Knowledge creates strength; hence, it gives you the power to succeed. There are two different ways in which a person can gain knowledge. One is from experience, being there and doing it, making mistakes and working in the trenches. The other way is through studying and research until you know your subject inside and out. In trucking, it requires both areas of learning to master the nuances of the trucking business. Skill and knowledge are the building blocks for success. Your education is the foundation upon which you build a trucking business.
To be a successful trucking company owner requires both skill and knowledge.
Skill is knowing the mechanics of maneuvering 80,000 pounds down the highway. Through congested traffic, down an 8% mountain grade, and a blindside back to a dock off of a busy boulevard. Knowing when something’s wrong, being able to nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem. The best teacher here is hands-on experience.
Knowing the financial and business aspects of your operation is a must. This includes things like the cash flow it takes to start-up and run a carrier. Understand how to correctly figure your Break-even point. How to set aside sustainable capital. The cash that carries you through the lean periods. Creating growth capital, the money needed to grow your operation). Finally how to correctly calculate a profitable hauling rate range. That helps determine where the best markets that your carrier can serve are located.
How to let the best shippers and brokers know you exist and land them as quality customers. And yet more knowledge: How to develop and grow a profitable freight lane utilizing your shipper base; integrating shippers, brokers, and load boards to obtain maximum revenue with minimal hassle within your lanes. Managing your cash flow so that the shipper/broker pays you in a timely manner. (And if they don’t do so, what are your best options for collecting your money?)
Gaining that business know-how
The route to this kind of specialized knowledge begins with reading trade magazines, blogs, and newsletters. Make a commitment to education more formal. Take webinars, online courses, and community college and university classes in general business and accounting. This type of ‘book learning’ education increases his/her trucking wisdom.
When is the best time to expand your business education?
When times are difficult and tonnage is slow, it is time to learn new and innovative ways to do business. Do be the one who watches as the rest of the trucking world passes him in the hammer lane.
Success comes from knowledge; knowledge comes from education. Education comes in two forms: hands-on experience and careful study. To ignore either kind of education will put any trucker at a tremendous disadvantage.
The result: – Success.
This is a quick and simple means of getting your small motor carrier on track. “This is NOT a beginners’ course, but a course on how to operate your trucking company successfully.
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Timothy D. Brady © 2020