If you’re in the trucking industry, you know just how competitive it can be. There are a lot of companies vying for the same customers, and for small to medium-sized trucking companies, it takes a lot of work to keep up with the large businesses. With larger fleets, the behemoths in the industry are able to offer more aggressive pricing, get more attention from potential customers, hire drivers easier, and, of course, transport more goods.
However, there are also benefits that come with having a smaller trucking company, and by making the right moves and evolving with the advancement of the industry, you can grow your business exponentially and hang with the big dogs.
At Strategy Systems, we’ve been involved in the trucking industry for decades and have always been dedicated to helping small to medium-sized companies succeed and to help the industry advance. That’s why we developed Strategy Live, which provides turnkey software solutions for freight brokers and trucking companies. Our trucking software is a must if you want to help your business grow, and there are also a few other things that you can do for your company. If you would like more information about our transportation software or would like to try a free demo and see just how beneficial Strategy Live is, then go ahead and contact us today!
Finding the Right Market
The market that you choose to focus on has a direct impact on the equipment that you purchase, your rates, freight lanes that you can service, and more. So one incredibly important step to becoming a successful owner-operator is to find the right market for your business. It’s a general rule of thumb for small to medium-sized companies to home in on markets that the large carriers don’t want to be involved with. There is just too much competition when you try and target the easier loads.
For new owner-operators, a great option is reefer loads (fresh refrigerated loads). These loads offer consistency since meat and produce need to be transported year-round, and more often than not you will be using the same shippers. Another great thing about reefer loads is that they are recession-proof. Hungry people have to eat, no matter the state of the economy, so you can always count on revenue with these types of loads.
Exceptional Customer Service
While it’s obvious that you should want to provide your customers with the best service possible in order to be successful, this is another area that gives you an edge on the big trucking companies. Since they have a much larger amount of clients, they aren’t able to provide the customers with the personal attention that they deserve and a lot of things can be overlooked or forgotten. Since you have fewer customers, you can make sure that each one receives personalized attention and knows that they are important to you. This will go a long way towards success.
Keeping Your Drivers Happy
The trucking industry is on the rise, but unfortunately, the amount of people wanting to be drivers is not. In fact, the American Trucking Associations estimates that by 2024, the trucking industry in the US could possibly be up to 174,500 drivers short if the current trends continue. Whether it’s the difficulty of the job, the long hours, or just a lack of interest in becoming a truck driver, the fact of the matter is that truckers are in high demand. Therefore, they should be treated as the precious commodity that they are. Driver retention is incredibly important, and it will be easier to find more drivers if the ones currently on your workforce are content with their job. You need to build loyalty with your drivers and avoid a high turnover rate. To do this, it’s recommended to pay them well, offer incentive-based compensation, and make sure that you’re not having them drive for too many hours. If you have happy drivers, your trucking company is more likely to succeed.
As all owner-operators know, the day-to-day tasks can become pretty exhausting and sometimes can seem like too much to handle. It’s tedious work, but it is also necessary. Handling your daily operations requires a good amount of paperwork and organization. It’s important to have a good and efficient process to handle operations.
Strategy Live trucking software will help with this immensely. Instead of working through piles and piles of paperwork, our software has multiple features that assist with day-to-day tasks. From knowing the location of your fleet, keeping track of loads on the load board, adding and editing driver payments, fuel tax management, and more. All of this information will be readily available for you through our web-based and user-friendly transportation software.
Being Smart with Fuel
Fuel is definitely the biggest expense for trucking companies, which means that it is vital to have a good fuel-buying strategy. Many new owner-operators have the false assumption that the cheapest price at the pump will help them save money. This isn’t correct and could actually cost you a good chunk of money in the long run. What it comes down to is taxes. Instead of paying fuel taxes for the state where you purchased the gas, truckers pay taxes on the fuel that they use in the states that they drive through. The best method is to buy fuel at the cheapest base price instead of the pump price.
Strategy Live will help you with fuel tax management as well as let you manually enter fuel purchases and cash advances. This information will save you time, but by comparing your numbers month by month, you can come up with a strategy to cut down on your fuel costs.
Build Solid Relationships
Connections in the trucking industry are key to running a profitable company. It can be easy to forget this when times become hectic, but burning bridges is a huge and costly mistake to make. Not only should you make sure that you’re treating your shippers and freight brokers with respect, but also your employees and other industry affiliates. Referrals can be a huge benefit, so be sure to build strong connections and to utilize these relationships.
As the transportation industry continues to evolve, you want to make sure that you’re not getting stuck in the past and still using old systems or operations. One of the biggest improvements that have come about is the development of trucking software. By using a comprehensive program that helps you organize, store, and input important data, you’ll undoubtedly save time and money. Trucking and freight brokers have found that Strategy Live is the premier software to choose. Not only does it have comprehensive features that will help you with a variety of tasks, but it is web-based and designed to be incredibly user-friendly. So, are you ready to start growing your business? What are you waiting for? The first step to take is to get Strategy Live! We’re so confident in the quality of our trucking software, that if you would like to see if it is the right solution to you, you can give it a shot first with a free demo! Contact us today to get started.