Many company drivers are turning to self-managed businesses for their main source of income, especially with the economy in the state that it is now. Trucking has proven to be one of the most financially stable professions and a lot of owner-operators make a decent amount of money. Some of them started from the bottom, often relying on semi truck financing companies before they could make it on their own.
Being an owner-operator is no laughing matter. It is a stressful and demanding job and many truckers make mistakes that cost them their career. Not every truck driver can be a good businessman and vice versa, which is why starting your own trucking enterprise demands a lot of research.
However, this often proves difficult as not all veteran owner-operators are keen on sharing their knowledge or business secrets. This can backfire on new owner-operators, as these same mistakes are repeated time and time again.
In this article we’ll list some of the most common mistakes as pointed out by our clients who started out small and now run some of the most successful trucking enterprises!
Not Planning or Sticking to a Budget
As we previously mentioned, not all truckers possess the necessary entrepreneur skills needed to launch a successful business enterprise. Being a good trucker is just one part of being an owner-operator. With that in mind, the first mistake new truckers make is not creating or following a budget.
There are numerous things to plan for, from maintenance and repair costs, to food expenses, lodging fees, etc. So the first thing you need to do is to put all of your expenses on paper and plan your finances accordingly.
One other thing truckers often forget to take into account is marketing. You can be the best trucker in the world, but if you cannot reach your potential customers then it’s all in vain. Fortunately there are so many ways to promote your business, from advertising in Yellow Pages to promoting your business on social networks.
Not Keeping Track of Your Records
Every trucker knows that record keeping is a huge part of the vocation. If you plan on starting your own business it becomes even more integral. Try to keep your records neat and organized, so you can call them up whenever you need them.
If you are not meticulous enough perhaps you should consider hiring a professional to do it for you. Keeping track of your records will help you get a better picture of where you are financially and it can help if you are applying for commercial truck financing.
Parts and trucks can be repaired and replaced, but the trucker cannot. Your health is your most important asset, which is why as a trucker you have to take extra care to stay fit. Try to add a healthy diet and regular exercise to your daily routine and visit a doctor regularly. If you are not feeling well consider sitting out a contract. Don’t push yourself too hard or you may be forced to skip many more afterwards.
Neglecting Your Truck
The truck is your second most important asset, which is why you shouldn’t neglect its maintenance as well. If your truck malfunctions your cash flow will be jeopardized. Truck maintenance should be every owner-operators main responsibility, which is why you have to schedule routine maintenance and keep it in prime shape.
Siding With the Wrong Semi Truck Financing Companies
The first thing many future owner-operators do is looking into the best truck financing options. Choosing a reputable semi-truck financing partner is the most important step and also the one that could cost you the most if you choose wrong. If you don’t side with a trustworthy, affordable financing company you might find yourself not being able to make ends meet later on.
That is why you should look into all available truck financing alternatives, including checking out semi-trucks for lease, asking around about OTR leasing and more. Go Capital is the leading commercial truck funding company that has helped many small time truckers make it big by doing what they love. To find out what our team can do to make your owner-operator dreams come true contact us at (855) 396-3600.