Did you already forget your New Year’s Resolutions?  What about our Leap Day Goal Setting challenge?

Yep, most of us do forget our good intentions within weeks of making those resolutions. There are two things that can help us be more successful:

Number 1:  Write down your goals.

A goal that isn’t written down is nothing more than a daydream.  It’s apparently an urban myth that just writing them down improves the chances of accomplishing your goals, but it’s the place to start.  SMART goals are:

  • SpecificSCHEMES to build your trucking business
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Oriented

Number 2:  Make an Action Plan

When you’ve written down your goals, the next part is to make a plan how to achieve them.  This might take some extra time to figure out, as you’re working in new territory.  As always, the Internet is full of suggestions and we found this one:  SCHEMES at MindTools.com.

This acronym helps you determine the steps you need to apply to your goal.  (Not every step may apply every goal.)

  • Space.
  • Cash.
  • Helpers/People.
  • Equipment.
  • Materials.
  • Expertise.
  • Systems.

Every industry has its own set of needs and every business person their own set of aspirations.  Why are these specific categories so useful?

Space:  You’ve got to work somewhere.  It needs to be safe, legal, and comfortable, regardless of the task.

Cash: The original investment may not be the only financing a goal will need.  Sometimes, funding to tide over the project until it starts bringing in money has to be factored into the total amount needed to achieve the goal.

Helper/People:  Very few projects are solo.  No one has every skill.  Hiring someone to handle the tasks you can’t do or don’t do well is a good strategy.

Equipment: Easy to skimp on equipment at the beginning and make-do with what you currently have, but it may be false economy.  Buy the best you can afford to work most efficiently and quickly to get to your goals as fast as you can.

Materials: What physical items are necessary for the project to move forward?

Expertise:  Finding others who have walked the entrepreneur trail before you can help you avoid pitfalls that can derail or completely stop you.

Systems: Examining what you’ll need to be successful once the project starts ahead of time gives you the freedom to determine the best choices for the systems you’ll need then.

The Real Problem Isn’t the Goal or the Action Plan

I don’t know about you, but I suspect that the real problem isn’t so much my lack of interest in achieving my goal or my lack of discipline to take the steps.  It’s that I get distracted.  Take a look at my desk and you’ll see what I mean.

I know people who have “dream boards” who put up several pictures of their goals beside their computer monitors to keep their focus on their dream.

I was thinking about this today when I was driving to the bank and saw that reminder sticker on my windshield to get my oil changed and thought – that’s what I need!  I need a little reminder that I’ll see every day, not too big, to keep my next step in mind.

Truckers don’t have space for bulletin boards full of pictures, but we do have windshields.   What if we put up a reminder there that keeps our focus on our goals at least once a day?

What are your trucking business goals?We could write something down on an index card and tape it to the window, I guess.  But I’d like to go a bit bigger.  Fuzzy dice bigger.  Hang a pair of fuzzy dice from my rear view mirror to remind me that it’s not a roll of the dice that’s going to get me what I want – it’s going to be me working for it.

Why Trucking Goals Matter

You may not realize it, but, as a trucker, you set goals and do your best to reach them every day.  For instance, one goal you strive for is safety.  So you perform regular vehicle maintenance.  Then, you accept a load, plan a route, and head in that direction.  You hope that delivering the load on time will ensure a repeat customer, so that’s another goal you set and achieve.  

To help you set more goals for your trucking business, here are a few ideas and why they matter:

  1. Know where your money goes. If you don’t know where you are spending the most money, you can’t find ways to cut back.  
  2. Get organized.  So much paperwork, too many deadlines, so much math, too much to remember.  It’s overwhelming.
  3. Give great customer service.  Your shippers and receivers are your livelihood.  Communicate with them about problems with delivering on time or other factors.  They need to know you have their best interests in mind.
  4. Know all federal rules and regulations.  Learn all about IFTA, IRP, DOT, HOS, FMCSA, ELD, and more.  Lack of knowledge can lead to costly fines, penalties, or out-of-service time.

Having a business plan is a good way to begin.  But did you know TruckingOffice can help you with all the above goals and more?  Sign up for this 30-day free trial to find out how.

What Are Your Trucking Business Goals?

What goals have you set for your trucking business this year? Can TruckingOffice help you get there?  We’ll give you a free 30-day trial to see if we can.

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