Truck News


Budgeting is a pain, but well worth the struggle

Every year at this time, the higher-ups expect me to gaze into my crystal ball and predict the operating profit of Truck News for the upcoming year.It is a task I dread.Overestimating revenue and/or u...

Every year at this time, the higher-ups expect me to gaze into my crystal ball and predict the operating profit of Truck News for the upcoming year.

It is a task I dread.

Overestimating revenue and/or underestimating expenses can cause me 12 months of grief and aggravation with the head honcho.

I really don’t blame him, he has a job to do, he has a boss who has a job to do, who also has a boss who has a job to do. (I think you get the picture.)

They all want us to do well, live long and prosper.

Since we are published monthly, we report our numbers monthly. One can only imagine the fun that would be had if we were published on a weekly basis.

Even with all the aggravation this time of the year holds in store for me, I realize the necessity of an accurate budget. At a glance, I can monitor expenses or pinpoint revenue sources and flag problem areas before they get out of control.

I’m sure most O/Os on the road today have gone through the budgetary process in one form or another. Your operating costs have gone through the roof over the past few years, so if you don’t have one, chances are you’re either out of business or heading that way fast.

If you don’t know how to put one together, call someone who does. There are a number of experts who make their living analyzing truckers’ businesses.

Once you establish your budget based on realistic cost-per-mile information, stick to it. You’d be surprised how quickly minor cash outlays add up.

Everyone, especially if you’re a company driver thinking about buying your own truck, should do themselves a favor and keep a running diary of all the expenses they’d be on the hook for if they were independent.

At the end of one week, take all of your borderline purchases and multiply them by 52. Maybe next time you’ll be able to live without that stick of beef jerky that looked so impulsively-tempting, right beside the cash register.

Think twice before you dip into your pocket for anything extra.

My wife will attest to the fact that I’m not the best with my personal finances, so maybe I shouldn’t talk. But for some reason when it comes to the company’s money, I’m on top of every dollar in and out. I guess that’s what I get paid to do.

Maybe we should all pretend that we have bosses who have bosses who have even bigger bosses when it comes to being accountable for our bottom lines.

It seems to work for me.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-442-2097.

Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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