverr – this is a great option if you are not comfortable using a website-building platform. Fiverr offers extremely competitive rates and quick turnaround.
c. Option 3: Hire a professional – work with a creative agency to build a website and potentially help with business branding and other marketing materials. This will be the most expensive option.
What are my Wi-Fi/internet options while on the road?
While your smartphone can handle many operational tasks such as emailing, phone calls, sending images, and other forms of communication, we highly recommend establishing a reliable internet connection while you are on the road. Using daily applications such as load boards and accounting software is simpler and easier on a laptop/desktop. Also, in your downtime, you may want to kick up your feet and watch some Netflix. Here are a few ways to get access to Wi-Fi on the road:
Phone Hotspot – most phone service providers such as Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T offer cellular internet that can be shared with other devices. This is referred to as a Hotspot. Costs will vary for each service provider, but it’s a great option for internet on the go. If you have a phone connection, you will have the ability to access the internet on non-cellular devices.
Satellite Internet – satellite internet is gaining more popularity as new service providers such as Starlink continue to grow their area of coverage. Satellite internet can be a more expensive option but typically provides a more reliable high-speed connection.
Truck Stops – some truck stops offer Wi-Fi for free, but others may charge by the hour, day, or month.
McDonald’s/Panera Bread/Local Coffee Shops/Public Libraries – if you are in a pinch and having trouble securing an internet connection, finding your nearest coffee shop or McDonald’s is a great last resort option for free Wi-Fi access.
Are you interested in learning more about equipment or technology, or perhaps sales and marketing in transportation? Ready to START, DRIVE, & ACCELERATE your trucking business? Check out our course here!
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Soshaul Logistics LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. It is meant to serve as a guide and information only and Soshaul Logistics, LLC - Copyright 2023 - does not assume responsibility for any omissions, errors, or ambiguity contained herein. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or operation.