Keeping Your Trucking Business Running During Economic Uncertainty

Watch Your Money

  • Keep a Close Eye on Cash. Not just Starbucks, everything. You need to know where every dollar is coming from and going. For starters, don’t co-mingle your personal expenses from your business expenses (this also screws you up at tax time). Take some time and review your bank statements with a fine toothed come. If you don’t really have the time or you know you will never do it, get a bookkeeper.

  • Reduce Costs. Now might be the time to call your factoring company or insurance agent and see if they can do better on what they are charging you. If you’ve been in business for longer than 2 years you should be doing this anyway, every year. And don’t be afraid to look around for entirely new venders for the above or other services you must have.

  • Try Diversifying Your Freight Type. Use your current equipment for different types of freight. If possible, try adding an additional vehicle to dedicate using for another freight type altogether. BLF has lots of trucking clients who have different types of vehicles in their fleet. If freight is hard to come by for your reefer, but you also have a few box trucks, you will be able to bring revenue in that way.

Find Other Revenue Streams

  • Try Diversifying Your Freight Type. Use your current equipment for different types of freight. If possible, try adding an additional vehicle to dedicate using for another freight type altogether. BLF has lots of trucking clients who have different types of vehicles in their fleet. If freight is hard to come by for your reefer, but you also have a few box trucks, you will be able to bring revenue in that way.
  • Lease Your Equipment. Leasing out equipment can be a lucrative option for truckers during slow periods. By renting out your truck(s) or trailer(s) to other businesses or truckers in need, you will be generating income ensuring your assets aren’t sitting idle. Doing this will require a) making sure you have vetted whoever you are leasing to b) maintaining the equipment in good condition and c) setting clear lease terms to protect both parties involved. And don’t let pride deter you either-who cares that trucker you trained ten years ago has contracts and is crushing it? Call yourself an entrepreneur if it makes you feel better.
  • Partner Up. There’s strength in numbers. Truckers know lots of other truckers. Perhaps you are acquainted with one you might want to work with. This can be helpful for combining resources like equipment, contracts and drivers. And if you haul different types of freight even better. Each partner can be responsible for their own ‘division’, and at the same time share in some of the revenue at a pre-arranged percentage.
  • Get an Additional Job. This pointer comes from my own personal experience. During COVID-19, BLF was struggling along with most other businesses. At first I was trying every which way to bring money into the company but it wasn’t happening. I decided (after beating myself a lot) to learn how to do graphic design. This provided me with a whole new source of income. In fact, I found that I enjoyed the work very much and still do it. It also taught me skills I now use at my main job as CEO for Bright Light Freight (this article is the perfect example). Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. And don’t think it means the end of your main gig because it won’t.

Work On Your Credit

  • Personal Credit. Use your current equipment for different types of freight. If possible, try adding an additional vehicle to dedicate using for another freight type altogether. BLF has lots of trucking clients who have different types of vehicles in their fleet. If freight is hard to come by for your reefer, but you also have a few box trucks, you will be able to bring revenue in that way.
  • Business Credit. If you have any plans whatsoever of growing your business in the future, its imperative that you have a good business credit profile. If you don’t have one you can start right now here and it won’t cost you anything (just be sure you don’t sign up for any of the extra services, they are unnecessary). Below are the first steps you’ll need to take to establish business credit:
  • Make sure you have an EIN for your LLC.
  • Get a DUNS number.
  • If possible, use a separate address for your business (the UPS Store is great for this)
  • Get a business phone number
  • If you don’t have one already, create a business website.
  • Apply for starter credit cards using your EIN. Home Depot and even Quill and Uline and good places to start, and you can go from there. Leave your personal SSN off the applications.
  • Make sure you check it often at Experian. It will cost $39.95 one time (it’s worth it). See below:

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