Trucking is widely considered one of the most profitable and stable industries in the United States. With the economy growing as it is there is a great need for moving goods from one location to another. If you are hoping to carve yourself a nice slice of the trucking industry pie with your own company, here are some steps you can take to increase your odds of having a successful business.
1. Form Your Company and Get Set Up
In order to start a trucking company in the United States, you’ll need a Department of Transportation (DOT) number and a similar number (“MC number”) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Your startup to-do list will also include:
2. Define Your Niche
Unless you plan to start a massive nationwide company, you’re not going to able to randomly accept any possible customer. Instead, increase your odds of success by focusing on a specific niche and geographic area. You’ll be better off striving to be the best possible company that routinely meets the needs of commercial shippers in South Central Florida or Upstate New York than trying to be everything to everybody.
3. Find Some Loads
If you’re just getting started, load boards can be a good place to start finding freight to haul. Some boards are free while others have a subscription fee. Both types of boards can be a good way to start to build relationships. As your list of recurring jobs with the same clients grows, you may be able to haul directly for more customers and rely less on boards.
4. Track Expenses and Earnings
It’s important to know how much you spend and how much you earn from various hauls. New businesses in this industry have to be even more mindful of finances to avoid reaching a point where expenses become too much of a burden. Profit and loss statement or bookkeeping software can help you keep track of anything involving earnings and expenses. This will also make it easier to put together a budget you can actually stick to as your business grows.
5. Manage Your Cash Flow
Cash flow will be an issue you’ll have to deal with shortly after you get everything set up since payments usually only come in within one or two months after loads are completed. One option is freight factoring, a process involving the purchase of your invoices in exchange for immediate payment. This type of arrangement can result in more operating cash for insurance payments, payroll, truck repair and maintenance work, fuel, and other essential expenses. See our post on freight factoring here.
Let Pay4Freight be part of your success by taking advantage of the many resources and services we offer for both new and established companies. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to use load boards or weighing your options with freight factoring, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our budget-pleasing programs and services.