Though it’s not for everyone, the appeal of the open road can be an irresistible way to make a living. If you run your own trucking business, you even get to keep more of the profits. Unfortunately, you’re also responsible for securing investors and setting up the business. Writing a proposal for your trucking businesses accomplishes two goals. First, it provides a document to show prospective investors. Second, it helps you sort out staffing, freight capacity goals and other key aspects of your business.
Prepare to write your proposal by modeling your business on the financial statements of other trucking companies. These are accessible for public companies. Focusing particularly on companies in your region, consider how much money you will spend on each necessity (these public reports are available through the Security and Exchange Commission). Decide what makes your business different from all the others, too; this information will serve as a hook to attract investors and could even someday figure into your advertising.
Divide your proposal into easy-to-digest sections. Begin with a one-page summation of your proposal, then go further in-depth, informing your reader about the kind of freight you plan to haul and where, then the staff you will employ and their qualifications, and so on. If you’re having trouble figuring out what sections you need, CapturePlanning.com advises you to consider answering the 5 W’s (and one H). Who, What, When Where, Why and How.
Address your weaknesses and emphasize your strengths. As Steve Strauss notes, this will make you seem honest to possible investors. It will also demonstrate that you have thought about your business model a great deal. For example, there may be a number of established trucking firms in your area. Counter this by reinforcing that you will carry large loads that few of those other companies can handle.
Employ clear, simple language and make sure your concepts are written in such a way that others have no problem understanding them. June Campbell suggests that you condense each idea into a few sentences and show them to someone who doesn’t know about the trucking business. When even non-truckers believe your proposal has an impact, you know your writing was effective.
Conclude your report with the pure, hard data you used to write the rest of your report. While a 20-year quarterly cost/benefit projection table may slow the reader if it is placed in the middle of the proposal, it’s very useful at the end, allowing readers to immerse themselves in numbers if they so desire.