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It's just business

Mar 04, 2017 at 09:07 AM CST
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It's just business

Part 1

Often times we truckers forget that what we do is just business. We get wound up on personal issues instead of sticking to our numbers and profit margins. This is why we continue to get beaten at the game. To the shipper it is just business, to the broker it is just business. Why then do we not act the same?

When I was a builder and I got beat out on a bid, no big deal it was just business. I have the exact same concept with my trucking company. I used to hear my carpenters talk about getting jobs that would have cost the company more money to do than it would make. They used to tell me but boss it is work. That is a workers bee concept right there, not a business concept. I did not get into business to just get work, I got into business for the challenge of finding the right kind of work for the right kind of profit margins. This same concept applies no matter what widget you are involved with.

Each business needs to evaluate first their projected cost to operate. Once they have established that then they need to get a feel for the acceptable profit margin that their business model can generate. At this point you can run projections for the good times and the bad. The hardest part that I have found in trucking is the truckers themselves. I have no problem working with shippers or brokers on the it's just business level, they already understand this. The problem is the majority of my fellow truckers don't even understand the business basics that are required to run their own business. They are much like my carpenters used to be, they just seem to want work. Here is a news flash for those that are not really into the business side of this thing. You may survive as long as your truck and trailer continue to not give you any problems. As soon as your equipment fails you then the moment of truth will arrive that it's just business. You will be running around like a chicken with your head cut off. You may make it through one such time and possibly a second. You will fail to self evaluate what is going on because you are now desperate to get your drug fix by running down the road chasing the elusive magic rate per mile. You should be running your business on profit margins, it's just business.

Replied on Sat, Mar 04, 2017 at 02:41 PM CST
I appreciate this post and look forward to the other parts. Fortunately, it seems that you like myself (although we are on different spectrums of transportation) have a business background so our mentality and principles may differ than that of others but in all reality, just a question, could it be that Carriers make a few business mistakes such as knowing or developing profit margins not for any other reason than they lack the buiness know how? My husband is a truck driver but he also has a college degree in Business, not every Carrier has a degree, or business experience such as you so they want more but who is there to teach them? I am not a Carrier so perhaps something is available but if not, I think someone like you with knowledge should create a video, blog, e-book or course on business for Carriers so that they can get what is rightfully deserved. I do not think the business side of it is addressed alot in trucking school even or is it? I don't know. I just would and think Carriers would jump to obtain more of that knowledge to keep them profitable and making good decisions.

I know courses exist for Brokers but because I am not sure it has much business aspect to it on profit margins either because stats show how Brokers come and go and many don't even survive the first 6 months. Smh.

Could you create a post soon about maybe how you come up with a good profit margin yourself. Knowledge is good so looking forward to whatever you continue to post.
Replied on Sun, Mar 05, 2017 at 11:35 AM CST
Originally Posted by: SARAH SMITH
Quote: "I appreciate this post and look forward to the other parts. Fortunately, it seems that you like myself (although we are on different spectrums of transportation) have a business background so our mentality and principles may differ than that of others but in all reality, just a question, could it be that Carriers make a few business mistakes such as knowing or developing profit margins not for any other reason than they lack the buiness know how? My husband is a truck driver but he also has a college degree in Business, not every Carrier has a degree, or business experience such as you so they want more but who is there to teach them? I am not a Carrier so perhaps something is available but if not, I think someone like you with knowledge should create a video, blog, e-book or course on business for Carriers so that they can get what is rightfully deserved. I do not think the business side of it is addressed alot in trucking school even or is it? I don't know. I just would and think Carriers would jump to obtain more of that knowledge to keep them profitable and making good decisions. I know courses exist for Brokers but because I am not sure it has much business aspect to it on profit margins either because stats show how Brokers come and go and many don't even survive the first 6 months. Smh. Could you create a post soon about maybe how you come up with a good profit margin yourself. Knowledge is good so looking forward to whatever you continue to post."

I set up a group called the Independent Carrier Group, I have traveled this country trying to show profit margins vs the elusive magic rater per mile. It seems that pride gets in the way of knowledge. I have met many a good hearted individual but they have been hooked to the drug so long that they are lost in the shuffle of what we call trucking. They have sacrificed their lives believing that the elusive magic rate per mile is the answer. The answer was right there before them but they did not want to spend the time nor the effort to find the answer.

I have given the answers here on this forum and on others as well. It is not my fault that many did not pay attention in school as to math word problems. I realize that many of us guys hated those things in school, but in the real world those were the math problems that ended up being most important. I created an app that is very easy to set up ones business operation in and bid with. I even let the truckers play with it at the truck stops, I spent the last six monhs developing this so we could all have a text book to learn from. Guess what they don't seem to want to take the time to sign up at the Independent Carrier Group and download it. Why would I want to waste any more of my time and energy trying to teach those that don't want to be taught.

People will spend thousands of dollars to go to college and still not learn practical real life application knowledge. Have someone with previous business experience come into an industry and then watch all the others who have been doing it wrong slam on them. Like I tell a lot of folks just because you have been doing it wrong for 30 years sure as hell don't make it right.

I have been praying recently to be released from this shit pool and that I may move on. No, was the answer. I am to continue to do what I was sent here to do. Find those with honor, integrity, and willingness to set aside their pride and work together. This past week I have gotten calls from fellow members that are willing to do just that, they all told me that I am better at being the asshole than they are. In business you always need someone to be the hatchett man, you need the individual that is good at risk assesment, you need the individual that knows when the deal is a no deal, you need the asshole that does not have a problem telling the other party that they are full of shit and that they deal is not a win,win,win. A good deal will be a winner for all parties involved not just one side.

As I reboot my business again and clean out the house to start over. This time things are different, I am done with my studies of the industry and various segments, I am ready to grow and expand. I will be doing it with my concept of profitability and will only accept others in our house that are open to such. If I am talking with a candidate for our program and they give me an outlandish elusive magic rate per mile that they are looking for but can not tell me what profit margin they desire then they are not eligible for our program. We are only going to accept those that desire to succeed and not those that desire to bleed. We had an old expression in the Army that you could not train a rock. How true it was and is.

I have given all the answers to other freely over the past few years and here we are again with a whole new group of hungry wanna be business folks that do not know the first thing about business let alone money management. Selecting a few that are not prideful and developing a strong core foundation will be more productive that trying to reach the masses at this point. My slots are filing up as we speak and after I take a small vacation from the mental anguish of mentoring, I will be bringing on my team to teach the methods of success. I will then transplant them back under their own authority and have them do likewise with others. In the military we call this train the trainer. Trucking used to be about passing down the honor code from generation to generation, that has been forgotton as each generation failed to respect the previous generation.

You asking me and my team to try and teach others that don't want to receive the truh is like asking our gooberment to do what is best for the people.

We are only looking for those that believe in Freedom with Integrity. Those that want to be bulls instead of steers. Those that want to be profitable business owners instead of drug addicts. Those that understand that while the system may be rigged against us, that we can still expose the dishonorable and gain the leverage that we desire and need. Those that understand that working alone is futile and that there is strength in numbers. Those that understand that common sense can overcome idiocracy. Those that believe that an acceptable profit margin consistently will beat the elusive magic rater per mile over the course of time. That my lady is what we are looking for. I believe there to be less than 1% of that in our industry, pretty daunting task is it not?