After trade and the automotive industry, the logistics industry is the third largest economic sector in Germany. The number of employees in logistics is three times as high as in mechanical engineering. Anyone who wants to become self-employed and set up a company in the logistics sector has various options. A courier service, a forwarding agency or a company in production logistics are ideal here. But the founders have to different requirements meet in order to successfully start self-employment. Otherwise, you run the risk of something not working so smoothly.
Important requirements for starting a business
1. The process management
Successful corporate management not only requires personal interest, passion for one’s own company and one or more appropriate managing directors. Many processes are now handled by software or partially outsourced to increase productivity. In order for this to happen fully, you have to take care of the optimization of business processes (external link). The so-called process management fulfills exactly this purpose. The aim here is to distribute tasks in a targeted manner so that they can be fulfilled successfully and efficiently.
2. The business plan
A business plan serves as a concept for founding a company, but also for applying for funding and obtaining loans. It is also a good basis for attracting new business partners and investors. A good A business plan says a lot and should by no means be treated half-heartedly. In the best case, this is designed (and designed realistically) in such a way that you have a good overview of what you can realistically achieve and what sales you are planning for the coming years, for example. Anyone who has a good plan, especially a financial plan, has already gained a lot because these numbers are exactly what investors are interested in.
3. Other Factors
Further important prerequisites for starting a business in the logistics segment are:
- professional suitability (external link) with experience and knowledge in the logistics industry
- financial capacity with as much equity as possible to buy the vehicles and equipment
- Personal suitability, which must be proven by certificates from the health insurance company, trade association and tax office
- Vehicle fleet, which depends on the type of company (trucks, vans, cars for customer appointments, etc.)
- Insurance for the company, the vehicles and buildings.
Should one carrier are established, permits must be obtained. A road haulage permit (external link) can be applied for at the permitting authority of the city or municipality. In addition, founders should consider which legal form they would like to choose for their company. A GmbH is often chosen. A lot depends on the size and valuation of the company. This goes hand in hand with the number of people involved in founding the company. A logistics company is most likely not an individual trying to set something up.
Raising capital on the way to self-employment
Depending on the equity available and the nature of the business, borrowed capital is needed to buy the vehicles, lease the premises, acquire the equipment and pay the employees. It may take some time for the first income to flow. Many banks refuse to lend to entrepreneurs. Founders are therefore increasingly looking for private investors and venture capitalists to help them with financing. Capital can be raised through crowdfunding, for example. Another way of raising capital is to use a credit marketplace on the Internet. If you need a loan, you create a so-called loan application by specifying the amount you need. The project to be financed must be described. Private investors willing to lend can respond to this loan request. Company founders can also receive state grants, which differ depending on the federal state (service tip: funding check).
Acquisition of clients
In order for the logistics company to be able to work successfully, the acquisition of clients is an important prerequisite. Negotiations with potential clients can already take place in the planning phase. The first business contacts can be made. They help to create the business plan. This also makes it easier to raise capital when potential customers already exist. In order to deal with this topic in more detail, it makes sense to attend seminars and courses in marketing and sales. Here you get tips from professionals and can be more successful with the acquisition.
Conclusion: Founding a company in logistics requires a lot
If you want to found a company in the logistics industry, you have to meet various requirements. Insurance, permits and capital must be in place. Raising capital is difficult, but there are several options. Customer acquisition should begin as early as the planning phase. Since this type of start-up is a complicated undertaking, it is advisable to consult (state-funded) start-up advice (service tip: find a consultant).