When starting a towing business your job duty will be to tow vehicles that broke down, was parked somewhere prohibited, or just need to be relocated. You will also need to handle the maintenance and repairs of the tow truck, dispatching calls, hiring other drivers to cover the 24/7 on call duty, and maintain good logs. You will have to buy and maintain a good set of tools for all field and garage tasks. You will need to decide on a good GPS system for mapping purposes. Keeping yourself and staff trained in anger management, customer service and emergency maintenance techniques will also be essential for maintaining the success of your towing business. When starting a towing business be prepared to work in all weathers and deal with some angry vehicle owners who are not happy that their vehicle was towed.
Where will you work?
When starting a towing business focusing on a smaller niche might be a good place to start, such as towing boats in a marina area, towing heavy duty vehicles where there is a concentration of construction work. You can also contact businesses to use your services when they need illegally parked vehicles to be towed. You can also form partnerships or arrangements with local mechanics. Rural areas may not have as much current coverage as established urban areas. If you start in a competitive urban area, you will need to offer your services in a unique way people can appreciate.
The basic costs of starting a towing business will depend on the location in which you are starting your business. The cost of required permits and license to operate your business vary from locality to locality. In your local Department of Motor Vehicles you can find out if you need a special licence to drive a tow truck. You should also contact your city and state to inquire about what other licenses and permits are needed when starting a towing business. You can start your towing business with just one tow truck and as your business expands you can purchase more tow trucks as needed. Buying a used tow truck can be more affordable when starting out. A good set of lockout tools will be needed, along with some basic repair tools, extra cables, tow chains, motor oil, and various lubricants. Starting a towing business will require a good amount of investment so be sure to do your homework and have a business plan prepared.
Starting a Towing Business Tips
- Find a Mentor– Talk to other business owners in the field and learn from their experiences. Just be sure they don’t see you as competition otherwise they may be reluctant to share information.
- Get the needed license and permits– Before starting a towing business; you will need a license to drive a tow truck in the area. You will also need to check into all required permits for operating a towing business in the areas you will be serving.
- Get the appropriate insurance plan– Get special liability insurance coverage to cover for injury caused by the driver of the tow truck, and any other damage done. You will also need workman’s compensation for all your workers.
- Be memorable– Have a memorable and easy to pronounce name and memorable phone number so people can easily remember you when they are in need of your towing services.
- Take all the necessary precautions– Remember your services will be required around the clock 24/7. You will be required to dispatch the towing cases on urgent basis.
- Get help when needed– As your business grows additional workers will be needed. You should also have a backup plan or someone you can trust to run the business in case you get sick.
- Maintenance is an important factor– Regularly maintain your towing truck and other equipment. If your truck breaks down, immediately get it repaired. Remember, people are counting on you when they break down.
Advertising a Towing Business
When advertising your towing business you should determine which forms of advertising will give you the most bang for your buck. Look for advertisement methods that will likely be seen by people in need of your towing services. Also try different forms of advertising methods and keep track of which ones are giving you the best results.
- Partnerships– Form partnerships or arrangements with local mechanics and businesses who may need your services.
- Towing Business Cards– Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears.
- Yellow Pages– Consider buying an advertisement in the yellow pages of your local phone book. You can also include your business in the online version: YellowPages.com.
- Yahoo Local Searches– If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
- Google Local Searches– Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
- Website– Create a website where people can get general information about your business.