With the year winding down to a close, here are seven ways that you can “tune up” a trucking business for growth in the New Year.
7 Things that Can Help with Growing a Trucking Company
Whether you want to call them year-end to-do’s or New Year Resolutions, here are seven things you can do as the year comes to a close to position your trucking business for growth next year.
7 Ways to Tune-Up a Trucking Business for Growth Next Year
1. Taxes and Expenses
Now is the time to make sure that you have set aside what you need for tax payments for the year (month, quarter, etc.) Review the past year’s receipts, invoices, bills, and bank statements for potential tax write-offs.
It is also a great time to contact your tax accountant (or make an appointment with a local tax specialist for a consultation) to find out whether there is anything you can do now to minimize tax obligations or maximize the amount you hope to get back after filing your taxes next year.
2. Marketing and Advertising
What kind of marketing did you do in the past year to grow your trucking business? What worked well or what failed to produce a return? By identifying where your orders are coming from and taking steps to improve customer retention, repeat business and referrals, you will know where to invest marketing resources and money to grow faster next year.
Some of the questions that can help you determine whether to invest money and resources in marketing in the New Year include:
- How do new customers usually find out about my trucking business?
- How are competitors getting new business?
- What characteristics do my most profitable customers have in common?
- Based on these buyer profiles, where can I expand or launch marketing and advertising to help reach these buyers?
3. Industry and Government
Not only will you help your trucking business but you may even be able to help guide the future of the transportation industry by becoming more aware of the issues facing the industry and getting involved in organizations or by lobbying your local, state, and federal to express your concerns and opinions. Subscribe to a print or digital publication that can keep you in the know about what is going on in the trucking industry as far as best practices, rules, fees, and regulations.
4. Year End A/R Factoring Tune Up
If you are not already factoring freight bills, this would be an ideal time for you to reach out to a top transportation factoring company like ours to find out whether factoring freight bills would help improve your business.
Factoring freight bills allows truckers to get back on the road and take on new trucking business more quickly, since you get immediate access to money you have earned without waiting for customers to pay. We would be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation quote for factoring services, even if you are currently factoring your A/R (accounts receivable) invoices with another transportation factoring company.
If you are already factoring freight bills with another Factor, the end of the year is a great time for you to get a no-cost, no-obligation comparison from us to make sure that you have the best invoice factoring program in place relative to your organization’s financial needs.
5. Customers and Prospects
The holidays give you an ideal time to reach out to current and past trucking customers to find out whether your trucking business is doing a good job for them or ask how you could serve them better. This may even uncover new opportunities with existing trucking clients. In addition, take this opportunity reach out to your past customers to ask for referrals or let them know about any customer referral or returning customer rewards you offer.
6. Business Plan
If you have never taken the time to put your trucking business plan in writing, this could be an ideal time to do so. Having a trucking business plan on paper provides you with a snapshot of what your business looks like today as well as a vision of what you want it to look like tomorrow. You can even download a free business plan template from bplans.com to make writing your plan easier.
If you do have a business plan in writing (especially if it has been a while since you reviewed it), the year end is a great time to review and refresh your plan. Benchmark how you are doing (or did) compared to the goals laid out in your plan and update it with your current position and goals for next year.
7. Employees, Vendors and Peers
If you are a trucking owner-operator, you may not have staff, but you probably still have a vast network of peers, vendors, suppliers, brokers, and other contacts in the industry. The year end is a great time to reach out to these valuable stakeholders and let them know what you plan to do in the New Year to grow your trucking business, so that they can do a better job of helping you reach your goals.
In addition, this might be a good time to review vendor and supplier contracts. Double check that they are fulfilling the obligations they laid out, touch base on anything that isn’t going as well as you would like, or even reach out to other vendors for competitive quotes. It is not always about the lowest price! To grow your trucking business faster, you need to be sure that you are receiving a good value for what you spend to do business.
While we cannot believe that the year is almost over, nevertheless the year end provides a good opportunity for many carriers and owner-operators to assess how the year has gone, execute year-end checklists and look for ways they can improve their business in order to be more profitable and grow in the New Year.