You’ve got your freight broker agents license, now what? You need to find some clients and find them fast. The quickest way to build up your business and to attract new clients immediately is to focus on a niche area of the freight business.
Plenty of Niches in the Sea
Cargo haulers are trucking materials of every size, shape, and weight. Freight broker agents are coordinating the logistics of moving that material from Point A to Z. Modern logistics is technology laden and very competitive.
Space abounds not only by highway but by water, by air, over ice, by sled! There are plenty of niches to choose from. Finding your niche is step one before you can implement a winning niche marketing strategy. Think about your service area. What businesses are underserved?
Send out questionnaires to your network or professional group. Speak to local business owners about their carrier service and analyze how you can compete for their business. Start locally before you stretch your business too thin. Do a comparative analysis of your regional competitors to begin crafting your strategy.
#1: Use Your Experience as a Niche
Before starting your own business, you should spend some time working in the freight industry for a brokerage house. That way you are able to get the experience you will need to transition into a career as an independent freight broker agent.
Once you have some experience, you can use your on-the-job knowledge to build your own business around an underserved market in your area. If you worked in the automotive transportation industry, but you moved near a large medical facility, think about transitioning into medical device transport.
Often business logistics firms compete in niches that require high-level drivers and specialized transportation equipment. If you are moving into a niche field from an industry that had strict compliance measures, you have a leg up on the competition based on your experience. Talk it up on your website and in your advertising.
#2: Build a Healthy Portfolio
Your portfolio should be built for three different purposes: To attract more clients, to attract different clients, and to expand your business. Your portfolio development begins with making commonsense connections between the different clients in your portfolio.
Attracting More Clients
When you first strike out on your own, you immediately want to start building your portfolio by attracting more clients. Start with who you know. Go to your personal contacts and ask yourself, ‘Who among my contacts could use my service?’
Add those names to your client contact database. Then move out to your colleagues, former colleagues, area suppliers and contractors. Send them your business post card or a glossy brochure detailing your services. Refer them to your website to register for an account.
Attracting Different Clients
Once you have a healthy customer base and are ready to take on more clients, you need to refresh your strategy. Different clients could be clients you have never worked with and it can be clients in a different industry. This type of outreach requires a new tact. Try offering discount rates for first time customers or trial access to one of your services.
Expanding Your Business
Expanding your business within your niche is about seeking out new clients in different areas of the industry. Is there an underserved population in your local freight industry? Who is delivering for your local mom and pops grocery stores?
Start seeking out new business wherever you see a need to expand your niche. Be careful not to get bigger than your workload can handle. If necessary, consider adding on a few new employees as you start picking up new accounts.
#3: Link Up with Other Professionals
Even though freight broker agents are in a hugely competitive business, joining professional networks and collaborating with other professionals in the industry is a great way to build up new business in your niche. Niches by nature are made up of a small circle of clients locally but on a national or global scale, your services can be huge in an underserved market.
The more you interact with industry professionals, the more you study about your local and national market the better positioned you will be to gobble up any new business. Link up with other industry professionals and keep your eyes and ears open for new opportunities at all times.
#4: Utilize Advanced Technology
The great news facing freight broker agents today is the leveling of the playing field that technology is creating. In order to take advantage of those opportunities, agents have to be aware of all of the ways that other freight broker agents are utilizing the latest technology.
Much of the advances in freight technology are making logistics cheaper, faster, and easier to manage. GlobalTranz is one of the leaders in coming up with innovative ways to make freight logistics easier for small independent freight business owners to compete.
Our new Carrierrate2.0 software along with our stellar ShipperCenter and Command Center software apps are tools that offer everything independent freight broker agents need to compete on a grand scale with the big name freight chains including:
- Real-time dashboards and live interactive maps enabling you to see up-to-the-minute details about weather, traffic, detours, and places to stop for fuel.
- Instant reporting and analysis to make quick last minute decisions.
- Access to a worldwide carrier network of more than 20K different operators.
- And comprehensive system management.
Our software programs cover the front end and the back end. You can even download financial information from the Command Center for bookkeeping purposes or to analyze past sales.
#5: Promote Your Specialty
Finally, you have to put it all together in an all out push to promote your business and your specialty. It can be a hard row to hoe trying to get your name out there in the dog-eat-dog freight broker agents business, but it is very possible when you use the right strategy.
If you want to set your business apart from the rest, make sure that you have a healthy online presence on social media and a professional looking website. It is the perfect place to advertise your services and a great way to be discovered during online searches.
Become a National Competitor in Your Niche with GlobalTranz
GlobalTranz is leading the way helping independent freight broker agents carve out their niche in the trucking industry. Could your business benefit from some of our services? Give us a call to find out more.