If you’re the owner of a small trucking business, you know it’s tough to compete with larger fleets. The obvious advantage of more trucks often means that they can offer more aggressive pricing, hire drivers more quickly, get better discounts from their suppliers, and generally leverage their size to deliver faster. So what can you do today to grow your trucking company to compete with the big guys? Here are four things you can do right now to put you on the path to smart growth:
1. Commit to providing the best service available and then use it to your advantage.
Sounds simple, but the truth is this may be the one area that the big guys can’t compete with you on. Because you’re smaller, you’re more nimble, you’re hungrier, and you’ve got fewer clients. So treat each one like they are the most important client you have and your phone will keep ringing. People today will still pay a little more to get the bells and whistles that come with being a big fish in a smaller pond. Create relationships… not clients.
2. Pace your plans for growth.
This article at FleetOwner does a great job laying out a growth calculation formula that helps fleet owners determine their break-even point along with the Capitalization Fund Objective, or what you’ll need to reach growth plateaus. It’s not a new article, but it nicely shows you how to calculate how much capital you’ll need to reach your growth objectives, along with how much time it will take to get there. It will help you understand the realities of truck fleet growth so you can put a plan in place.
3. Gain a clear understanding of what trucking load boards are all about.
Truck load boards – or freight boards – is a great way for trucking companies to find loads. Truckers and fleet owners can use the boards to search for criteria to match them to the types of loads they may be looking to move.
4. Stabilize your cash flow and accelerate your access to capital.
Freight bills are often not paid until well after delivery, and there can be a good deal of expense in getting them delivered. That’s okay if you’re a large transportation company, but if you’re a small to midsize fleet, immediate cash is often needed to fuel your trucks and pay your drivers. With freight factoring, a third-part factor like eCapital purchases your invoices for a small fee. We assume the collections or accounts receivable duties and you get your cash quickly – rather than wait until the job is completed. There are a number of other benefits, from fuel cards, lower insurance rates, truck leasing assistance, and more. Freeing up your cash flow and getting faster access to your working capital with freight factoring gives you options to grow your business faster.
There are many ways that you can grow your fleet and trucking company. The four above are only a handful of options but they are important considerations when charting growth. Put them to good use today and stay safe on the road!