How To Become A Successful Owner-Operator – Part One
Being an owner-operator is more than just being a trucker. There are great truckers who fail at being self-employed because that requires a specific set of business skills. When you set out on your own, it’s important to know how to grow your business. We hope this article will give you an idea how you should treat your business for maximum progress.
Your equipment is your bread-and-butter. It’s one of the very first decisions you will have to make and probably the priciest one. After selecting the equipment that suits your needs and goals, you should decide whether to buy it or lease it.
Buying is pretty straightforward. You make a deposit and take out a loan for the remaining amount. Making regular payments ensures you own the equipment and after you have made the last one, the equipment is yours fair and square.
Leasing can be a bit more complicated in structure, but it’s easier when you start your business, especially if you have a bad credit rating or no money for the upfront costs. Some lease options have a lower monthly payment, which is rather convenient. And while some leasing packages can be really like renting, others allow you to own the equipment when you finish the payments.
Making up your mind between buying and leasing equipment shouldn’t be a hasty decision. The core question is: What are your needs and plans? If you carefully choose the right option for you, your business will grow faster and more steadily.
It’s advisable that you consult a professional who will be able to assess your business needs and abilities. Go Capital specializes in bad credit semi-truck financing because we believe in the future. Our Account Managers take time to understand how you want to develop your business and offer you the financing option which will benefit you and your plans most. Contact us today to find out more how we can help you get semi-truck financing with bad credit ratings.
New owner-operators often go to load boards to find customers. The Internet has made it very easy to connect with customers even from the cab. While this is understandable in the beginning, it shouldn’t be your long-term plan.
Load boards are notoriously competitive and only slashed prices make you visible and desirable to customers. Another unfortunate aspect is that load boards don’t nurture long-term relationships. If you constantly depend on load boards to find work, you’ll be forced to find new customers over and over again.
Load boards can be your steppingstone for networking, but make sure you make business calls to potential clients on your own and gradually build a solid customer base. In time, chances are very high you’ll be making more money when you have a reliable customer list (without the hassle of establishing a connection with constantly new customers). Remember that repeat customers bring businesses the most revenue with the lowest ongoing investment.
Knowing your expenses to the smallest detail will allow you to make smart bids. Being competitive without being profitable is shooting yourself in the foot. Make sure you run the numbers for maintenance, repair work, payments, gas and your pay.
Your prices need some differentiation as well. There is also the actual cost of your trouble for getting the load to a certain place. For example, it’s not the same if you have to get a load to Poway or to San Francisco – driving through heavy traffic slows you down and ups your fuel consumption. If you don’t put a higher bid on such a delivery, you are setting yourself up to lose money. Keep in mind that even losing time is potential additional revenue.
Try hard to connect loads. After the drop-off, the best thing is to have another load close by, otherwise you have to head back home. Deadhead miles can softly kill your business.
Subscribe to our blog for the next article in this series, coming soon. Our goal, as truck and trailer experts is to help truckers who want to have a successful owner-operator business with all of their funding and equipment needs. If you have questions about how to get your own business to the next step by purchasing or leasing a truck or trailer, fill out our quick form to request a call today.