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.
Your executive summary should get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them about your business hauling cars and how things are going. For instance, are you a new business, do you have a car hauling business that you want to grow, or do you have car hauling businesses in more than one market?
Next, give an overview of every part of your plan that comes after this one.
- Tell us a little bit about the business of hauling cars.
- Talk about what kind of car hauling business you own.
- Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of the people you’d like to buy from you.
- Give a quick summary of your plan for marketing. Find out who on your team is the most important.
- Tell what you want to do with your money.
In your business summary, you will say what kind of car hauling business you have.
For example, you might specialize in one of the following types of car hauling businesses:
- Long-distance car hauling:Most of the time, this kind of car hauling company focuses on moving cars between continents and states.
- Local car hauling: This kind of company usually uses trucks to move cars from rail yards to their final destination in the area.
- Ship transport: This kind of car hauling company moves cars along the coast, through the Great Lakes, and out to sea.
In the company overview, you should say what kind of car hauling business you will run and give some background information about the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start your own business?
- What are the most important steps you’ve taken so far? Milestones could be the number of cars delivered, transportation contracts signed, clients served, etc.
- Your legal business Do you run your business as an S-Corporation? An LLC? A business with just one person? Tell us about your legal structure.
In your industry or market analysis, you have to give an overview of the car hauling industry.
Even though this seems useless, it can be used in more than one way.
First of all, learning about the business of hauling cars makes you smarter. It helps you understand the market better.
Second, market research can help you come up with a better plan for marketing, especially if you use it to find market trends.
The third reason is to prove to your readers that you know what you are talking about. You do that by doing the research and putting it in your plan.
In the industry analysis part of your business plan for hauling cars, you should answer these questions:
- How much money does the business of transporting cars make?
- Is the stock market going up or down?
- Who are your biggest competitors on the market?
- Who are the main sellers in the market?
- What are the changes in the field?
- How quickly do experts think the industry will grow in the next 5–10 years?
- What matters is how big the market is. That is, how big is the market for hauling cars for your business? You can get such a number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the number of people in your area.
In the “Customer Analysis” section of your car hauling business plan, you must describe the customers you serve or plan to serve.
Customer segments include places like car dealers, car rental companies, wholesalers, and end users.
As you might expect, the type of car hauling business you run will depend a lot on the type(s) of customers you choose. People would react to marketing campaigns differently than, say, to car dealerships.
Try to figure out who your best customers are based on how they look and what they think. In terms of demographics, you should talk about the people you want to serve’s ages, genders, locations, and income levels. Psychographic profiles explain what your ideal customers want and need. If you can understand and define these needs well, it will be easier to find and keep customers.
In your competitive analysis, you should list both direct and indirect competitors for your business and then focus on the direct ones.
There are other businesses that haul cars, and they are direct competitors.
Customers have other choices besides your product or service that don’t directly compete with it. This includes both businesses and people who haul their own cars. You should also mention this contest.
Give an overview of each competitor’s business and a list of their strengths and weaknesses. You won’t know everything about your competitors unless you’ve worked at one of their companies. But you should be able to find important information about them, such as
- Who are the clients they work with?
- How do they make money by hauling cars?
- What are the prices (high, low, etc.)?
- What are they really good at?
- Why do they mess up?
Try to answer the last two questions from the customer’s point of view. And don’t be afraid to ask the people who buy from your competitors what they like and don’t like about them.
In the last part of your competitive analysis, you should list the ways you are better than your competitors. For instance:
- Will there be fast delivery options?
- Will you offer services that your competition doesn’t?
- Will you be nicer to your customers?
- Will you make better prices?
In this part of your plan, you should think about how you will do better than your competitors and write those ideas down.
Usually, a marketing plan includes four parts: the product, the price, the place, and the promotion. Your marketing plan for a business plan about hauling cars should include:
Product: In the product section, you should say again what kind of car hauling business you have, just like you did in the company overview. Then, explain what goods or services you will be selling. For example, do you haul long distances or just around town?
Price: Write down what you’ll be charging and how it compares to what your competitors are charging. In your plan, you list the products or services you offer and how much they cost in the “Products and Prices” section.
Place: This is where your car hauling company is based. Write down where your business is and how it’s location will affect your success. For example, if you run a business that moves cars, is it near a busy port or railroad? Talk about why your website might be the best place for your customers.
Promotions: The last part of your car hauling marketing plan is to write down how you’ll bring potential customers to your location (s). Here are a few ways you could promote your business:
- Advertise in local newspapers, radio stations, and/or magazines
- Get in touch with sites
- Distribute flyers
- Engage in email marketing
- Put ads on social networking sites
- Improve your site’s SEO (search engine optimization) for specific keywords
You wrote about your goals in other parts of your business plan. In your operations plan, you talk about how you will reach these goals. Your operations plan should have two different parts.
Short-term daily processes include everything you do to run your car hauling business, like answering calls, negotiating contracts, coordinating deliveries, figuring out routes, etc.
Long-term goals are the things you want to accomplish in the future. These could be the dates you want to deliver your Xth load of cars or make $X in revenue. It could also be when you want to start hauling cars in a new city or area.
To show that your car hauling business has a chance to do well, you need a strong management team. Showcase the backgrounds of your key players, focusing on the skills and experiences that show they can help a company grow.
You or other people on your team should have run a business that hauls cars before. If so, talk about your skills and experience. But you should also talk about any experience you have that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is missing something, you may want to form an advisory board. A two-to-eight-person advisory board could help your business by giving advice. They would help answer questions and give suggestions about how to plan. If you need to, try to find people for your advisory board who have run a successful car hauling business or transportation company.
Your 5-year financial plan should start with a monthly or quarterly breakdown for the first year, then switch to an annual breakdown for the next four years. Your financial statements include your income statement, your balance sheet, and your cash flow statement.
A more common name for an income statement is a P&L, which stands for “Profit and Loss.” It shows how much money you made and then subtracts how much you spent to show if you made a profit.
To make your income statement, you need to make some assumptions. For example, will you use closed trailers to move one or two high-value cars at a time, or will you use an open car carrier to move nine cars at once? And will sales grow each year by 2% or 10%? As you might expect, the assumptions you choose will have a big impact on the financial forecasts to help your company. Find out as much as you can about your ideas to see if they are true.
The Balance Sheets
Balance sheets show what you own and what you have to pay back. Balance sheets can have a lot of information, but try to get down to the most important parts. For example, if you spend $50,000 on building up your car hauling business, you won’t start making money right away. Instead, it is an asset you can use to make money for years to come. Also, you don’t have to pay back a $50,000 check right away if someone gives it to you. You will have to pay that back slowly instead.
Statement of Cash Flow
Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure that you never run out of cash. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t realize that you can make money and still go bankrupt if you run out of money.
Make sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a car hauling business in your Income Statement and Balance Sheet:
- How much tools, tires, and gas cost
- Payroll or salaries paid to workers Insurance for a business
- When you start a new business, you’ll also have to pay for legal fees, permits, computer software, and equipment.