- Lack of planning
Running a trucking business is just like running any other type of business, but with many different regulations to work with; and a very unique type of client-base.
It's not enough just to hold a CDL; --as a business owner you need careful planning, and help from various professionals to build a good foundation
- Poor Management
Enlist the services of a professional management team, or a bookkeeping service to help you keep the numbers straight.
This is one of the weakest points in many small businesses, including trucking. If you don't know where the money goes, or how much is coming in--you are less likely to manage the business well.
- Low cash-flow
Cash-flow issues tend to be a combination of several factors such as: not enough customers or business, low-paying freight, high costs of operations, too many unpaid invoices, etc.
Identify strategies to improve or manage your business' cash flow, or get help from a business manangement service.
- No collection strategy
Whether your small trucking business is sailing smoothly, treading water or moving against a strong tide during these tough economic times, having a reliable collection strategy is key to maintaining enough cash flow to remain profitable.
- Low paying freight - no knowledge of market rates
No business can thrive for long when costs of operation are higher than incoming revenue
Check your profit/loss statements, cash-flow or income/expense statements to review whether your business is profitable. Are the numbers what you would like to see?
Consider paying a freight/load service to get better paying freight, or adjust your quotes. Also make sure you are getting paid all fuel and weight surcharges on every load
- Failure to stay compliant - resulting in fines and being shut down by DOT
If you practice staying compliant and encourage safe driving from your drivers, you are more likely to avoid all the headaches that come with being non-compliant.
Have a written safety plan, procedures for staying legal, and provide regular training/refresher courses to drivers. Avoid business shortcuts --there are none
- Partner with the wrong people
Business partnerships tend to ruin friendships; --avoid them
If you must enter a partnership, make sure you have an operating agreement, properly documented business documents, and an exit strategy.
If it's not on paper, maybe it's not for real -just sayin'
- No professional help
Let's face it- how many business owners are also accountants, safety managers, marketing gurus, etc? Not many.
As a business owner, one of your top jobs is finding and hiring the right people for the job, or getting a service meet the needs you cannot do well on your own.
Seek advice from the right places - double-check any business advice.
Trip Sheet Central provides professional bookkeeping services, and IFTA (Fuel) Tax reporting for small to medium-sized truck fleets, business owners, lease/owner-operators and independent truck drivers.