Back to basics with owner-operator business planning

A business plan can be as detailed or as simple as you want it to be. At its core, it’s a document that sets out a business’s objectives and strategies for achieving them.

Include these three essential elements to keep your business plan simple: goals (what you’re trying to do), actions (what you did or are going to do to reach the goal), and results (what happened, and your evaluation of the outcome). Using short statements or bullet points may be most effective in making your business plan useful as the business climate changes.

You may think of items in a business plan as an accountability tool. What everyday pressures influence the decisions owners must make, whether related to purchases, savings and perhaps most importantly load planning? That’s just to mention a few areas. Are your business actions according to your plan or more of a habit, like a quick prioritizing reaction to the biggest bill that needs to be paid?

Plans are what they are -- as time and circumstances dictate, you’ll adjust and repeat these simple processes. If you’re successful but never had a written plan, you’re probably already doing all of this in your mind. But by writing these thoughts down, you’ll help your business’s progress by facing the reality of the outcomes to avoid repeating missteps.

The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive and the consultants at ATBS, the nation’s largest owner-operator business services firm. Download the comprehensive "Partners in Business" owner-operator business manual, covering topics from start-up to expansion with multiple trucks. There, find much more information about the ins and outs of safety, maintenance and business processes, among a myriad other topics. 

Find plenty more quick-hit tips like this one via the Partners in Business series home page.