Whether you’re starting a 3PL, logistics or trucking company, there are plenty of cost-effective tools to help you along the way.

Getting Started

Setting Up Your LLC

Any business activity you do online should be conducted under a registered LLC. But if you don’t know where to start, Legal Zoom is a good place to start. For about $300, they’ll do all the filing and paperwork for you.

Of course you could fill out the forms yourself with the IRS for about half the cost, but if you’re the type that just wants to pay an expert to take care of the legal stuff, definitely take the Legal Zoom route.

 

Accounting Software

Our parent company GuysGirl Media uses 17 Hats as an accounting and invoicing software solution for entrepreneurs. With this tool you can link your bank accounts, track company expenses, invoice clients and receive payments online. It’s affectionately named 17 Hats because as an entrepreneur, you’re going to be wearing a lot of hats to manage your company.

Website

Hosting and Domains

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for domain, hosting and email, we recommend Media Temple. It’s where MLM and our sister company GuysGirl Media are all hosted. What’s great about Media Temple is not only do they have stellar customer service but they also have options to grow with you as your needs evolve.

You can purchase a hosting package from Media Temple which includes nearly everything you’ll need to get started, including one-click installs for software like WordPress (which we highly recommend using as your CMS aka Content Management System). Hosting + domain, where is essentially the property address and digital home of your business, lives for as little as $20 per month.

Website Templates & Themes

If you already have your hosting package and domain name, you’ll want to install WordPress. WordPress is a CMS software loaded onto your domain name that acts like a fancy Microsoft Word.

After WordPress is installed, you’ll want to explore the different themes/templates available out there. Places like Elegant Themes have numerous solutions to fit any website need.

Digital Media

Graphics

You don’t need expensive software to create great graphics for your website and marketing efforts. In fact, just head on over to a site like Canva to create custom images for your site, no Photoshop skills required. They have numerous templates for social media graphics, header photos, presentations and more.

Videos

Search engines and social media websites like Facebook prioritize video over any other kind of content produced on the web. You can always pay someone a few hundred bucks to create a custom video for your company. Or you could train yourself with software like WeVideo that makes the entire process super easy and affordable.

Podcasts

Like video, podcasts or audio recordings are becoming one of the fastest ways to reach your target audience. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started, you just need to have a good message to spread and hosting account like Buzzsprout. Having a hosting account sends your podcast to places like iTunes without any extra work involved.

Marketing

Social Media

Social Media marketing is the quickest and most affordable way to get your name out there. Using networks like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and more, you can use these networks as a modern day press release to drive traffic back to your website–where visitors either learn more about you or buy something from you.

Which is why you should use tools like Hootsuite social media software to manage all of your accounts. There’s a basic version of Hootsuite anyone can try but the true value in Hootsuite is their auto-schedule feature only available on the Pro version which will set you back about $10 per month.

SEO

SEO, which stands for ‘search engine optimization’ is one of the most underutilized tools by many logistics companies. But it also leads to big returns. By making your website SEO-friendly, you can increase the chances of your company being found by potential leads who are using Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines.

Much like social media, a good SEO plan requires a tool and SEM Rush is the one form you. Along with competitor tracking and keyword research, you can use SEM Rush to monitor the health of your website, how you rank for specific keywords and areas that need improving.

Email

If you’re still using Microsoft Outlook to send load lists, available equipment or other business communications, you’re doing yourself and your customer a disservice. Email marketing programs like Mailchimp protect your company from spam complaints and allow you send better communications to those who want it, when they want it.

Think of Mailchimp as a tool birthed from a marriage of email and PowerPoint. Only with this tool, you’re able to save templates, track user behavior and automatically send your communications at the optimal time your reader is most likely to open it.

Even online, time is money.

Are you investing it properly? Download this free eBook on 5 marketing tactics every logistics company needs. Download the eBook