Running a trucking company is, in many ways, very much like running any other type of business, even a multi-billion dollar corporation. All firms have clients, bills, receivables, assets, goals, and daily tasks to complete. The key to handling these different facets of the business is keeping things as simple and easy-to-manage as possible.
Simplifying Business Through Organization
It may sound cliché, but staying organized is an important key to being successful. Specifically, you need to focus on tracking your time, your records, and your finances.
Your time refers to every minute you’re doing work-related activities, not just the time you’re behind the wheel. If you’re sending an email to a client, that’s work time. If you’re scanning a trucker website looking for loads, that’s work time. If you’re sitting in a truck stop somewhere balancing your company’s checkbook, that’s work time.
It’s important to keep track of your work time as closely as possible, because:
- It lets you know how much money you’re actually making. After all, you’re an owner-operator because you want to make more than you could as a company driver. You can’t know if you’re accomplishing that goal if you don’t have a good idea of how much time your business demands from you. You may be getting great settlements, but, if you’re spending 100 hours a week doing work-related things, then you might want to look for ways to streamline some of your tasks.
- It lets you know if you’re spending the right amount of time taking care of each part of your business. For example, if filling out IFTA forms takes you 20 hours a week that you could be spending securing another load, then you would probably benefit from letting a transportation management software package like TruckingOffice handle that chore for you.
Your records are the many different forms, logs, applications, etc., that have to be maintained, both for your sake as well as the taxman’s. A prime example is service records for your rig. A tractor-trailer combo has thousands of different parts that must all work together for you to earn your living. Because of this, you have to make sure that oil changes, tune-ups, brake pad changes, coolant flushes, and so on are done on time. That in turn comes back to good record keeping. For many drivers, this is their least favorite part of the job. Nonetheless, it’s essential for staying on top of things and avoiding headaches and hassles down the road.
Last but by no means least, you have to makes sure that your finances are in good order. This is one of the biggest differences between being a trucking company driver and working for yourself. When you’re an employee, you collect your pay and that’s it. But when you’re an owner-operator, you’re responsible for anything and everything, including fuel, taxes, repairs, tolls, etc. You have to make sure you set aside enough money to take care of your expenses or you’ll get yourself in trouble real quick.
If all this sounds pretty complicated, we understand where you’re coming from. In fact, that’s why we invented TruckingOffice. It helps independent drivers and freight brokers to manage their affairs easily, without all the problems that come with doing things the old-school way. Our transportation management software makes it a breeze to stay up to date on your records, your finances, and your time, so you’ll always know where you stand.
Find out for yourself just how good TruckingOffice is by taking it for a spin. We’ll let you use it absolutely free for 30 days, just to prove it’s everything we say it is. Try it out today!