Since you already own a trucking company, we will assume you have all the right equipment and you’ve made the best choices for your specific situation regarding that equipment like purchasing vs. leasing; additionally, let’s assume you made the smartest choice regarding financing in order to launch that business which also means having gotten good legal advice, and, finally, that you have done the hard work of knocking on doors to get the best repeat customers using load boards only to get your company off the ground. By now, you’ve probably also figured out that owning a trucking company, in many ways, is no different than owning any company; it requires a sound business plan (not one you came up with on a paper napkin), a realistic view (recognizing that dreaming is not the same as achieving), excellent leadership skills (means no yelling at anyone), and forward thinking (being open to new ideas). You do know this, right? Of course you do!
Yours is a very competitive field as surely you have already noticed- let’s hope too much blood has not been spilled in fighting your way to the top. In fact, no blood need be spilled, ever - not your competitors’ (that’s just not playing nice in the sandbox), not your employees’ (please keep them happy), and not your customers’ (certainly never theirs!). In such a competitive field, it is all that much more important to make sure you have the most efficiently run company and the one that provides the best customer service.
So how does one become efficient? First, it is about the money. Hire a really smart “money whiz” who can run this part of the business if this isn’t your area of expertise. Don’t cheap out because quality always pays off. This also goes for the rest of your employees. Hire the best you can afford and treat them well. Company loyalty does not need to be a thing of the past; if they feel invested in the business, they will work harder, longer, and always produce quality work. As well, you need to make sure you have chosen the right financing option to ensure ongoing success and growth.
Ah yes, and here it is again—money! Cash flow is fundamental to an efficiently run company and this cannot be stressed enough. Fundamental. Frequently, your customers do not pay you as quickly as you need them to; on average they’re given a 30-60 day window. This isn’t helpful if you need to pay your employees, pay to deliver the next load, pay for fuel, and pay for repairs. You know, oh yes you do, that something always go wrong when you least expect it or can least afford it —that’s Murphy’s Law! The solution is to ensure your cash flow is strong and flows like Niagara Falls and not like a babbling brook. One of the best options here is Invoice Factoring. A factoring company can provide you with immediate funds by purchasing your accounts receivable and then paying you, possibly up to 100% of the invoice depending on your profit margins. The cost to you is a modest fee paid to the factoring company. Another benefit of this is that the factoring company looks at the credit status of your customer – this means that if you’ve got reliable, responsible customers, then you’ll have the cash flow you need and, presto, you’ll be well on your way to having a smooth running and efficient company that will permit you future growth and development.
As a consumer yourself, you are fully aware how infuriating it can be to deal with a company that seems more interested in their bottom line than in your satisfaction. “Customer satisfaction” shouldn’t just be a “saying”, it should be a company philosophy. The personal touch is always appreciated along with a reliable, high quality service. Repeat customers are everything and if they keep coming back, they will also likely refer you to others- and your business will grow and everyone will be happy!