5 proven strategies for scaling a trucking business

You’ve finally gotten your small trucking business off the ground as an owner-operator. You’re consistently landing new clients and successfully delivering shipments, but you’re ready to take your business to the next level. 

In order to scale your trucking business, you’ll need to develop a growth strategy. Competition in the shipping and logistics industry is high, and you’ll need to innovate in order to expand your operations. Here are five proven strategies every fleet owner should use to grow your trucking business. 

1. Take control of your finances

In order for your business to grow, you’ll need to be able to invest in new vehicles, technology, and marketing, which all fall within your total operating cost. However, you won’t be able to make these major purchases if you’re just staying afloat. 

In order to grow, you’re going to have to take control of your finances. Start by looking at your current assets and your spending plan, as well as the money you’re currently bringing in. Look for ways to minimize your variable costs without cutting back on the quality of your services. For example, can you adjust the type of fuel you use, make your routes more efficient, or cut back on idling time?

However, in most cases, cutting back on expenses alone won’t be enough to expand your business. In order to grow your income, you’ll likely need to take on outside funding and make investments in your business. 

There are a variety of ways for trucking businesses to get the funding they need. You might opt to take out a business loan, apply for grants, or even take on investors. Regardless of which funding option is right for you, you’ll need to write a comprehensive business plan with financial projections in order to get approval. 

2. Invest in trucking technology

The trucking industry is moving away from manual processes and towards digital tools. If you aren’t already using technology to make your operations easier, now is the time to start. With the right technology, you can automate many of the repetitive tasks that are part of day-to-day trucking management. 

In particular, it’s important to make sure that you invest in a reliable transportation management software (TMS) to stay on top of your shipments. A TMS makes it quick and easy to generate quotes, process orders, send invoices, and communicate with clients. A TMS also makes it easy to dispatch loads to drivers and track shipments en route. 

When you use technology to operate more efficiently, you’ll be able to take on more shipments without straining your team. This will ultimately help you make more money and scale your business. 

3. Stay aware of industry changes and trends

The trucking and logistics industries are constantly evolving, and in order to succeed, your business will need to evolve with them. To do this, you’ll need to stay plugged into the industry and adapt to changes faster than your competitors. 

For example, you’ll want to keep a close eye on trucking regulations for the regions you operate in. These regulations often change depending on who is currently controlling the regulatory bodies for transportation as well as the political parties who are in power more generally. If trucking regulations are likely to change soon, start preparing now to make it easy to adapt. 

Additionally, keep an eye on general trends in the industry and adjust your service offerings as needed. For example, you might notice that certain regions are underserved or that clients in a certain industry have specific shipping needs that other providers aren’t able to meet. Carve out a niche for your business in the trucking industry by providing services that are high in demand. 

4. Keep looking for new clients

When you’re busy handling existing clients, it can be easy to get complacent with attracting new ones. However, continuously attracting new clients is key to the growth of your business. 

Use a variety of strategies to seek out new business. Implementing a strong digital marketing strategy will help you grow your brand awareness online. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you’re using high-quality load boards to actively look for new shipping clients. As you grow, you might also consider working with a freight broker who can find shipments for you. 

5. Find time to focus on growth

Many owner-operators get so focused on driving that they don’t have time to work on managing and expanding the business. In order for scale, you’ll need to minimize your driving as an owner so that you have more time to focus on running the business. 

You should be taking on loads with the best value, ie. a high pay rate for a relatively low amount of drive time. This will allow you to balance your schedule and leave more room for future growth. 

As your business scales, make sure you have the technology that you need for healthy and efficient growth. Learn more about Rose Rocket, the #1 rated TMS and how it can help streamline and grow your business. 

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