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Let us face it. Running a successful trucking business is difficult, even when the economy is doing well. It involves many responsibilities outside of driving a truck and picking the best routes. For example, you must understand tax regulations, commercial truck licensing, and other compliance-related issues. You also have to market your business, get new customers, and manage your finances. In addition, if you employ support staff, dispatchers, and other truckers, you will have even more tasks to juggle. So, what can you do to keep your revenues in the fast lane? This Balboa Capital blog post can help. It features five steps to trucking business success.
The driving force of the United States.
Before we get to the growth strategies, we want to give you a top-level overview of the $795 billion trucking industry, the numbers of which are pretty impressive. More than 1.4 million trucking companies in the United States employ approximately 7.5 million people. Notably, 9 in 10 trucking companies operate fewer than seven trucks. Trucks transport over 80% of all cargo in our country.
The most common types of goods transported via trucks are machinery equipment, technology, electronics, automobiles, gasoline, and mixed freight.
1. Monitor your business expenses.
Your business will incur two types of expenses: initial (non-recurring) and continuous (operating). Monitoring your costs can help prevent cash flow problems that coincide with slow months. Having enough working capital on hand will help you pay for fuel, maintenance costs, and meals, to name a few. It will also enable you to make payroll if your business has employees in a given pay period.
Additionally, it would help to consider the cost of acquiring business equipment. Whether you work from home or office, you will need office furniture, computers, phones, Internet service, accounting software, and printers. Be frugal with your spending so you will never end up in the unfortunate position of not having enough cash to keep your business moving forward.
2. Get the best truck.
Your truck is by far the most critical part of your business. A reliable, high-quality truck that can handle loads in all weather conditions is an absolute must. The last thing you want is to operate a truck that is limited to what it can carry or prone to engine problems.
A truck will be the most expensive thing you purchase, and the costs will increase if you require a fleet. So, evaluate your financial situation to decide whether you want to buy or finance a truck. Many owner-operators and trucking companies prefer truck financing because it does not deplete their capital and only requires predictable monthly payments over a specific term.
3. Control your fuel costs.
Filling up your truck’s fuel tank can slowly empty your profits. However, it does not have to. You and your other drivers can do several proven things to save money on fuel. First, you can install governors into your rigs to prevent exceeding a particular speed limit. As you know, speeding uses up fuel faster than driving at a standard speed limit. Second, have your truck checked regularly to ensure that everything is in working order and compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Less fuel will be consumed when your truck’s engine, brakes, and tires are in good working order. Lastly, make a habit of reducing your idle time. Excessive idling can cause carbon build-up and affect your engine’s performance.
4. Market your trucking company.
Spreading the word about your trucking business takes a great deal of time and effort. However, it should be part of your overall business plan or marketing strategy. One way to look for new prospects is by perusing the load boards and freight brokers online. These options present you with a quick way to identify new opportunities.
Another approach is to make cold calls to develop a customer list. This is difficult and time-consuming, but it can help you land some of your most profitable customers. Providing your customers with excellent service can result in repeat business and referrals.
5. Hire the best truckers.
If you need to hire truck drivers for your business, look for licensed and experienced drivers. The best truckers are critical to your success and are an extension of your company’s brand. Job sites and social networks like LinkedIn and Glassdoor can be used to promote your job openings.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.