There is no need for anyone to tell you that becoming a new owner-operator is a big step forward. From the purchase of your first truck to licensing, searching for work, transitioning into becoming an independent contractor, and taking on all the new responsibilities, you have hopefully done a good amount of research to prepare you for it. Becoming a new owner-operator and owning a large platform for the first time is exciting but filled with challenges and changes. As a new owner-operator, here are a few things to keep in mind when moving into your new career.
The first one is to hire an accountant. Each "Key to Success" guide will tell you that the business person knows when to delegate a task. A great deal of running a business is knowing that you probably should not try to do everything all the time. Your taxes played a role. Accountants know how to maximize your deductions, create a realistic budget, categorise your spending and save you thousands of dollars. Besides, having someone else to file your tax return and keep you under budget can be a tremendous stress relief.
The second thing is the network. As a business person, your job now is to set up a good network so that you can get your name from the best senders and brokers. Choose a niche market and make every effort to become involved in it. Have a good relationship with past shippers and do your best not to make enemies with former employers. You sell yourself as a company, so act with respect.
The third thing is finances. Dealing with your finances properly will change if you thrive or fail in your first year. You must accurately calculate your fixed expenses and ensure you can cover these costs in case you are unable to follow a route. Calculate your truck's actual costs, repairs, fuel, taxes and more, then add a buffer in case of miscalculation or emergency. Buy a cheaper or more cost-effective truck. Choose the proper insurance. Managing money is an interminable task that can be stressful. The objective is to live below its means and to make a good profit. Finding the correct balance may be difficult, but it will be easier with practice.