Being an owner-operator gives you more freedom to control your truck driving career path. You also don’t have to depend on an employer to increase your pay or provide more lucrative opportunities.
The challenge that you and many other owner-operators face is finding ways to grow the business and boost earnings in this highly competitive field.
Strategy Systems has assembled the following tips to help you achieve your business and income objectives.
Growth often requires investing in your business. For example, you might want to hire a driver or upgrade your vehicles and equipment. You may need to borrow money to acquire the capital you need for expansion. Before doing so, look for ways to reduce your expenses and streamline your operations. You’ll have a better chance of securing affordable financing and the additional debt load will be more manageable.
If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to create one. A budget is vital to your business’s financial health, as it enables you to track your expenses and determine where your money is really going. You’ll probably uncover numerous ways to lower your costs and boost your profits.
What do you want to achieve by growing your trucking business? By establishing measurable growth and income goals, you can create a road map to take you there. Think about how many drivers or trucks you’ll need to add within a specific time frame or how much you’ll need to earn from each load. Look for ways to modify your current processes, including how and where you get your freight.
Your plan should also account for what might happen in the future. If a driver quits, where can you find a quick replacement? Do you have enough of a cash reserve if freight rates decrease? Will you need to hire more staff to manage the financial side of your business?
Many owner-operators are hesitant to hire additional drivers, but it is often the most practical way to grow the business and generate more revenues.
If you decide that adding more drivers will help you reach your growth objectives, be sure to interview them first and conduct a comprehensive background check that includes their driving record. Let them ride and drive with you — or a trusted team member — temporarily before sending them out on their own to ensure they understand how you want things done.
Consider hiring independent contractors as an alternative if you’re not comfortable adding in-house employees to your team.
The trucking industry is notorious for its continually evolving regulatory and compliance requirements, especially regarding safety and the environment. You’ll need to stay current on all the changes and the impact they may have on your business’s profitability.
As your operation grows, it may become necessary to designate a member of your team to track these updates to avoid a costly, profit-killing compliance violation.
As a small business owner, you’re in an excellent position to deliver better customer service than your larger, less nimble competitors. By focusing on building relationships with your clients, you’ll be more likely to keep their business and gain referrals that can fuel your company’s growth.
Maintaining contact with the fleet managers and customers is an excellent way to optimize your service level. You’ll likely gain valuable feedback that can make you more responsive to their needs and earn their trust, which can ultimately put more money in your pocket.
Advances in technology are making the lives of owner-operators easier while increasing productivity and reducing operating expenses.
The best software for trucking businesses can complement your growth plan in several ways. By helping you manage administrative tasks like bookkeeping and invoicing, it frees up more of your time to focus on the more revenue-generating aspects of your operation. The software can also enable you to develop and implement a preventive maintenance schedule that can substantially reduce your vehicle-related expenses.
If you’re looking for the best trucking software system for achieving your growth objectives, you’ve come to the right place. At Strategy Systems, we develop easy-to-use software solutions that can increase productivity, save time and contribute to a healthier bottom line.
Contact us to request a software demo today. We can also offer more helpful tips for growing your trucking business.