A lot of people don’t like setting goals. It’s frustrating when they don’t achieve the goal. Goals lead them to blame themselves, to make excuses, and makes a person feel bad instead of helping people complete a task. So is goal setting a bad thing? Plans, goals and TruckingOffice together with a different attitude may lead to more success than you expect.

Goals vs. Plans

Trucking is the ideal way to examine the difference between a goal and a plan. There are two ways to look at trucking:

  • deliver a load at a destination
  • drive a truck to deliver a load.

The first focuses on the end task: delivery. The second focuses on the process: driving. One is a goal, the other is a plan.

What’s the difference in the end? That’s hard to say from the outside: they look the same. But one or the other is more likely to sum up our feelings about our job as truckers: either we like the conclusion with the delivery or we like the time on the road.

When we understand what drives us – the end or the process – then we can make some progress toward greater success in our owner-operator businesses.

Goals: Delivery Means Success

Do you like the delivery? We’ll bet that you like the short haul trips. Get the load and get it done quickly and on to the next load. Are you more willing to take on several short trips rather than one long cross-country trek?

Yes, we get it – delivery means you get paid. That’s the ultimate goal of any business: to make money. But if you take satisfaction in seeing a load moved from your trailer to the dock – it may be that you like setting goals. Do you like to reach goals? Do you find yourself setting them without any outside influence?

To improve, you might want to look at the Company Overview Report from TruckingOffice. This comprehensive report shows the whole picture of your business: the revenue per mile, the expenses per mile, the cost per mile. Doing some analysis will show you what part of your trucking business performance needs to change to make your business more profitable. Setting those goals with regular checks on your progress will probably satisfy that itch to get done and move on to the next delivery.

Plans: The Process Is Its Own Reward

What you haul is a lot less important than you’ve got a load to haul. After all, it’s the hauling that you get paid for. There are challenges on the road, but maybe you thrive on them. You like the time behind the wheel and clocking up the miles. Does the time in the shipping yard make you a bit crazy?

If this is you, we suspect that long trips across the country make you a lot happier than the 400 mile round trip in one day.

To improve your bottom line, looking at your last few month’s loads and seeing what was the most profitable and most enjoyable. Are there customers you want to keep in touch with for future loads? Or maybe you need to get more accurate details into the system so that you’ve got better records.

Establishing a process to handle some of the business of trucking will help you. Instead of waiting till the end of the month or the next time you get home to send out invoices, an invoicing program that lets you send out your invoices from your cab with pictures of the BOL will speed up your pay. That in turn might reduce how often you have to use a factoring service. Setting simple processes and committing to one at a time for a month or two will create the habits that will improve your bottom line.

Frustrating Goals, Plans and TruckingOffice

Here’s the big problem with goals: life happens. This is why setting up plans might be more effective. We often set goals when we feel inspired. We can achieve those grand goals! It’s just a matter of hard work! Until the brakes need to be replaced. Then our goals get set back and for some people, that setback is all that’s needed to give up on ever setting goals.

The best way to deal with this frustration isn’t to give up on setting goals. Create a plan to cope with these interruptions.

If an athlete wants to lift 300 pounds, getting sick and having to reduce the working weight for a while until the athlete’s strength is back can be frustrating – or it can be accepted as a part of life. Which one do you think will be less frustrated?

When you pay attention to the process, you’re more likely to have a plan to cope with the interruptions. You can track your successes – absolutely you should do that! – and realize that when situations change, it’s not a failure.

That’s the best part of using a process and a plan instead of a goal. Failure isn’t an option because it’s not in the picture. With goals, failure can be identified in several different ways. Blame gets shifted. Lots of negative feelings and poor attitude results. But if the concern about failure is off the table – what can you accomplish?

Instead of negatives from not achieving a goal, we have potential to continue our plans to achieve success.

That’s where TruckingOffice comes in

Whether you prefer to work for goals or plan and build processes, using the right tools to get the information you need just makes everything simpler and easier.

How can we help you discover what you need? We offer tools and insights into your business that no other trucking management software offers:

  • Complete Company Overview Report, which includes breakdowns of your finances per mile. You’ll know when you can’t afford to take a load that doesn’t pay enough if you know your numbers.
  • Access to PC*Miler to plan the best routes for you to haul freight. You won’t have to worry about an IRS audit for an IFTA filing – all the details that an auditor will want will be easily accessed.
  • Trucking office management from your cab – not back at home at a desk. No more waiting a week or more until you get home to send out an invoice. Faster pays mean less reliance on outside financial resources and keeps your money in your pocket.

Whether it’s goals or plans – TruckingOffice is the tool you need.

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