In the trucking industry, many drivers dream of being an owner operator with the freedom of making their own decisions without the say of some company manager watching their every move, not to mention the bigger paychecks. However, owner operators don’t become successful overnight, and many of them fail. Check out these traits commonly found in successful owner operators to see if you have what it takes.
Successful Traits Of Owner Operators
1. Even though owner operators are independent, they are not afraid to ask for help. They go to financial advisors to figure out the best business plan and they go to accountants to help them with their taxes. In most cases, accountants know where and how to save you money or get you more money with your returns.
They ask other successful owner operators questions about the business, as well as gather all the new information they can. There’s always new information to learn from new magazine articles, blog posts, podcasts, and more.
2. Successful owner operators have a plan, and they stay focused on their business plan with long term and short term goals to make their business plan successful. They don’t just buy a truck and hop on down the road. They set goals for how much income they should get for the month and the year. Sometimes they try to make a certain amount of trips.
Goals are set on an individual basis, so set the ones that best fit your needs. Also, be decisive when you make these goals, to avoid wasting a lot of time procrastinating. Owner operators need the ability to quickly make decisions on a daily basis, so if you’re indecisive practice making choices without delay.
3. They’re committed. The owner operators who make it know that they’re playing the long game. Sometimes they won’t see success for years, but they don’t give up. Instead, they keep trying to build their careers.
You have to commit more time to your job, meaning you’ll drive weekends and you’ll have more overtime hours. Chances are you’ll miss one or two baseball games or the school play. If you like to be home more often then you might want to consider sticking to being a company driver.
Also, you have to commit to your clients and we mean really commit. In order to get more business by creating long lasting relationships, you need to regularly call your clients to check in with them and provide outstanding service by making pick ups and drop offs on time.
4. They have good attitudes. It’s impossible to make it as an owner operator without having a positive outlook on things. Don’t let problems get you down, and don’t start cursing everyone and everything. Instead, know that you’ll figure out a way to solve the issue and have a sense of humor about it.
Plus, be honest. Don’t give unrealistic expectations about what you can do or exaggerate about the difficulty of a route to try and entice people to give you sympathy or more money. Know your value to get an accurate figure for your worth.
5. The top owner operators are organized. They have all of their receipts, expenses, and bills accounted for and clearly listed. Plus, they have records of their mileage reports, fuel type, and fuel costs for the IFTA reports, 2290, and more.
You’ll be responsible for all your taxes and all of your paperwork. You’ll need to be able to find it at a moment’s notice, and it would be even better if you remember where all of your important documents are. If you want to make it as an owner operator then your days of having piles of paperwork in random places are a thing of the past.
Owner operators also look a lot better when they keep their trucks clean. Your truck is the tool that makes your business possible and can be seen as your office, so wash off the mud, salt spray, and bird poop to keep it looking all pretty and shiny. Also, keep the inside clean by throwing away trash at every truck stop, cleaning up stains, and taking the necessary measures to keep your cab smelling fresh.
6. Last but not least, successful owner operators are self-sufficient. A major part of being independent is being on your own. You have to hold yourself accountable and plan the best routes to save fuel and make a delivery on time. Only you will be responsible for filing your taxes on time.
You have to be realistic and manage your money well. Before splurging on something awesome like a new dirt bike, remember that sometimes the trucking business gets slow and you’ll need some extra savings set aside to cover all of your bills.
No one will be looking out for your health but you, so be responsible and choose a few healthy meal options, make sure you get enough sleep to drive safely, and get out to exercise by walking around truck stops when you can.
Are You Up To The Challenge?
Do you possess these six success traits that the leading owner operators have? If so it might be time to quit your day job to own and operate your own rig. As long as you have motivation, a good plan, and your finances are in order you can get on your way to becoming a successful owner operator.
For more trucking tips check out ExpressTruckTax.com, and share your thoughts on what it takes to be a successful owner operator in the comment section below.