Of all the modes of transportation in the United States, trucking is by far the most important. A staggering 80% of all cargo in the U.S. is transported by the trucking industry. This is four times the amount as air, rail, water, and pipeline combined. Additionally, 7.1 million people, or 6% of the U.S. working population, are employed by the trucking industry.
In 2018, trucking revenue skyrocketed to nearly $800 billion, up from $700 billion the previous year. Additionally, it is projected to grow 75% by 2026. This makes it one of the fastest-growing small business industries in the United States. Consider these statistics and you’ll see that starting your own trucking business can be a lucrative business decision. Especially if you know where to start and how to grow.
How to Start a Trucking Business
The trucking industry is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. If small trucking companies didn’t exist, the economy would come to a standstill. Fortunately for you, rising freight demand, paired with the current driver shortage, means you have the potential to make a lot of money by starting a trucking business. Making the decision to start a trucking business is the first step towards creating a successful new company. However, in order to run a profitable trucking business, there are some important things you’ll need to familiarize yourself with.
Trucking Business Plan
The first thing you should do before starting a trucking business is to create a basic business plan. Think of your trucking business plan as a fundamental guide to help you get where you want to go. It should include information about what kind of equipment you plan to use, whether you will buy or lease the equipment, your financial projections and how you plan to expand, among other important business decisions.
One of the most important components of a trucking company is dispatching. By keeping accurate, organized records for all your dispatches, you can increase productivity for your trucking business and save yourself time and money. Many owner-operators and fleet builders use trucking dispatch software specifically designed to manage dispatches and keep accurate records of everything related to dispatch. This includes information about the customer, the shipment and the driver.
There is plenty of opportunity for error when it comes to managing your cash flow. One of the worst things that can happen to you as an owner-operator is that you run out of cash when you need it the most. By automating your trucking business invoicing system, you can create, send and track invoices and payments and successfully manage your cash flow.
Expenses and Maintenance
When you’re running a trucking business, you have to be able to track your expenses and ensure that your trucks are properly maintained so they remain in working order. Keeping track of truck maintenance and expenses can be difficult, especially if you are relying on paper receipts and spreadsheets. However, knowing how much it costs to run your trucking business is the only way you can ensure that your business is profitable. Using an all-in-one trucking management program is the most convenient way to track truck maintenance, repairs, office expenses, insurance payments, salaries, and other business expenses.
Reports and Stats
Knowing your numbers and how your company is doing is important for any business owner. This is especially true in the trucking industry, where things can change very quickly and a lack of planning and poor management can easily cause a trucking business to fail. More than half of new businesses fail during the first five years. However, with the right research, strategy, and planning, along with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, your trucking business can be one that succeeds.
How to Be Successful
The key to success in any business is to have a plan and stick to it. However, other factors will contribute to your success in the truck business industry. Here are a few:
- Always deliver loads on time.
- Be on good terms with your dispatchers.
- Keep a clean driving record.
- Stay in compliance with federal regulations.
- Pay attention to your safety department.
- Remember, successful trucking is about hard work.
- Know and use good customer service skills.
- Learn basic truck mechanics.
- Use stress management skills.
- Stay 100% focused while driving.
- Take care of your health.
- Love your job.
In addition to a sound business plan, you also need a reliable, efficient TMS program like TruckingOffice. Why? Because the first way to succeed in business is to know where your money is going. With our system, you have all your relevant data in one secure place where you can access it at any time. We track mileage, fuel use, invoices, dispatching, IFTA reporting, vehicle maintenance, and more. A few clicks will generate profit and loss reports or any other information needed.
Sign up for our 30-day free trial today and get started on making your trucking business the success you imagined it to be.