The United States is home to over 3 million truck drivers. For most people who work in this industry, driving a truck is something they enjoy. Being able to travel and make money at the same time is one of the biggest draws of this profession.
While most truck drivers will start their careers working for a trucking company, the ultimate dream is to become an owner-operator. Learning how to become an owner-operator is more challenging than most inexperienced truck drivers realize. Failing to properly plan out the transition from a truck driver to an owner-operator can lead to a lot of problems developing.
Are you trying to figure out how to be an owner-operator? If so, check out the helpful tips below.
Developing Good Work Habits is Vital
One of the biggest adjustments you will have to make when becoming an owner-operator is dealing with the additional amount of work. Owning and operating a truck will require you to work harder than ever before. While you will have to work harder as the owner of your own truck, it will be worth it considering the benefits that come with this new job.
Before you jump into owning and operating a truck, you need to make sure you are comfortable with driving long distances and being away from home for days on end. Some people make the mistake of letting their research of driving a truck ends with CDL driver requirements.
This is a very complicated job, which is why you need to look at it from all angles before making a leap into being an owner-operator. If you are comfortable with being away from home and working hard to achieve your goals, then you may just have exactly what it takes to be successful.
Make Sure You are Physically Able to Handle This Job
Most people fail to realize how physically demanding driving a truck for a living can be. Instead of jumping into this job unprepared, you need to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Having him or her take your blood to run a basic metabolic panel is a must.
With the results from this test, you will be able to get a feel for how well your internal organs are working. A basic metabolic panel will also give you information about your glucose levels. When on the road for days at a time, it is easy to fall into unhealthy eating and drinking habits.
Rather than letting life on the road affect your health in a negative way, you need to work on staying as healthy as you can. This will involve making smart food choices and getting as much exercise as you can. The hard work you put into staying healthy on the road will pay off in the long run.
Don’t Forget to Create a Business Plan
As any successful business owner will tell you, having a plan in place is essential when trying to get your new venture off of the ground. Before you buy a truck and start your own business, take the time to create a business plan. This plan will need to include an overview of what your business is and a description of the services it will provide.
You also need to layout your experience in the field and details about the financial outlook of your business in the future. If you are having trouble creating a business plan on your own, consulting with a financial advisor is a good idea.
With their assistance, you can develop a detailed and goal-oriented business plan.
Are You Buying or Leasing a Truck?
While most truck drivers want to become owner-operators, many of them fail to realize this process is complicated. Before you can decide to be an owner-operator, you need to figure out what approach you will take to reach this goal. For most newcomers to the world of truck driving, getting a leased truck is the best course of action.
All you need to get a truck lease is good credit and maybe a small down payment. Obtaining a truck through these means is far less expensive than actually buying one outright. You also need to figure out whether you will seek out your own customers or act as a subcontractor for larger trucking outfits.
In most cases, you need to be a subcontractor for a few years so you can build up your savings and build your customer base. Before you decide to work with a trucking company, you need to find out more about what they pay and what type of reputation they have. With a bit of research, finding a great trucking company to work with will be much easier.
Work on Developing a Firm Budget
Being a new business owner can be a bit stressful at times. One of the main things you need to worry about as an owner-operator is creating and maintaining a budget. Failing to have a budget in place can lead to your new business venture going under in a relatively short amount of time.
When developing a budget, be sure to consider things like truck repair/maintenance and other common expenses. Having both a business and a personal budget in place can help you stay on good financial footing.
Working with an accountant is a great way to get help during the budget creation process. These professionals can also help you manage your money long-term, which can remove some of the stress that comes with owning a business.
Learning How to Be an Owner Operator is Not Easy
With the helpful tips on this article, learning how to be an owner-operator will be much easier. Becoming your own boss is a bit scary in the beginning, but you will become more comfortable with your new role as time goes by.
Are you looking for more advice on starting a new business? If so, check out the rest of the blogs on our website.