As a Owner Operator that negotiates and books your own loads it can be hard to think back and remember what happened last week let alone 3-months ago. I have found a simple daily task that can dramatically increase productivity is journaling. Simply putting your daily business information on paper allows you to reflect and reevaluate your work.
Our first driver at Farm2Fleet, who is still with us today, is a great example of the proficiency of journaling. When he started, he used to send in daily reports stating everything that he had done that day. He used to write down his daily miles, cumulative weekly miles, rate per mile, customers he talked to that day, lanes he saw activity in and markets he was interested in. This wasn’t required, but he wanted to share his personal progress and get feedback as well.
At first it was a small correspondence with little intent behind it, but as time went on we realized he was effectively journaling his progression towards his business goals as an Owner Operator. In recording this data, he was able to see where he was moving forward and what areas where not tracking towards his goals. The hardest part is developing the habit of recording your work. It doesn’t have to be daily, and it doesn’t need to be sent to anyone. Just documenting data for metrics and foresight is a tremendous advantage. The key is to be accurate, detailed, and diligent.
Some tips on how to best use this data:
Evaluate customers you’ve worked with in the past
Track revenue trends in key markets
Track goal progression
Success comes from embracing change and finding ways to improve. By monitoring trends in the industry and keeping track of your client base, you will find that you get better rates, have more flexibility, and more loyal customers.