October 17, 2017
Get Your Trucking Company to Grow
If you’ve worked towards starting your own trucking company, you may be asking yourself, “Now what?” Getting your company started is the hard part, but where do you go from there? How do you get it to grow? Here are a few things you should keep in mind to keep your trucking company running for years to come.
Keep up With Maintenance
Remember to maintain the most important asset of your company: your trucks. Purchasing or leasing a good truck to haul your loads is a great start, but that truck won’t last for years and years if it’s not taken care of. Rather than fixing a truck after it breaks down, keep up with regular maintenance and take note if your truck’s expenses start to add up. If you find yourself doing more and more temporary fixes instead of taking the expense and time to do permanent fixes, it may be time to take another look at how your company is run. If you aren’t making enough of a profit to cover your truck’s expenses, take a step back and recalculate all profits and expenses to figure out what’s working and what’s not before you lose all of your profit just trying to keep running.
Build Your Client-Base
Much of your profit comes from taking loads, and companies may only start hiring your company after you’ve established a reputation for providing good, high quality service. You can use a load board to find work right away, but don’t only rely on load boards to get clients. Load boards are highly competitive and force you to lower your rates without the benefit of earning trust with your clients. Instead, make sales calls and reach out to companies directly and ask for loads so you can build a relationship with potential clients. If you create a client relationship, you’ll not only be able to charge more for your loads (and get more profit) but you’ll be able to make sure you always have work with clients you want to work with. Businesses are less likely to send work to other trucking companies if you’ve proven that yours is good and trustworthy.
Don’t Grow too Quickly
Just because you have the money to purchase another truck doesn’t mean you should. If you find that you’re making a good profit off your loads, make sure to calculate if you can actually afford to grow your company before taking the next step. More trucks don’t necessarily mean more profit. Take a look at how your company is running. If you’re finding that you can’t keep up with the number of jobs, it may be time to invest in another truck or at least another owner operator. If you only have enough jobs for one truck, it may not be time to expand.
Keep Cash Flowing
Always make sure you have cash on-hand so you can take care of truck maintenance, fuel, or other expenses that can occur on a day-to-day basis. If you have to wait for payment on a previous load to start a new one, you may be missing out on profit and your company is at risk for ending in a stand-still. To avoid situations like this, always keep a stash of cash for emergency fueling or expenses so you can keep running even if you’re waiting for payment from a previous haul.
Some new trucking companies have a hard time fully optimizing their load schedule. They may find that they have one load to a new location, but they may not find a load to bring them back. Not optimizing your miles means a lot of dead miles that not only waste time but money, too. Before you even set out for your first load, try to find a load that takes you back as well, so you can make the most out of your time on the road.
Let Others Help With the Paperwork
Starting a trucking company can be confusing. It’s hard to know which registration numbers you need and which numbers you don’t. Motor Carrier HQ can help you with your MC Number, DOT Number, BOC-3 Form, and more. Once you’re running, there are still a few fees you have to pay annually, such as the UCR filing. You may find that you want to start expanding your company. If that’s the case, there may be other registrations to fill out to make sure your company is still compliant with all trucking company laws.
If you have any questions on starting your trucking company or what you need to stay on top of trucking company laws, give us a call at (866) 739-2032!