If you are just starting out as an Owner-Operator or thinking about beginning the adventure, one important step is to make sure you understand what your expenses will be and how to increase your bottom line. Deciding to venture out as your own boss is a scary risk but can come with big rewards if you are well-prepared and understand how to reduce your costs. Below, we will explore some options that might work for you as an owner-operator.
Keeping a Detailed Budget
Keeping a detailed budget will help you to understand where your money is going and can give you an overall financial picture so that you can decide where you can reduce costs. These days, there are many digital tools to help you do that. There are many apps and computer programs that can help you to keep track of your costs. If this isn’t an option for you, outsourcing is something to consider but keep in mind that will come at an additional cost. If you decide to hire someone else to do it for you, make sure you are giving them accurate and timely information. Don’t skip on the details, if you want the most helpful budget then make sure you are giving them all the details.
Reducing Fuel Costs
There is no doubt, most of the time fuel will be your biggest expense. Because of that, find ways to help reduce your fuel costs. Some strategies that might work:
- Consider your idle time, some reports say that 10 seconds of idle time takes more fuel than the ignition process.
- Plan your trips with intent and logic. If you are headed out on a route you are not as familiar with, ask your colleagues.
- Reduce your speed and use cruise control when safe to do so.
Maintain your Truck
Regular maintenance for your vehicle is key. This can help to reduce unexpected breakdowns and downtime. Unexpected breakdowns are much more expensive than regular maintenance. Pre and post inspections can help to avoid costly downtime. If you are forced to take downtime it can result in the loss of a contract or worse yet a poor reputation of not delivering on time.
Food and Drink Costs
It is enviable that when you are on the road you are going to have to eat and drink. There are a couple strategies that can help to reduce the overall cost of your food and drink. First off, plan a budget for it and try to stick with it. Second, consider equipping your truck with a small fridge and microwave. This way, you have the option of bringing your own food and preparing it in your truck. Grabbing meals and snacks from gas stations or restaurants can be expensive and unhealthy. Maintaining your health is important. The last thing you need on the road is to get too sick or tired to continue with on with your journey.
Overall, planning ahead for your jobs is going to save you time and money in the end. Plan ahead by maintaining your truck, packing healthy food and drinks when you can and making sure you understand what the most efficient route to get to your destination is.