Close the Drain First
If you want to keep water in the sink, close the drain. After you do that turn on the faucet. If you turn on the faucet without closing the drain, all the water will be just go down the drain. It is hard to wash dishes that way. The same goes for finances. You can not spend your way out of debt. Have you seen those commercials-where they “pay me to shop”? Get real.
When I started out as a driver, I was struggling financially. The video business that I had was becoming obsolete with the onset of satellite technology. The building that I owned sold for a nice profit. The business itself was sold at a substantial loss. I needed a job, and I liked to drive. Driving a truck made sense at the time. Starting another business did not.
Prepare yourself to be successful. Becoming an owner operator was a great decision for me. I am a good, hard working driver. The one truck owner operator's biggest competitive advantage is their driver. I had earned a degree in business. I had learned from owning and operating another business. When the time was right, I bought my first truck. Starting any business is hard. Having personal financial problems can hurt your business. Turn off the drain. Get your personal finances in order. Then buy a truck. Owning a trucking company, even one truck, is a big responsibility. It can be rewarding, if you run it right.
Most businesses do not start out as cash cows. In your first year as an owner operator you may make less money than your last year as a company driver. Don't wear rose colored glasses when making your business plan. If you start out in the hole, you may just never get out of it. You will always be chasing debt. You will want to build savings as a business owner. Remember that you are in business to stay in business.
The industry as a whole has failed to close the drain when it comes to drivers. We have recruited drivers from every possible source. At the same time we have had little success keeping them in the profession. Most new recruits are out of the industry in less than 18 months. With an improving economy, the supply of new recruits has become more limited. That combination has put drivers in a strong position. Good drivers are hard to come by. If you are a good driver, with your personal finances in order, this may be the right time to become an owner operator.