If you’re new to the business of freight forwarding, or if you feel you’re going a little stale when it comes to promoting your business, we have some great tips to help get you motivated. It’s a tough and competitive industry out there, so it’s in your best interests to do what you can to get your company (or yourself, if you’re an owner driver) on the radar of potential customers. |
Ways to Promote Your Business
The very first thing you should do if you want to promote your business meaningfully is to set up a website and, if possible, a blog. Although you may think that due to your location you have the potential to get the monopoly on available work, you could be mistaken. Other freight forwarders and owner driver operators may have plans to set up in your local area, so you need to stay ahead of the competition.
If you’re not used to dealing with computers, you may think that setting up a website would be too much of a challenge. But there are plenty of platforms available to help you create a website very easily and with minimal effort. The great news is that it won’t necessarily cost much either.
Get Yourself Online
Following on from getting a website up and running, establishing an online presence is imperative. Get socially active and set up Facebook and Twitter accounts as soon as possible. This not only allows you to reach customers you may not otherwise have, but it also offers the chance to join online communities that are relevant to your business and local area.
The more presence you have online, the more people will know about the services you offer. Online forums are a good platform on which to promote your services, with many allowing you to leave your contact details.
A SWOT Analysis
By doing a SWOT analysis, you can identify the areas of your business that need improving. It is these areas that you will focus on when steering your marketing and promotional strategy. But what exactly is a SWOT analysis?
Strengths – You need to consider what strengths you see in your company and how these have the potential to be a positive benefit to the community in which you are working.
Weaknesses – Equally important are the weaknesses. You must find ways of dealing with these.
Opportunities – You need to stay aware of potential opportunities to enhance your company. If you’re an owner driver, hand your business cards out whenever you can so you can be in front of people when it comes to potential work.
Threats – Check out the competition and make the necessary changes that will not only keep your existing customer base but also encourage the customers of other companies to consider switching to your services.
What Not to Do
Don’t Spam People
This will only infuriate potential customers. People hate to be bombarded with promotional material, so be careful not to be tempted to do this.
Don’t Ignore Price Comparison Sites
There is so much information available online and customers often turn to price comparison sites when making a decision on which firm to use. Register with as many of these sites as you can, so people are aware of the great offers you provide.
Don’t Get Lazy
You can’t rest on your laurels and stop networking. Online promotion is all very well, but the old school method of talking to people is a hugely successful strategy as well. Conduct yourself professionally and make yourself amenable to potential customers and you could win more business than you ever thought possible.
This might all appear to be simple advice when it comes to promoting your services, but it’s surprising how many businesses get complacent. Getting your company’s name and reputation out there is paramount if your business is to be healthy and flourish for years to come.
Whether you’re an owner driver or a company manager, you need to stay on top of your company promotion at all times and these tips will help.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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