Industry, Shipper

Top 3 Reasons Auto Transport Brokers Fail to Grow

by Kacie LaCombe

The auto transport industry can sometimes be a volatile market for brokers, but it doesn’t have to be. With so many opportunities for success, brokers can set up their operation to scale for growth and thrive in the auto transport industry by learning from the mistakes of those who have tried before them. 

Thinking about growing your business? Here are some of the common fails that prevent brokers from growing their auto transport business. 

 

Lack of Planning

From the dreaded auto transport seasonality to forecasting business goals, planning makes or breaks growth for many brokers. 

Budgeting, an accurate view of your cash flow, and financial forecaster month-to-month doesn’t just help a Shipper grow, but this also helps a broker save money. A broker’s cost of shipping, overhead costs for additional employees, price of shipping tools, office supplies, and income from customers or sales all are critical to have a detailed look at. Cash flow is incredibly important, and too often shippers don’t have the software to keep track or don’t have an accurate view of their data due to disparate systems.

Business owners, or operations leads, must build a business plan that changes based on ongoing needs and goals every year.”

However, planning isn’t just about money. Business owners, or operations leads, must build a business plan that changes based on ongoing needs and goals every year. Not building a plan is where brokers run into serious challenges that can often be too difficult to overcome. This plan should consider the current state of the market, a good competitor analysis, insightful look into employee needs, and initiatives to build a customer base or professional network. 

Brokers who engage a vehicle shipping financial advisor or an auto transport platform with integrated accounting software are set up to better succeed. This is how they can either gather advice on ongoing financial state or leverage a platform as a single source of truth on all their cash flow and data. Brokers can leverage their team and their insights from a platform to create a mission, goals, and a business plan year-to-year for a better informed strategy for success. 

 

Zero Online Presence

In our digital age, if you don’t exist online – you don’t exist. Brokers’ customers are either getting younger or they are adopting technology at a rapid rate. According to Statista, there are over 286 million people projected to be considering internet users in 2021. Those behaviors are important to keep up with and to match. 

For prospective customers, brokers without a website will fail to register them as an option. And for carriers, brokers they cannot look up may be a red flag on whether or not the broker is a legitimate business. Both of these challenges make it impossible for brokers to grow. And both of these challenges are why brokers lose to their competitors at every turn. 

Digital Marketing reports that 3.96 billion people use social media, and on average, they spend 144 minutes on social media everyday.”

This also includes social media. Facebook or Twitter may seem like a waste of time to most busy leaders, but it’s worth investing in. This is where your customers build community, where to seek advice from others in the industry, and it’s also where they spend a lot of their time. Digital Marketing reports that 3.96 billion people use social media, and on average, they spend 144 minutes on social media everyday.

If you aren’t online, you aren’t growing. But you are missing out on access to potential customers everyday. To get started, use an easy website builder or invest in a website developing team. They will be able to help you quickly set up a website to get started. For social media, signing up and getting a business profile is very easy. It just takes a few simple steps, and your customers are easily searchable on most social media sites. However, if you’re nervous about your social presence, you could also invest in a social media contractor who can help you get started until you’re comfortable. 

 

 

Not Going Digital 

For years, brokers have been dependent on spreadsheets and a never ending flow of paperwork. For any broker interested in growing their business, these manual processes simply are not scalable. So when brokers set out on big goals to increase business and increase their carrier network, not having a digital system to rely presents massive roadblocks a lot of broker would not be able to overcome. 

From managing an increase in load posting, to more driver invoices, to additional incoming leads, no broker can successfully keep up operating on manual processes.”

From managing an increase in load posting, to more driver invoices, to additional incoming leads, no broker can successfully keep up operating on manual processes. And without a digital system like an auto transport platform, you’re left with increasing your overhead for additional hires to help you manage the vehicle shipping process and your operations. 

By finding a good digital platform partner, then you can build your business for scalability making your growth mission that much more achievable and easier. This platform should include a transportation management system (TMS), a connected load board, and additional custom integration abilities. 

 

It’s never too late to kickoff big goals around growing your auto transport business, but when you do, learn these lessons and take the steps to avoid these potential pitfalls in trying to scale your business. 

Want to learn more about how a digital auto transport platform can help you grow your business? Start your Shipper Experience with a 1-week free trial with Super Dispatch.

Published on January 28, 2021

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