One of the best ways to grow your business and make more money is to haul more loads. With the right preparations and planning, you will be ready to take on the additional loads that will come your way, and our six tips will help show you how!
Tip 1 – Get financing in place before you truly need it.
Ensure you have the money in your pocket to cover the added fuel and maintenance costs associated with hauling more loads before you find yourself in a situation where you have to turn down good paying loads due to lack of working capital. If you find the right financing partner who offers a free application process, there really is nothing to lose. With The National Retail Federation expecting holiday sales to jump between 3.6% and 4% over 2017* this could mean an increase in available freight for you. So now might be the perfect time to get your financing in place.
Tip 2 – Know your brokers and shippers to ensure they are reputable by running credit checks on them before it is too late.
The professionalism and reliability of your brokers and shippers directly impact what you will make and how many loads you will haul, and their creditworthiness is a good indicator of that. A quick and often free (with the right partner such as Tetra Capital) credit check on them can give you essential information to help you decide if you should work with them or not. The information you get from the credit check will help tell you if they will be able to provide you additional loads and loads that will pay you.
Tip 3 – Build relationships
The old business saying is that it is easier and less expensive to keep clients than it is to find new ones. To do that you need to build lasting relationships with your brokers and shippers. There are a few things you can do to help with this. The first is to send out your freight bills promptly. If this is challenging for you while you are on the road, you might want to enlist the help of a bookkeeper or freight factoring company who offers those services.
The second is to always under promise and over deliver, with that I mean make sure you do what you have said you will do. Brokers and shippers won’t keep calling you with new loads if you are routinely late with your deliveries.
It is important to build relationships with financing partners since your relationship with your brokers and shippers will be negatively impacted if you don’t have the working capital to stay on the road once you have accepted the freight. One type of company that could help with this is a freight bill factoring company who can help you get access to fuel advances and immediate funds for your freight bills. An added bonus is that some freight bill factoring companies will also check the credit of your potential brokers and shippers to help ensure they will pay you after you haul the load.
Lastly, always be pleasant and friendly in your communications with any contact who can help you grow your business. If they enjoy working with you, they are more likely to keep sending loads your way.
Tip 4 – Maintain your equipment
The best way to ensure you will minimize your downtime due to maintenance issues allowing you to haul more loads is to maintain your equipment regularly. Regular maintenance can help you ensure you have work done when it is more convenient for you instead of when you are away from home with a load to haul.
Tip 5 – Plan your schedule including fuel stops and the most efficient and profitable lanes
When you fuel plan you won’t waste time finding a place to stop for fuel or going out of your way to fuel up. It can also help save you money when you compare prices at different stops along the way.
Traffic and overcrowded truck stops are also critical considerations for your schedule as they can slow you down. When planning your schedule, it can be helpful to consider driving at off times to avoid the traffic and ensure you are getting to truck stops at non-peak times.
With more time in your schedule and money in your pocket, it will be easier to take on more loads.
Tip 6 – Obtain customer direct freight
Getting freight directly from a customer without going through a broker can be a hard task for small carriers, but if the opportunity arises for you to build a relationship with customers directly, they could prove to be a good source of additional loads. The bonus would also be that those loads could be at a higher rate because there won’t be a broker involved to take a cut.
With these tips and the right planning and preparations, you can grow your business by hauling more loads. If along the way additional financing could help, please give us a call at (801) 676-0182 and we can help ensure you have the financing you need to haul more loads and grow your business.
*According to a press release by The National Retail Federation on October 3, 2018 https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/nrf-forecasts-holiday-sales-will-increase-during-2018-season