How to Grow a Trucking Company
The trucking industry is extremely competitive and it takes knowledge, hard work, and dedication to succeed. From the new trucking companies popping up every year to the trucking giants whose fleets may seem ten times larger than the small guys, many owners and managers running a trucking business may feel overwhelmed with the idea of competing. This may leave you wondering how to grow your trucking company. Well, with the right expertise and commitment, you can grow your trucking business and become the success you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are a few tips that will help you out on your journey to rule the roads.
1. Understand Regulations
The rules and regulations you have to comply with when owning a trucking company can be complex and confusing. But, complying with them is essential to success. In order to comply with each regulation, you must first understand them. There are regulations regarding driver training, environmental issues, hours of service, and electronic logging devices just to name a few. So, determine what regulations your business must comply with and dig in.
For example, the hours of service (HOS) regulation was put in place by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to help eliminate driver drowsiness that can lead to crashes. HOS regulates the number of hours a truck driver may drive per day as well as the total number of hours he or she may work per week. The rules can get very complicated, so it’s important to take the time to understand all of the details and follow them accordingly.
You will also have to understand the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) to anticipate the additional costs for your business. You don’t want to budget for fuel only to have an unexpected fuel tax expense come up because you didn’t understand the rules of IFTA.
2. Determine Your Operating Costs
Another important aspect of growing your trucking company is figuring out your operating costs and finances to determine profitability. This includes calculating all of your fixed and variable costs and applying them to the rates you charge. If what you are charging your clients is not enough to cover your costs, obviously your business will not be able to sustain itself long-term.
So before you start making sales or setting your prices based on what other providers are charging, do the math. Think of everything that you will possibly need to pay over the quarter or year (remember that pesky IFTA tax from above?) so that you can budget and charge accordingly.
3. Build Strong Relationships with Your Customers
One of the best ways to grow your trucking company is to build relationships with the clients you already have. Word of mouth is still an important marketing channel, and if your clients are happy with the job you are doing, odds are they will mention that to colleagues and friends who might be looking to hire a trucking company- earning you some quality leads and referrals.
So, stay on top of your customer relationships. Make sure you are doing everything you can to make the partnership strong and lasting. Sometimes when owners are trying to grow their business, they forget about the clients they already have. Don’t make this mistake! By providing excellent service and experience, you are making moves to grow your fleet.
4. Consider a Consultant
If you are new to running a trucking business, it might be worth your while to hire a trucking consultant to help you out. Even if you have been a truck driver or worked in the trucking industry for years, owning a trucking business and making it successful takes a completely unique set of skills. A trucking consultant can help develop those skills and set up a strategy and path to success.
Trucking consultants have a variety of tools up their sleeve that will help trucking companies grow, improve, and prosper. A consultant will look at your business specifically and determine strengths, weaknesses, and the best areas to focus on. Here at Trincon, our trucking business consultants offer a variety of methods and tools to help get your trucking company business moving in the right direction. These tools include:
- Profitability Analysis: This will help you understand your costs and develop strategies to improve profitability. From driver management to equipment, a profitability analysis will look at the whole picture of your business and pinpoint areas where you can improve.
- Business Development: Working with a consultant to design a business development strategy specific to your trucking business can come in handy when you’re trying to grow your company. The consultant will help identify segments that are best suited to your company and equipment and even assist in finding qualified leads, marketing your company, organizing sales personnel, and closing sales.
- Driver Recruitment and Retention: Driver turnover is always at the back of a trucking company owner’s mind, but a trucking consultant can help solve any underlying operational and policy issues that lead to retention problems.
- Management Development: With management development, a consultant will teach you effective techniques for selecting and training managers, as well as upgrading quality employees to management positions. And good management will, in turn, lead to a more effective and productive business.
Grow Your Trucking Company with Trincon
So, those are some of the key attributes of successfully running a trucking business. If you still want more information on how to grow your trucking company, check out all of the services Trincon as to offer, including our trucking consultants.
At Trincon, our trucking consultants have worked with a variety of different companies, giving them the tools and strategies to succeed. Using the methods listed above, we look at your business individually, assessing the strengths and weaknesses and determining a customized approach. If you are not sure if a trucking consultant is right for you, contact us at Trincon and set up a free consultation today. With our expertise, we can help point you in the right direction for the future.