Blog Series - 10 Tips Every Independent Trucker Should Know - Tip 1

Matt Manero combines his business brilliance with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in transportation equipment finance. Today, he is a CEO leading four companies that generate over $100,000,000 per year in business with a base of more than 10,000 clients.

Matt launched his first business, Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc., in 1995 with a phone, a folding table and the  unyielding confidence of a single client, a trucker. Fast forward 20 years: Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc. made Inc. magazine’s Top 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies in America in 2014. Matt is the creator and personality behind CFFnation.com, the first and only online video network featuring original programming for and by innovators, operators, movers and shakers of the transportation industry.

His companies have been recognized in trade publications such as Overdrive, Transport Topics, Commercial Carrier Journal, and Dealer Solutions Magazine. Matt hosts his own weekly Radio Show aptly named, “The Grit” which airs on lifestyletalkradio.com and also on CFFnation.com. In addition to “The Grit,” Matt has authored a series of quick read books entitled “Tower, Mover and Construction Co. Need to Know NOW”, and also a forthcoming book, “I NEED MORE MONEY,” which reflects his battle to build his business and guides readers in creating their own future and financial success.

Reach Matt at his offices in Dallas, TX via email at mmanero@cffnationwide.com and on twitter @mattmanero. Learn more at cffnationwide.com and cffnation.com.

TIP 1 of 10
DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND UNDERSTAND YOUR INDUSTRY
“Knowledge is power.” 

Doing your homework and knowing your industry inside and out BEFORE you start your trucking business, is best. If you are already up and running, it’s time to give your business and industry IQ a checkup. If you have actually worked in the trucking industry as a driver, manager, dispatcher, bookkeeper, etc., before starting your own business, do not assume that you are an industry expert. Trucking is not as easy as people think. The industry has developed and changed like so many other industries over the last 20 years and it is certainly much more than just learning how to drive a truck. To run a successful trucking business you need to understand the licensing required, how/where to get that licenses, what type of products will be hauled, freight lanes throughout the United States, the seasonal nature of trucking, which equipment can be the most profitable, billing and collecting, new technology and regulations and on and on and on.

You will need to learn more than just how to be a great trucker. It will take learning how to be a great business owner as well. To do this, you will need to learn everything you can about your industry and how to make the industry work for you.

Do your homework before you start. Build the proper foundation FIRST which will require you to become an expert in your field.

Experience teaches you about your industry, however you must do more.  Get involved with associations, attend conferences and trade shows, and network with other transportation industry professionals. If you are already in business for yourself, don’t slow down.  Keep building relationships and join new associations.  In this age of abundant information, you can start by just joining a few email newsletters or following a transportation industry blog.  I created CFFNation.com to educate, entertain and inform about the transportation industry. CFFNation is a digital network featuring a variety of shows on transportation topics and not only has building this network been great for those who watch, but also for myself and my employees.  We are constantly learning from the show hosts and guests and preparing and researching for our own shows.  This exercise gives all involved a daily transportation industry education.

No matter what stage your trucking business is in, you need to make industry education and learning part of your everyday routine. 

Join me next week for tip number two that every independent trucker needs to know NOW.