With so many things to consider and plan when thinking about getting your own authority, the beginning seems like a pretty good place to start. I recently had a phone conversation with a friend who is curious about attaining his authority. Having seen me go through all the many steps of doing so, he was curious on how to prepare for the journey of becoming an independent. Always ready to help others learn from my experiences in life, I offer up advice to others any time I can. He was curious as to what he might consider as his first step in the process? This answer is simple for me to answer, but can be quite complex to attain. The answer was simply…”Have money!”
Allowing me to elaborate on the issue, I was able to explain further that having a lot of money is not the answer, but rather that being financially prepared to make the switch to independence is the first thing to take into consideration. In my over twelve years of driving, no one single decision rivals the stress that I had to face in pursuing my own authority. That being said, few things have been more rewarding on the flip side! My main advice to him was to make sure he knew how to operate as a business and not just someone that takes what is left after direct expenses and pockets it. Once he was comfortable with doing that and knowing how to maintain his truck and take care of customer relationships, his main task should be to get ahead. By being ahead, I do not mean the “having a few hundred extra bucks in the bank” kind of ahead! I recommended to him that he should be at least 2-3 months ahead on all major business and personal bills, as to allow for the stream of revenue to flow back into his business once he began operating independently. With some customers taking an average of 90 days to pay invoices for the hauls you do, you can begin to understand just where the gap could begin to develop between expenses and revenue.
With all of the things I will be talking about that I experienced during my authority process, the last thing you want is to be burdened with the stress of not having immediate cash flow once you start operations. Along with the cost of getting ahead, you should also be ready to shell out the money for the authority and insurance itself upfront. Be ready to pay at least $3000 to get up and running and somewhere around the ballpark of $15,000+ for your first year’s basic insurance (depending on what you’re hauling). Of course you can break that up into monthly installments, but as with any installment, expect to put down money for the convenience. You may think to yourself, “This could take a great deal of money set aside!” In thinking this, you are absolutely correct! This is why I say having money is one of the first things to consider when thinking of going out on your own. If you aren’t there yet, take the steps to get there and save, save, save!