Your executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it is a summary of all the important parts.
The point of your Executive Summary is to get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them what kind of box truck business you run and what the status is. For example, are you a new business, do you have a box truck business that you want to grow, or do you run box truck businesses in more than one market?
Next, give an overview of each part of your plan that follows. For example, you could give a short summary of the box truck business. Talk about the kind of box truck business you run. Detail your direct competitors. Tell us about your ideal customers. Give a brief overview of your marketing plan. Find the important people on your team. And explain what your financial plan is.
In your business analysis, you’ll explain what kind of box truck business you run.
For example, you could run one of the following businesses with a box truck:
- Moving van box truck: This type of box truck company helps families, individuals, and businesses move their home or office goods to a new location.
- Delivery box truck: This type of box truck company specializes in helping people or businesses get things to a certain location. This could include furniture, food, and even certain animals.
- Junk removal box truck: This type of box truck company focuses on using their box truck to haul trash and unwanted items to a dumpster, a place where people can donate them, or the closest place to throw them away. Cleaning out homes or businesses requires this type of box truck business.
In the section of your business plan called “Company Analysis,” you need to explain what kind of box truck business you will run and give some background on the business.
Be sure to answer questions like:
- When did you start the business, and why?
- What big steps have you taken so far? Milestones could be things like the number of clients served, the number of good reviews, serving X number of clients, etc.
- Your legal structure. Is your business set up as an S-Corp? An LLC? A one-person business? Tell us about how your legal system works.
In your industry analysis, you need to give an overview of the box truck industry.
This may seem pointless, but it has more than one use.
First, learning about the box truck business gives you knowledge. It gives you a better idea of the market you’re in.
Second, market research can help you make a better plan, especially if it shows you market trends.
The third reason to do market research is to show your readers that you know what you are talking about. This is what you do by doing the research and putting it in your plan.
In the industry analysis part of your business plan for a box truck, you should answer the following questions:
- How much money does the box truck business make?
- Is the market getting smaller or bigger?
- Who are your biggest rivals in the market?
- Who are the most important market suppliers?
- What changes are happening in the business world?
- How do you think the industry will grow in the next 5–10 years?
- What is the right size of the market? That is, how big is your business’s possible market for box trucks? You can figure out such a number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the people in your area.
In the customer analysis section of your business plan for a box truck, you should explain who you serve and/or who you hope to serve.
Individuals, families, and businesses that need to move their goods and/or inventory are examples of customer segments.
As you might expect, the type of box truck business you run will depend a lot on the customer segment(s) you choose. Companies and individuals would respond to different marketing campaigns, for example.
Try to figure out who your ideal customers are based on their demographics and how they think and feel. In terms of demographics, talk about the ages, genders, locations, and levels of income of the customers you want to serve.
Psychographic profiles tell you what your customers want and need. The better you understand and define these needs, the easier it will be to get customers and keep them.
In your competitive analysis, you should figure out who your business’s direct competitors are and then focus on them.
Other companies that make box trucks are their direct competitors.
Indirect competitors are other options for customers to buy from besides direct competitors. This includes companies like FedEx, UPS, and the US Postal Service that use box trucks, as well as bike services, hauling companies, etc.
In terms of direct competition, you should talk about the other box trucks you are up against. Box truck businesses that are close to you will probably be your main competitors.
Give an overview of their businesses and list their strengths and weaknesses for each of these competitors. Unless you’ve worked for one of your competitors, you won’t know everything about them. But you should be able to learn important things about them, like:
- How do they drive their box trucks?
- Where do they do business?
- How much do they cost (high, low, etc.)?
- What do they do well?
- Where do they fall short?
For the last two questions, try to answer them from the point of view of your customers. Don’t be afraid to ask the customers of your competitors what they like and dislike about them.
The last part of your competitive analysis section is to list the ways in which you are better than your competitors. For instance:
- Are your box trucks better stocked than those of your competitors?
- Will you offer services with your box trucks that your competitors don’t?
- Will you be able to deliver faster?
- Will you give better service to your customers?
- Will your prices be better?
Think of ways you can do better than your competitors and write them down in this part of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, its price, where it will be sold, and how it will be promoted. In your marketing plan for a box truck business plan, you should have:
Product: In the product section, you should repeat the type of box truck company you wrote about in your Company Analysis. Then, give specifics about the products you will be selling. For example, do you offer more than just box truck services? Do you offer GPS tracking, service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, communication with clients, and any other services?
Price: Write down your prices and how they compare to those of your competitors. In the “product” and “price” parts of your marketing plan, you mainly talk about the services you offer and how much they cost.
Place: This is where your box truck company is based. Write down where you are and how your location will affect your success. For instance, is your box truck business near a warehouse district, an office complex, a busy neighborhood, a city, etc.? Talk about why your place might be the best place for your customers.
Promotions: The last part of your plan to market your box truck is the section on promotions. Here, you’ll write down how you’ll get customers to your place of business (s). Here are some ideas for ways to promote your business:
- Putting ads in newspapers and magazines in the area
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
In the other parts of your business plan, you talked about your goals. In the operations plan, you talk about how you will reach those goals. Your plan for operations should have two different parts.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the things you need to do to run your box truck business, such as cleaning the box truck, taking care of any mechanical problems it might have, filling up the box truck with gas, advertising, and letting clients know where the box truck is and what’s going on.
Long-term goals are the steps you want to take to get there. These could be dates like when you hope to get your XXth client or when you hope to make $X. It could also be when you want to start a new branch of your box truck business.
For your box truck business to show that it can be successful, you need a strong management team. Show the backgrounds of your key players, focusing on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.
You and/or other members of your team should have managed box trucks before. If so, talk about this knowledge and experience. But you should also talk about any experience you have that you think will help your business do well.
If your team isn’t strong enough, you might want to put together an advisory board. There would be anywhere from 2 to 8 people on an advisory board. These people would act as mentors for your business. They’d help answer questions and give advice on how to plan. If you need to, look for advisory board members who have experience running a box truck business or who have connections to many professional groups that use box trucks often.
Your 5-year financial statement should be part of your financial plan. For the first year, it should be broken down monthly or quarterly, and after that, it should be done annually. Your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement are all a part of your financial statements.
Income Statement: A profit and loss statement, or P&L, is what most people call an income statement. It shows how much money you made and how much it cost you, so you can see if you made a profit or not.
You need to make assumptions when making your income statement. For instance, will you only take on one new client at a time, or will you take on several new clients at once, each with their own box trucks and drivers? How much will sales grow each year? 2% or 10%? As you might expect, your assumptions will have a big effect on the financial projections for your business. Do as much research as you can to try to back up your assumptions with facts.
Balance sheets: show what your assets are and what your debts are. Balance sheets can have a lot of information on them, but try to boil them down to the most important parts. For example, if you spend $50,000 setting up your box truck business, you won’t make money right away. Instead, it’s an asset that you hope will make you money for years to come. Also, you don’t have to pay back a check from a bank for $50,000 right away. Instead, you’ll have to pay that back over time.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of money. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know that you can make money but still go bankrupt if you run out of money.
When making your Income Statement and Balance Sheet, don’t forget to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a box truck business, such as:
- How much box trucks cost
- Cost of gas and other expenses
- Staff payroll or salaries paid
- Insurance for a business
- Fees and licenses
- Legal expenses