There’s so much to love about the trucking industry – fulfilling work, flexibility, and the freedom to roam the open road – not to mention the high salary. I’m sure you know all of that already, and I’m sure you’ve imagined yourself as the leader of your very own trucking company.
Starting a your own business of any kind is tough – not just in terms of blood, sweat, and tears, but also in the paperwork, finances, strategy, and operations. This is especially true for trucking companies, which have to deal with complex carrier compliance documentation, tax documents, and waybills on top of the typical incorporation or LLC fillings. The thing is, it’s not impossible.
Starting a trucking business requires that you obtain proper licensing. There are a number of driving schools available to provide the proper training to obtain your licensing and certifications, and the cost of these training programs can be met through the use of various forms of financial aid. These include government scholarships, loans, and grants. You’ll need to research all of your options to ensure that you obtain the right financial assistance for your needs.
The equipment you’ll use in your business is one of the biggest factors when getting started. Trucking business owners can choose to purchase or lease their equipment. The choice you make will depend on many factors including your financial needs and long-term goals. Purchasing equipment can be done by providing a down payment and financing the remaining balance, and once you’ve repaid any loans you’ve acquired, you become the sole owner of your equipment
Fuel is the largest expense for owner-operators. However, new and experienced owner-operators often buy their fuel incorrectly. They think that the cheapest pump price provides them with the cheapest fuel. This approach is wrong. You could lose hundreds (or thousands) of dollars by doing this.
The issue is taxes. Regular drivers pay fuel taxes in the state where they purchased the fuel. Truck drivers, on the other hand, must deal with IFTA. Truckers pay taxes based on fuel used as they drive through states, regardless of where they bought the fuel originally.
Having an efficient back office is key if you want to stay profitable and grow. The importance of the back office becomes more important as you start adding leased drivers to your operation. You have a couple of options.
One option is to do it yourself. You can run your business out of the cab of your truck. All you need is a laptop, an Internet connection, and a printer. You also need accounting software to run your business. There are several options on the market. One well-known solution is Truck-bytes, which offers a free entry-level package.
Truck driving offers an opportunity to build a profitable business for you and your family, but you should understand all of the costs related to running your business to ensure that you make money over time. Expenses related to a trucking business include vehicle maintenance and repairs, monthly equipment payments, and the cost of fuel. The type of freight you transport and any necessary licenses related to it will also factor into the cost.
You didn’t start a trucking just to say you did it – you started a trucking company to do something you love while making great money. And this can’t happen until you’ve developed strategies to grow and scale your business.
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