Are you an Owner Operator who has been driving for a while and is ready to branch out on your own? Did you just get your CDL and want to drive for yourself from that very first mile? No matter where you’re at in your trucking journey it is imperative that you have a well-thought-out business plan that not only can be pitched to possible lenders and investors but also gives you a basic blueprint to follow as your business progresses.
What is an Owner Operator in the Trucking Business
An Owner Operator in the trucking business is a driver or company owner that drives their own truck. They can drive either under their own authority or they can choose to lease their units to a larger company. Either way, they are in charge of all operating costs for the equipment including fuel, payments, maintenance, and some lines of insurance coverage.
The Basics of Writing a Business Plan for an Owner Operator
Once you have completed all of the steps to get your business legal and ready to start trucking, including registering your company name and getting a Federal EIN Number, applying and receiving your DOT number, applying and receiving your MC number with the FMCSA, have your insurance in place and make sure your IRP plates are good to go.
After you get all of these pieces out of the way you are ready to set up your Business Plan that you can use to prove to yourself and to others that your business is ready to be successful and that you are knowledgeable and capable of running a trucking business.
You will want to make sure that you don’t use repetitive speech or blend in with other business plans with your wording but all business plans will be made up of the same components or sections.
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Services Offered/Experience That You Bring in These Specific Services
- Market Analysis
- Sales & Marketing
- Funding Request
- Financial Projections
How to Write the Executive Summary of Your Own Business Plan
The executive summary of your business plan is where you tell people who you are, what you bring to the table as far as experience and dependability, the mission you have set for your company as well as a place to show off some of your knowledge of some of the industry’s key terminology.
While lenders and investors are going to be looking for the same outline of an executive summary it is vital that you make this a first impression of your business that helps you to stand out from the competition and make them want to invest in you and your business. If writing really isn’t your thing and you struggle to put your thoughts onto paper it could be worth it to hire a professional writer to help you get your expertise delivered properly in your business plan.
The Financial Section of Your Own Business Plan
When presenting your business plan to potential lenders and investors, as well as when you’re writing out your plan for yourself it is important to make sure you have figured out the financial aspect to show the business can be profitable for everyone involved.
This is a good place to show that you are familiar with financial aspects of the business such as balance sheets, profit & loss statements, taxes and corporate structure of running a business, different types of rates including sport market and contract, and your plan (preferably through 5 years) of how you are going to use all of this data to make your business profitable.
If you aren’t familiar with some of this terminology or aren’t sure about how to factor in what rates you need to make in order to pay the bills as well as how the rates can fluctuate depending on how the market is at any given time it might be a good idea to look into some online classes or classes offered by your local community college to get you more prepared in this sector.
Many owner operators are great drivers and have lots of experience being on the road but aren’t as well-versed in the x’s and o’s of building the spreadsheets, completing the paperwork and factoring in all of the different aspects of the financial side of the business. With the endless options for education in today’s world there is definitely no shame in using the resources available to give your business and you the best chance at success.
Conclusion and Next Steps
The best business plans are going to be filled with detailed and accurate information that not only presents well to outsiders but also gives you a good idea of where you’re at in being prepared to run a profitable business. It’s important that you don’t just throw this together in hopes that someone might bite at the chance to work with you. It is just as important that you are aware of all of the possibilities of what to factor in to make sure that you’re not setting yourself or your family up for a bad situation if you miscalculate something or if the freight dries up for any given amount of time.
Once your plan is researched, prepared and ready to go you can take a few different steps. If you have the assets available and can hit the road with the equipment that you have then get on the road and get to trucking. Build that plan and continue to expand your knowledge and experience in the case you may want to grow in the future.
With so many different options available to run a successful trucking business it is important for you to find what works best for you and your business plan going forward. Once you’ve situated your plan, you’ll start thinking about expenses and ways to reduce costs. Enter a lightweight TMS by Truckbase. Our system will enable you to cut back on time spent in the office, whether it’s done by yourself or someone else. Truckbase can assist you in many aspects of your business. Sign up for a free demo today and learn why owner-operators are switching to Truckbase.