Ah the budget process, nobody likes it, we all shy away from it, yet it returns to haunt us every time. People shy away from it because it shows them where they really are with their business and their life. It can be a very daunting piece of the puzzle but is one of the most important items you can complete when becoming an owner operator. If you try to get away without completing the budget process you will find that you will be at a loss as to where your money has gone. I believe that is why many people don’t do the budget because they feel they will have to stick with it or they will be a failure. The fact is that you risk failure without it. By missing this important item you will have nothing to compare your profit and loss statement to know how you are doing in your business. I recently met with some owner operators that were just starting out. They felt the best way to approach compensation with their truck was to take half the money for themselves and leave the rest for their truck. When we completed the budget they could see that they were quickly taking themselves deep into the barrel of despair.
If you are an owner operator it is your duty to run your truck as a business owner, it is your job to make sure your company is running successfully. A budget will be one of the first things you do to make sure you can afford to run your business. You should then match that budget with your profit and loss statement on a quarterly basis and again at the end of the year. Review items that seem to be out of control and look for other options that may help bring your budget back in line. Remember that this process is ongoing and not something that should be done just once and then stopped. The true successful business owner is watching their business for opportunities and ways to improve their success rate.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant for the transportation industry. He helps people set up their business properly and guides them on the road to success. More information can be found on his website at www.outridge.ca