Entrepreneurial success is the embodiment of the American dream. While walking toward “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” most Americans want autonomy over their schedule, their workspace, and of course, their finances. Across the nation and with varying demographics, many Americans believe starting a trucking business is how to do just that. According to the latest data pool on truck drivers from the US Census Bureau, “Nearly 1.5 million people work for the 124,320 employer businesses in this industry, and another 587,000 are self-employed, or ‘nonemployers.’” To join the latter group of individuals leading their own trucking business, consider the following seven focus areas.
1. Finding Loads
Despite the immense need for capacity, drivers starting a trucking business must understand that workloads do not fall from the sky. Learning how to find loads to haul is a pivotal first step in grasping how to start a trucking company. While saying yes to every available load may seem the right option, it can also result in lost costs from frequent deadhead miles that strategy could have prevented with the right collaborative platform.
2. Speedier Payments
While many rejoice that life on the road requires little focus on screens, the right technology and software can be a game-changer for payment processing. The faster an owner-operator can make and receive payments by utilizing invoicing software, a factoring solution, or an automatic payment option, the better access to adequate cash flow. Owner-operators cannot start a trucking business without proper cash access, given the front costs that each load takes on.
3. Positive Shipper Relationships
Shippers, carriers, brokers, and 3PLs are necessary to supply chain function. Therefore, it is beneficial for owner-operators to leverage credit checks on the front end to start business relationships with the right people. Consistent communication and openness will prove to shippers that a driver does not just know how to start a trucking business. They also grasp the value of achieving mutually beneficial business decisions.
4. Coordination and Collaboration
Mutually beneficial industry partnerships do not have to stop with shippers. Maintaining relationships with competitors can be an excellent asset for those wanting to start a trucking business. Novice owner-operators can gain rapport with shipping clients by referring them to other trusted carriers when a load is outside of their own ability to transport. Additionally, owner-operators who link arms with a back-office partner gain trucking business sounding boards from various sources to sustain growth.
5. Technology to Track Everything
While the first baby steps on how to start a trucking business include purchasing an electronic logging device (ELD), this is not where technology and trucking separate. By onboarding innovative technology that streamlines end-to-end data visibility, owner-operators gain everything from actionable analytics on fuel efficiency to essential details to confidently file taxes for their trucking business. In addition, entrepreneurial truckers must prioritize data collection and management digitization to gain insights for future growth tracks.
6. Sending Invoices Automatically
Those learning how to start a trucking company already understand the more time spent on the road, the more money comes in. When an owner-operator has back-to-back loads from different clients, automated invoice systems ensure that there are no loose ends to tie after the end of a long run. A trucking business that automates as much bookkeeping as possible can even expedite calculating fuel surcharges from contract to contract or load to load, which again gets them back on the road as fast as possible.
7. Maintaining Equipment
While learning to control trucking fuel costs may be the priority for many when counting their operating costs, keeping track of routine maintenance is critical. Without a system to maintain equipment, drivers open the door to increased breakdowns and longer delays and disruptions. By focusing on the everyday maintenance needs of one trailer truck, owner-operators set themselves up for future success when trucking fleet utilization management is needed.
Gain Control Over the Financials in Your Trucking Business With BasicBlock
Whether the trucking business launch is planned for next week or occurred last year, owner-operators need to start this quarter on the right foot with a successful financial plan. Same-day cash flow is essential to having everything needed to start each day. BasicBlock provides this with an unmatched freight factoring app without hidden fees or a complicated user interface. To learn more about what BasicBlock can do to get your trucking business on its feet for the first time or the thousandth time, get started with BasicBlock today.