In our previous blogs, we’ve given you ideas for how to grow your fleet and effectively manage your cash flow. All great things, yes. But, there’s more. With careful pre-planning coupled with insider tips on things our fleet customers wish they knew when they first started out, it’s entirely possible to grow your small fleet into one that’s able to compete with the big boys.
Four specific things we want to address today have to do with money: business and personal finances, securing loads, and the costs you just can’t avoid.
Credit Scores Are Key
If you’re looking to get a loan to grow your trucking business, you’ll need to know what your credit score is. Common things that can affect credit scores are the amount of debt you currently owe and whether or not your payments have been made on time. The Annual Credit Report website, which checks Transunion, Experian, and Equifax allows you to check your credit once a year for free. Already have a business set up? Check Dunn & Bradstreet to see your business credit score. Expect an upcoming blog from us on how you can increase your credit score. Stay tuned!
Locate Those Loads
No loads means no business. If you’re looking to grow quickly and efficiently, consider truck load boards, which offer trucking companies are great avenue to not only find loads, but to also develop and nurture relationships with shippers. As mentioned in a previous blog, freight boards allow fleets to be a little more discerning in the loads they choose to carry. Drivers can get matched up with specific loads they want to move using search criteria within the platform. Our partner 123Loadboard has an app that can potentially help you locate loads that are a good fit for your business.
Manage Your Cash Flow
A rule of thumb when you’re first starting out is to be able to operate smoothly for at least 3 months... without payment. There are a lot of costs associated with moving goods and freight bills usually aren’t paid until well after you’ve done the delivery. This can be a huge problem if not managed correctly as immediate access to cash is needed to fuel your trucks, pay your drivers, repair and maintain your vehicles, and more. A freight invoice factoring company like Thunder Funding can help alleviate these types of cash flow problems by taking over the collections duties you have with your customers so that you get your money quickly. When you’re not bogged down chasing customer payments, you can simply focus on growing your fleet, establishing relationships with shippers, and meeting your business goals.
Maintenance and Repairs
If one or more of your trucks is out of commission due to maintenance or driver shortages, you still need to cover your fixed costs including insurance, lease, or loan payments until that vehicle is back on the road. Plan ahead, manage your cash flow, and secure those loads. The more well-prepared you are in your finances, the better chance you stand of riding out these challenges as they come. And, they will come.