Starting and operating a towing business can be a real challenge. However, owning such a business cab be very rewarding. A tow truck business can be a very profitable venture but requires a serious commitment of time, effort and money. You will need to spend time planning your business and finding ways to expand it.
Likewise, you will need to invest money in commercial space and tow trucks from which to run your business. Additionally, you will need to pay various licenses as well as maintaining all required safety measures.
Steps to starting a towing business
There is no one-step-fit-all when starting this type of business. Here, we provide guides and general tips that need to be followed to start this kind of business to its fruition. Here are straightforward steps you can follow to establish a successful towing business.
1. Make a business plan
A business plan portrays an outline for business development. It includes a business description, types of towing services to provide to your customers, your market, sources of finance, marketing plans and sales model. The types of services to offer may include emergency towing, dealership towing, commercial retail towing among others.
2. Business setup
Establish your towing business by filing the appropriate paperwork required in your state. Apply for a towing license by contacting your local towing and recovery department of motor vehicles. It would be good to register your business as a limited liability company or corporation. With these two legal structures, you have a greater degree of protection of the business owner assets from a sole proprietorship will. Confirm with the state regulators on the specific licenses required for wrecker business. Due to the risks involved in transporting damaged vehicles, ensure that you carry liability insurance.
Getting in towing business would mean you need a tow truck, it can be one, it can be several of them. Different types of wreckers are on the market today – including the rear hook and the flatbed types. Many towing companies opt for flatbed type because they can accommodate several damaged vehicles. For hooked wreckers, they need to have the towed car’s rear axle undamaged and have tires that can hold air. This makes rear-hooked ones a less popular choice. As your business expands, you will need to buy more additional trucks and at such point, your company must also invest in a central dispatch office.
To operate a towing company, you would need to have a yard to park towed cars. Sometimes, vehicles are impounded because property owners want an illegally parked car to be removed. Other times, they are impounded because the owner is not able to pay vehicles removed from an accident scene. Wrecker companies need to have a secure parking that can hold cars for days and even weeks during period.
Without a well-detailed marketing strategy, your business will not survive the wrath of competitors. New towing companies will live or die based on their access to a local market. You can make contact with local police jurisdiction to get your business on their list of accident responders. You can advertise your business with local repair facilities to arrange for a local mutual referral agreement. Consider putting your business cards in strategic locations and also include a bulletin board at auto parts stores. Think about advertising your business digitally and having an up to date website that you can drive traffic to.
Finding customers for your towing business
Finding customers is the priority for your business, and it is the only thing that will guarantee your business survival. Clients can come from a couple of sources. All that you need is to identify the source of your customers and work on expanding that source. Other customers will emerge as you become more adept at networking in your local areas.
Some good sources of customers include;
1. Auto Clubs – Auto clubs contract independent companies to provide towing services to their members. When a member needs towing services, they do not have to look at yellow pages. They just make a choice from a list of per-approved towing companies provided by their auto clubs.
2. Police Departments – Police departments and municipalities frequently contract independent towing companies to tow vehicles.
3. Garages – Some garages do not offer towing services, and you might be lucky enough to get a towing contract. You may need to reach out to local garages and exploit chances where the garage owner is dissatisfied with their current towing contractor.