Owning your own company, being your own boss, and working for yourself can be exciting and enlightening, however it can also be extremely stressful. Although you single-handedly have everything to win, you also have everything to lose should something go wrong. Before you dive into starting your own company, be prepared for more failures than wins, more hours worked than ever before, and more passion and exhilaration for your work than you’ve ever felt.
For the most part, starting your own trucking company is no different than if you wanted to open a restaurant, clothing store, or spa. It’s all about the money.
If you have a dream, a vision, confidence, and years of experience as an owner/ operator of a single truck, then you’re already halfway there to owning your own trucking company. Once you’re in the right mindset, it’s time to start taking action.
Financially, starting your own trucking company can be a burden. To lighten the load, make sure your own truck is paid off before investing in new trucks and equipment. Don’t forget that you also have to pay people to drive the and operate every piece of new equipment you buy, otherwise it’s money sunk. The start up costs of opening your own company will undoubtedly put you in debt. Don’t go into it already being in debt.
Before you even start researching your first additional truck to buy, open a savings account and start putting money away. According to alltrucking.com, as a business owner you’ll have unforeseen expenses that, as the owner, you’ll have to pay for out of pocket. As a business owner, you also need to make sure that your employees get paid, even if that means you don’t. As a new company, business is likely to be inconsistent, so you’ll want a financial base to rely on if business is slow for a period of time.
To sum up the topic of money and get to the inspirational part, just make sure you have a solid financial plan. According to alltrucking.com, you’ll want to account for expenses such as truck payments, a good amount for truck repairs and maintenance, business taxes, licenses and registrations which vary by state employee payments, insurance, and every other expense that comes up in the trucking industry. It’s also important to keep in mind that unlike working for a company, your paydays are every 30 – 45 days as opposed to every 7 – 14 days. That being said, going into this venture mentally prepared to be in the red for a while will make your life much easier when you are actually in the red.
Okay, now time for the exciting part, buying the equipment! Do thorough research. Don’t sacrifice quality for a good deal, you can’t go wrong with brands like Stadium International, Isuzu, or Stadium Idealease. And I cannot stress enough to make sure you have a warranty on every piece of equipment you buy. These are machines and machines break, you know that, you’ve worked in the industry long enough to know better than to risk it, especially now that it’s your own butt on the line.
You will also need to register and license all of your trucks and equipment with the state before you start conducting business. According to truckdrivingjobs.com each state has its own laws when it comes to transporting goods in-state and across state lines. Follow the law, even if you don’t like it. The last thing you need is to be fined. You’ve already accumulated enough debt with your startup costs.
It’s also extremely important to market yourself. You didn’t get into this because you thought it’d be fun. You did it because you knew you could be successful and so you need to let others know why you’ll be successful. You need to market yourself. Show, don’t tell what makes you different. The better you know this, the easier it will be to show others. While on the topic of marketing, don’t forget to include it as a startup cost (I know I said we were done talking about money, but I lied). In all seriousness, what good is a brand new, fully functioning company if no one knows it exists. I’ll say it one more time, market yourself and show, don’t tell.
Alltrucking.com also advises against setting your initial rates too low. A lower price point does not mean more customers. What is does mean is flaky customers, who might jump ship the moment your prices go up. Price yourself according to your worth.
All that being said, once you have prepared yourself mentally for the endeavor you’re about to take on, make sure that your finances are in line, your equipment and employees are up to snuff, and your marketing is on point. After that, almost everything else will take care of itself.
If you think you’re ready start looking for trucks!