After being in the trucking industry for eleven years, I have seen many things change within our industry. For all that has changed throughout the years, one thing remains constant, the ability to succeed through perseverance and smart business planning. For all the times I was told I wouldn’t (or couldn’t) make money as an owner-operator, I have wanted to try that much harder just to prove them wrong. Very little of my success has come easy and not a great deal of it can be attributed to luck either. The key to my success, as with anyone else’s, is proper planning and execution of smart business tactics. While working for my last employer, driving all day and managing payroll and billing in the afternoons, I was able to get more involved in the business side of trucking. It was during this time I realized I wanted to attend college to further my understanding of what it takes to operate a successful business. While transitioning into being a western regional owner operator, I was able to work out my schedule to maintain a profitable four-day a week trucking business, while attending school and doing classwork during the remaining three days every week
After graduating from DeVry University in Pomona, California with Manga Cum Laude honors and earning a Bachelor’s Degree in business majoring in Operations Management, I immediately began implementing what I had learned into my own business. I set forth on a mission to work “smarter” and not “harder” with my newfound knowledge. I shifted my business focus from earning more miles, to maximizing revenue while minimizing costs. This was accomplished by the switching of the traditional mindset that truckers have to get “miles under their belt” in order to succeed. I was able to implement a business plan to run higher priority short-haul freight, be home virtually every night, yet still maintain profits near or exceeding my long-haul counterparts.
Businesses are only successful if they continue to strive and remain constantly aware of where they were, where they are, and where they plan to be. In the grand scheme of things, nearly everyone “could” go out there, buy a truck, sign it onto a carrier, and begin making money. Just as well, even a company driver could graduate CDL-school, drive for a carrier, and start earning money for their miles. The difference between being successful and thriving or wasting away on the roadside somewhere is in choosing what you do with your business smarts. Knowing how to manage money, minimize costs, and increase your bottom line are key success factors in any business.
Learning from your own mistakes, as well as the mistakes of others and refusing to give up in the face of adversity can make or break a business in this industry. The “Business Smart” content contained within the Team Run Smart web community encompasses all aspects of business success and shares my philosophy of attaining success through making smart business decisions. This is where take great pride in being a Freightliner Team Run Smart Pro and enjoy my ability to share my business knowledge, both life-learned and book-learned, to help others out there succeed in making their business as successful as it can be.