Expanding your trucking company can have several benefits. With expansion comes economies of scale, meaning you will have lower operating costs and higher profits. Increased revenue can open your market reach to new regions and give you a competitive advantage. It will also help you to offer a wider range of services too your clients. Overall, expansion of your trucking company can bring many benefits including increased revenue, market reach, improved efficiency and a competitive advantage. When considering expansion you may be left thinking, how can I make this happen and quickly.
If you are an owner operator or small fleet owner and ready to put in the hard work and discipline to expand your trucking company, there are a few things to consider.
Asses Your Finances
Begin by assessing your financial situation. You will likely be hiring drivers to work for you, and those drivers will need a vehicle to drive. You will need a high credit score, and a down payment for the new truck(s).
Figure Your Accurate Cost Per Mile
Get an accurate cost per mile for your business. Begin by estimating the milage you intend to drive, gather all of your fixed costs and estimate your variable costs. Using these figures, determine your cost per mile. Know your average revenue per day, save money and time by packing healthy meals to take with you on the road, and download an ELD app (electronic logging device), weather, and weight stations apps to your phone. You can use a cost per mile calculator to do this.
Write Your Business Plan
Once you have figured your cost per mile, you will need to asses your business model and put together a budget for your business. Take your rate per mile and subtract your cost per mile from it. This number will determine the amount you will generate in profit. If the result is going to generate a worthwhile profit then you are ready to move on to begin to grow your trucking fleet. If it does not, you will want to consider your options to increase profits. One way to increase your fleet would be to settle into a niche market that you can specialize in. Some of these include specialized loads, refrigerated loads (reefers), tankers, flatbeds, and depending on your location, possibly cattle and livestock hauling. Using this information, compile and write a thorough business plan.
Hire Professional Help
Once you are up and running, you will want to reach out to a few professionals to help you with the day to day operations. This will keep you business focused, and profitable, not using your time to do the tasks that others can do faster and better for you. A CPA will help you keep accurate books and file accurate tax returns. Hire a freight broker that has relationships already established with shippers. You may also consider a dispatcher once you have multiple drivers in your fleet.
As you continue your expansion, you will want to add more drivers and trucks (in that order). It is best to find your driver first, so you don’t have a truck sitting. Outside of family and friends, if you are having trouble finding a driver, consider installing a now hiring sign on your truck to advertise to other drivers while you are on the road.As you add trucks, you can find information and help with trucking company branding and US DOT decals, or for leased trucks US DOT Magnetic signs and order them online with ease.
If you are a driver wanting to become an owner operator and eventually start your own authority, watch the informative video by our friends on "The Truck Insurance Channel" on the steps to get there.
In conclusion, there are many steps to starting your own trucking company, but mainly, have fun and enjoy each one as your company starts to grow. Before getting on the road with your truck(s), check out these US DOT marking regulations. Face the challenges head on, and revel in every achievement.