We’ve already talked about the numerous advantages of being your own boss in the trucking business. You can make your own schedule, choose your haul and the trek, and leave everything that makes corporate trucking unbearable behind.
But being an owner-operator is not without risks. It takes a lot of responsibility to keep your own business rolling, and the first year is often make or break for most self-employed truckers.
Our commercial truck financing experts have heard a lot of success stories and a lot of sad ones as well, and in this article we are going to break down everything you need to know in order to survive your first year as an owner-operator.
Don’t set your expectations too high
Congratulations! You’ve officially become your own boss and no longer have to fear being underpaid by a big trucking mogul. But before you start living large, take into account all the expenses it takes to keep your little business rolling. In your first year as an owner-operator, you will have to take some of your earnings aside for insurances, working capital, meals, repairs and all sorts of other expenses. Before you set off on the road, be sure to make a list of expenses and try to allocate your earnings accordingly.
Set up an emergency fund
Speaking of expenses, most truckers whose businesses start out well and profitable rarely think about the unforeseen events and rainy days. This is why it’s extremely important to set aside some of your earnings for downtime or emergencies. Having a six months’ worth of living expenses might come in handy if you face a financial emergency, are not able to work, have to repair your rig or simply can’t find a good contract.
Don’t spend more than you earn
The ability to manage your finances is what separates a successful owner-operator from a failed one. There’s nothing wrong with thinking big, just don’t spend your money recklessly and hope that your business will only grow in the future. Buy or lease a semi truck you can afford to finance, and as we already mentioned – put away some money for maintenance and repairs.
Seek professional advice
When it comes to trucking, we have no doubts that you are an ace. But being a good trucker does not equal being a good owner-operator. There are other aspects of the business like legal issues and accounting that an average trucker knows nothing about. For these issues it is best to consult a professional. Don’t shy away from hiring one either – money invested in a good financial expert is sure to come back multiplied.
Choose your commercial truck financing partner wisely
Bad credit does not have to mean that your dreams of becoming an owner-operator are shattered. But if you are looking for semi truck financing with bad credit, choosing a reliable and straightforward partner like Go Truck Capital is vital. With a reasonable and business-savvy partner at your side, your bad credit is simply a bump on the road to success.
Get the semi truck that fits your needs
When choosing which semi truck to lease or buy, choose one wisely. Try to choose an engine that will work best with the haul you plan on transporting. Consider how much the truck spends and how old it is. Don’t be afraid to ask around with other owner-operators and learn about their experience with a similar truck.