Working as a professional carrier can be a solid business venture as the demand for quality transport services increases. In recent years, logistics have shifted with much of the market now dominated by marketplace type providers. This flexible marketplace structure connects carriers directly to customers and offers them the possibility to set their own work hours and prices.
This model offers tremendous independence to drivers but comes with its own unique set of challenges to make their small business thrive. This article will provide you with a few basics on how to improve your shipping business with a marketplace provider.
1. Set up a professional profile
Your profile is the face of your shipping business, and therefore, you must invest time and energy into what your potential customers see first. Your profile must reflect your expertise and experience. Include clear, high-quality pictures of yourself, your equipment, and, if possible, evidence of previous jobs. Include a description of your experiences, work philosophy, and any specialized equipment you work with. Details are essential at this point! A customer will want to know more than just how many pets or boats you have moved, but their breed, distance, and any special conditions you could provide. It’s crucial to highlight your most unique offer and skillset.
2. Put effort into customer communication
If your profile was convincing enough for a customer to contact you, the next step is to develop a mode of communication, which translates your work’s quality and your trustworthiness to your potential clients. But good communication and customer care are not just central to get you a job in the first place but are a long term investment into sustainable relationships with your clients. Ensure that you are friendly, show your expertise, and most importantly, that you’re patient with any questions your customers might raise. The transportation of precious items or pets can come with a lot of anxiety, and it’s part of your job to make your customer feel like their belongings are in good hands. Your openness to send regular updates and respond within a short time frame transforms an excellent driver into an outstanding one.
3. Reviews as a key deciding factor
Past clients’ experiences are a key way new customers will analyze your reliability. This is why reviews are a key feature to verify your work quality for new customers and a central factor in calculating your worth on the platform. Since the marketplace structure is putting you in contact with potential customers and in competition with other drivers, reviews can be a deciding factor for a customer in choosing you over another. If you provide high-quality services and customer care, you will get excellent reviews, which make your profile more attractive for potential future customers. But this structure also comes with a tricky problem. How to get a job with no reviews? If you have other reviews of previous jobs, include them in your profile if that’s possible. If you just started to work in the shipping business, it can be a good idea to take a few smaller jobs to get into the review system.
What if you get a bad review? We all make mistakes. It can always happen that you get poorly rated for a job. When reading bad reviews, many customers include the providers’ reaction to the critique in their evaluation. It’s essential not to get defensive but admit mistakes and offer concrete compensations, if possible.
4. Set an appropriate price
In an online marketplace, a potential client posts a job, and you and other drivers can bid on this job with a quote. It’s crucial to set a fair price, which is appropriate concerning the job’s circumstances and your work experience and reputation. The marketplace structure will regulate your worth compared to other drivers, which means you won’t get a job if you’re too expensive. The more you drive, and the more experience and ratings you get, the higher your price can be. Many customers appreciate transparency. Ensure that you can break down how the price works and why you’re worth the money.
5. Learn and specify
Learning and developing new skills should be a central part of your business. There are many good drivers out there, so you should ask yourself what makes your business special? Maybe the high range of offers, a particular rarely provided transport technique or route, a unique combination of services or cooperations with other companies. Stay creative and watch out for changes in the market, emerging niches, and new opportunities.
The shipping industry is a vivid economic sector with a lot of possibilities for those involved in it. While these five tips give you a good solid introduction to improvement strategies for your business, there is much more to learn. CitizenShipper invests in its drivers through free and comprehensive training, which is entirely available online. The company guides you through the whole process of signing up on the platform and marketing your business.
This includes training on profile building, client communication, an introduction to the platform, and more. CitizenShipper provides you with all the necessary information you need to set up and improve your business, based on their many years of experience in the shipping industry. While it can feel overwhelming to start your own business on a marketplace platform, this training program offers a smooth and accompanied entrance into the transport economy. For experienced drivers looking to change specialties, win more bids, or just brush up on skills, the training also provides a useful way to deepen your existing knowledge and take your business to the next step.
CitizenShipper has free resources available for drivers of all experiences. Whether you want help starting out or becoming an expert in a specific shipping field, don’t hesitate to reach out to our driver support team.