How to be a Successful Owner Operator in 10 Easy Steps

February 20, 2021

First of all, congratulations on becoming an owner operator! While it’s great to have your own truck, your business won’t flourish without certain strategies. Through this article, you’ll know how to be a successful owner operator.

Being a successful owner operator gives you certain benefits that a regular 9 to 5 job can’t. For starters, it allows you to control your time and gives you financial freedom.

Here are 10 steps on how to be a successful owner operator

Knowing how to be a successful owner operator guides you on what needs to be done.

Take care of yourself.

The first step on this how to be a successful owner operator guide involves you.

You are the biggest asset of your business. Thus, it’s just fitting that you take care of yourself physically and mentally.

If you’re driving your own truck, it’s crucial to be careful on the road. It’s also important to fuel yourself (pun intended) with the right nutrients so you won’t get sick.

Remember, getting sick puts your work on hold. Plus, medical bills are getting more expensive by the day.

Your mental health must be your priority as well. Avoid stress and motivate yourself so you can go on every trip with a sound mind.

Set clear business goals and objectives.

Knowing exactly what you want helps you use the right strategies to get it.

What does success mean to you? Is it doubling your revenue? Is it getting more trucks? Whatever it is, make sure that they’re crystal clear.

Now that you know what you want, how exactly are you going to get it? Is it through having more transactions? Is it saving a certain amount of money?

Having clear goals and objectives helps you constantly work on them. It also motivates you to keep going until you reach them.

Partner with the right company.

Being a successful owner operator involves partnering with a reputable and experienced company.

In essence, the right trucking company must understand your needs, offer a flexible schedule, and help you save money in the long run.

It’s also great if the company covers insurance and other business expenses in case you don’t have a huge starting capital.

Given these, choosing the right trucking company is crucial to your success. After all, you might not want to partner with a company that hinders your growth.

Manage your cash flow properly.

Being an owner operator involves a huge pile of cash. From fuel to truck maintenance, you must be ready to spend.

Hence, it’s just fitting to monitor your cash flow. Have an efficient system in place. Carefully monitor the money going in and out of your business. Know where every cent is going.

Hiring a bookkeeper can also help, only if you have the budget for it.

Save as much as you can.

Speaking of having a budget, you must stick to yours. Do this as strictly as possible. For the love of trucks, avoid unnecessary expenses.

You must also save as much as you can. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t put your truck up for regular maintenance. We’re also not saying that you must not eat while working.

You can save money without sacrificing important stuff. For instance, you can partner with a company that offers discounted fuel and maintenance. If you’re up for it, you can pack meals instead of buying food on the road.

Put money back into your business.

The next step on our how to be a successful owner operator guide is investing in your business.

The money you saved and a major percentage of your revenue must be invested into your business. If possible, it’s ideal to give yourself a minimum-wage salary. By doing this, you can grow your business faster.

Think about this. Owner operator A spends all of his earnings on himself. Owner operator B saves up for a new truck. Who do you think will be more successful? The answer is as clear as day.


Take advantage of layovers and detention.

Layovers and detention are inevitable in the trucking industry. Knowing how to be a successful owner operator means taking advantage of these.

We’re encouraging you to use your spare time to monitor cash flow, read a business book, or meditate. In short, do anything that helps grow your business.

Take note, time is a huge asset that you can’t make or earn. So please, use your spare time wisely.

Use technology to your advantage.

We live in a digital era. Why not make your operations seamless by using technology?

Plus, in today’s trucking industry, technology is a must. Incorporating technology in your operations gives you a competitive edge.

Dashcams, digital invoicing, and logging systems are just some truck technologies you can use. In particular, these tech products help you have secure and efficient daily operations.

Build business relationships with other owner operators.

No owner operator is an island. In order to be successful, you must establish business relationships.

These business relationships keep you updated and opens up new opportunities. Plus, it’s great to know that people in the same industry got your back.

And who doesn’t want to enjoy a great cup of beer with their business buddies once in a while?

Delegate tasks.

The last step on our how to be a successful owner operator guide is delegating tasks.

Don’t have enough time to monitor your cash flow? Hire an accountant. Want to add trucks to your fleet? Hire drivers.

Every successful business owner understands that he or she can’t do everything. You’ll have to hire people if you want to expand your trucking business.

The Bottomline

Knowing how to be a successful owner operator means that you have to act and think like one.

We hate to burst your bubble, but it’s not just hard work that’ll make you successful. It requires wise decisions, strategies, and actionable steps as well.

Speaking of steps, come back to this guide when you’re in doubt. We wish you nothing but success.

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