As the owner of a trucking business, you understand well that competing with bigger fleets can be challenging. High driver turnover, maintenance, and a host of other obstacles can make it difficult to grow your business. Here are five tried-and-true methods that successful trucking business owners use to get on track to smart business growth:
1. Have a Clear Plan
Having a clear plan for the future of your business seems simple enough, but it often gets lost in the day-to-day slog of keeping a company running. While daily tasks are certainly necessary and important, it is key not to lose sight of the long-term vision that you have for your company. Sure, understand day-to-day revenues and expenses, but also keep in mind the bigger picture. How do I want my company to run? What types of customers do I want to haul for? Where should the company be next year? In five years? In ten? Once you have your goals set, you can plot your course of how to get there. If you don’t have a formal plan yet, you should make one. Take advantage of online resources like the SBA and Entrepreneur.com which offer free guides on business planning.
2. Retain Your Drivers
While the trucking industry itself is growing, the trucking workforce is not. According to the American Trucking Association, the industry is over 25,000 drivers short. The Bureau of Labor’s statistics point to an even higher number of nearly 50,000. Either way, the number is high, and it is growing. What this means is that drivers are precious commodities. Driver turnover directly affects your bottom line. The key to driver retention: building employee loyalty by keeping your drivers happy and engaged. Experts advise not only paying more, but paying smarter and offering incentive-based compensation. Honesty, communication, driver health, better training, and increased home time are other proven ways to boost loyalty and lower turnover.
3. Outsource Your Accounts Receivable and Billing
Waiting months to get paid can seriously stall a trucking business. Moreover, managing accounts receivable tends to be either very tedious or time consuming (if you do it yourself) or very expensive (if you hire an accountant). Kill two birds with one stone and consider utilizing invoice factoring. When you factor your invoices, you get paid right away instead of waiting for 30-90 days until the job is complete. This means you’ll boost cash flow and put money in your pocket faster to pay for fuel, truck repairs, drivers, or other business expenses. Increasing your cash flow with factoring makes it easier to grow your trucking business faster.
4. Build Strong Relationships
Customer relationships are the key to any business. Oddly enough, customer relationships are often the first thing that gets forgotten when times get hard. Don’t make that mistake. Once you find a quality shipper or broker, do everything you can to make him or her a customer for life. When you forge strong relationships with customers and industry affiliates, you are also opening the door to expanding your business through quality referrals. Never risk a customer relationship, especially when it is with a quality customer.
5. Take Advantage of Alternative Financing
The lengthy turnaround time of a bank loan often leads to a missed opportunity. If a major cash influx is needed quickly for an opportunity to expand or grow, consider a Working Capital Advance. Working Capital Advances are a great way to secure funding for growth. They provide upfront capital that is repaid by a percentage of your future monthly revenue. The amount of the advance is determined by how much revenue your trucking business generates each month. There are a number of benefits and reasons to use a Working Capital Advance including:
- Fast and easy qualification
- Flexible programs to fit your needs
- No personal collateral required
- Approval in hours, funding in days
Fast, flexible funding for trucking companies
eCapital understands the cash flow demands you face and gets you the immediate funds you need for your transportation business. No matter if you have 1 truck or 100, we can get you the quick cash you need to:
- Expand your fleet
- Hire more drivers
- Pay for fuel and operating expenses
It’s simple, fast, and free to get started. Why not get a free, no-obligation quote?
Contact eCapital today to get started! Call 760.456.3786 or fill out the form.