If you already own a small rig and would like to bring in more income, a hotshot trucking business might just be for you. It is a profitable venture that is also easy to operate if you have a good understanding of the business workflow. To help you get started, we have listed 7 essential elements to make your hotshot trucking business successful.
1. Invest in the right equipment.
One of the basic things you need in this industry is to build your fleet. Depending on the demands, you might find the need to buy specialized trucks and equipment for the type of hauling and deliveries you wish to make. This can give you an edge over your competitors which means more potential clients for your business. There are a number of financing options for small businesses including banks and local lenders.
2. Hire expert drivers.
Without a driver that is experienced in the industry, you’ll have no business. You may consider the benefit of hiring contract drivers versus hiring a permanent one. Your decision depends on the volume of work you receive daily. For startups with smaller and expedited deliveries, hiring a contract driver might be a good choice.
3. Find profitable loads.
Finding loads is the toughest part of running a hot shot trucking business. Many depend on loadboards which have an advantage in terms of allowing you to choose loads that match the equipment that you have as well as your preferred route. However, loadboards are also very competitive and to win a bid, you may find the need to lower your rate per mile. Also, using a load board typically does not allow you to develop a long-term relationship with clients as you are always working on new ones.
A good strategy is to use a loadboard as a starting point. At the same time, you need to start making sales calls to build relationships with local shippers.
4. Secure shipping contracts.
Getting a one-time load is nice but if you can secure a contract with multiple loads over a length of time, that is guaranteed money for your business.
5. Save money by using a fuel card.
Fuel takes up to 40% of your operating expenses. Having a fuel card can help control your fuel purchases. At the same time, many fuel cards offer better price and discounts.
6. Organize your day-to-day operations.
Moving loads involves a lot of paperwork which can be tedious. The same goes for running your office. Not only that, you also need to carefully manage your cash flow. Having a good process in place to handle your daily operation is critical to your business growth. Seek advice from those who are experienced in the trucking business. If yours is a bigger trucking company with several fleet, hiring a consultant can help you put everything in place.
7. Keep on trucking.
The demand for trucking may rise and fall but don’t be discouraged during tough times. Keep trucking and do your best to grow your business. Hardwork and dedication can help you succeed.
Following the seven essential elements we listed above does not guarantee instant success. After all, success is built over time. If you have other tips to share, please feel free to use our comment box below.