How many business owners specifically Owner Operators have an action plan for success. Some feel they have that because they have done that in the past but then never revise it or even look at it again. The new people coming out of truck driving school have a habit of looking at this industry to death, but all in the wrong places because they don’t develop their plan on paper. If you are going to do all kinds of homework, go to seminars, talk with recruiters and different companies, don’t you think taking a note pad around and a pen would be a good idea. It amazes me to see the people that pick a career this way or decide to get into business without writing it all down on paper. Just listening you will not remember the important details of a presentation. Without seeing data listed side by side on a piece of paper it is very hard to evaluate an opportunity properly. That is if generally you are looking at the industry, but what if you are starting a business, buying your own truck, then a whole new set of comparisons are required. You need a business plan if you are in start up mode, evaluating your operation, or planning on expansion. Most people don’t so this and they miss the boat every time. These are the ones that complain they are not making any money. They don’t have an action plan, they don’t have reference as to where they started, are they ready to expand or buy new equipment? As they say the numbers don’t lie and can be the best determining factor of what you need to be doing to reach your goals. A proper business plan will encompass a budget, a snap shot of how you will run your business, your goals for the future, and the particulars of how your business is set up. Some information may be straight forward, but having it all in one place will help keep you focused on what needs to be done. Once you have completed your business plan or action plan it is time to start doing the work, follow your plan keeping money aside to fund your business, repairs and so on. Review your plan on a regular basis, I prefer quarterly or semi annually, but I know people who do it monthly or annually, it will depend on the scope of your business but as a business owner it is important to have a handle on your business at all times. Once you have reviewed the business plan you will need to make adjustments as needed. The best way to do that is to sit down with your business consultant or accountant, your profit and loss statement and your action plan and revise what needs to be changed and adjust to coincide with your goals that you set out for your business.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business consultant for entrepreneurs and owner operators in the transportation market. More information can be found on his website at www.outridge.ca