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How to Be a Successful Owner-Operator Truck Driver

Posted on: January 31, 2022

Working as owner-operators can be exciting and rewarding, while also filling you with pride. As your own boss, you manage day-to-day operations and your own driving schedule.

On the flip side, being an owner-operator also comes with more responsibilities and possible pitfalls if you don’t manage your business effectively. Use these tips to help you become and stay a successful owner-operator.

Create a Business Plan as an Owner-Operator Truck Driver

Business plans aren’t just for large corporations. They suit all entrepreneurs, which includes owner-operators. 

A business plan helps you plan for your business, which includes managing yourself, operating the business and growing your business.

Key items to include in a business plan are:

  • Executive Summary – a short description of what our business does, where it is located and the target audience it serves.
  • Company Overview – an overview of the company, how you started it and plans for continued success.
  • Marketing Plan – a plan for how you intend to find business, such as via websites, social media, peers, etc., and show the value your business provides.
  • Goals and Milestones – a list or spreadsheet of profit goals, plans for growth, adding staff, etc.
  • Financial Plan – a list or spreadsheet showing investments, debits and revenue projections.

Know Your Profit Margin

Business experts typically say a healthy business has a profit margin of 10-20%.

To track your profit margin, start by calculating your gross profit. This is the difference between your revenue and operating expenses. Divide your gross profit by your total revenue to get your profit margin percentage.

An easy way to keep track of this is to incorporate a system for managing and tracking finances. This also helps when filing taxes. You can manage this with your own spreadsheet but may want to consider a trucking software system as your business grows.

Balance the Lifestyle

As an owner-operator, you may face additional challenges that come from being a business owner who is on the road for extended periods of time.

Maintaining a good work-life balance is important to keep you healthy, avoid burnout and keep you enjoying truck driving.

One of the biggest challenges most truck drivers face is balancing being away from family and friends. Communication is key. You also must take time to make time for those important people in your life.

Today’s technology makes it easier than ever before to stay connected and keep your personal relationships healthy and strong. Here are six ways technology can help you stay connected:

6 Ways Truckers Can Stay Connected with Family

Prioritize Your Health

As a business owner, it’s important to take care of your health so you can keep your business running smoothly. 

Prepare healthy meals, exercise regularly, stay connected with family and friends and keep stress under control. Here are some additional articles and tips for a healthy lifestyle while trucking:

A Truck Driver’s Tips on How to Eat Healthy

Fitness Apps Perfect for Truckers

Road Rage Be Gone: Tips for Keeping Your Cool Behind the Wheel

Market Yourself

It can be tough to find loads outside of load boards to keep your business growing. This is where marketing and your marketing plan come in handy. Here are a few marketing tips to help spread your company name to gain more business.

  • Ask for reviews and recommendations from current customers
  • Offer incentives for referrals
  • Use social media to create an online presence
  • Join industry associations and attend events

Also, be sure to plan time for marketing and customer outreach. Research current companies that are actively recruiting and looking for drivers and owner-operators.

Driven by the Best

At Classic Carriers, we are actively hiring owner-operators.

Owner-operator jobs now include an $5,000 sign-on bonus for drivers with 2 or more years of experience. Gain great pay and benefits, safety bonuses, weekend pay and a maintenance/repair shop to save you on costs. 

Apply for an Owner-Operator Job at Classic Carriers today!

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