Becoming an owner operator can be a great way to build a career. You can pick and choose your loads, deciding whether you want to come home every night, stay on the road for a few weeks, or even go back and forth! You get to choose the truck that you want to spend your time in, and fix it up to make it yours.
However, that doesn’t mean that it is easy. Here are some tips to start off successfully as an owner operator.
Get and stay healthy. Before you start trucking, you should see a doctor and have a complete physical. If you have any health concerns, you need to take charge of them now! If you are overweight, it is time to lose some weight and find a way to stay healthy and exercise while you are on the road.
Take charge of your finances. Before you start a business, you need to have some savings to get you through the first few months of trucking, as you find customers and start to build your business. You are going to have extra expenses in the beginning, and you may not have much money coming in at first. Many people recommend having at least three to six months of savings ready to use as you get started.
Have an accountant that you can trust. Most owner operators (and new business owners) are worried about expenses, so they decide that they will do all of their own paperwork. However, not hiring an accountant could be a big mistake. Your accountant will be able to help you come up with a business plan, figure out your finances, set up a budget, and much more. Not only that, he or she will start your paperwork off right, keep it up-to-date, and make sure that you are ready when tax season rolls around.
It is essential to get the right truck. There are many different trucks on the road, which can make it hard to figure out exactly what you want in a truck. You also have to decide if you want something that is newer (and more fuel efficient) or something a little older, that may be a cheaper for you. That being said, an older truck may need more maintenance in the future to keep going.
And finance it properly. There are many options when it comes to financing a commercial truck. You may decide to lease a truck so that you can try a few out before you decide what you want to buy. This may be a good option if you aren’t quite sure what types of loads you are going to be hauling. You may be lucky to find a company that leases it to buy. This may be a good way to work toward buying your own vehicle, without a big down payment. You may also decide to take out a loan to buy your first truck.
If you want to be a successful owner operator, you need to be healthy. If you aren’t, the time to work on your health is now, before you hit the road. Take care of any potential health concerns before you spend days behind the wheel! You also need to figure out your finances, and the best way to do that is with an accountant or financial planner. Then, choosing the right truck is essential. If you don’t have a good one, your whole business is going to be that much harder.
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