A healthy well shaped mature tree is a majestic sight to see.  It stands tall, strong, and proud, towering over the landscape in a commanding way. To have a tree-shaped in such spectacular fashion often requires the skills of an arborist to attain such stunning beauty.  Treatments might be given to the tree for health, regular trimmings to maintain its shape, dead branches removed, which in the end makes for a beautiful well cared tree.

I was observing the trees this morning while drinking my coffee and I began to think of how similar caring for a tree is to maintaining a business.  Keeping your business healthy is much like keeping a tree well shaped and growing.  Each employee, vendor, and the customer will play a part in shaping your business.  You have to know when to trim a branch, remove a branch, or save the branch through medication and doctoring.  For example, is your business, you may have a freight lane in which you find that one direction is starting to dry up in freight volume, thus requiring some effort to rejuvenate your customer base to keep that lane/branch healthy.  You have to ask yourself, is one end of the branch healthy enough to carry the deficiencies being experienced on the opposite end of the branch.

If you have an employee with a bad attitude it is very similar to the diseased branch I just spoke of. Your first course of action will be to encourage and coach the employee.  If the encouragement and coaching do not work often you are left with no other recourse then to terminate their employment. It is better to remove the employee before their attitude and discontent can spread throughout your business.

Bringing the right customer base also helps to shape your business.  Sales calls and service all contribute to keeping these customers happy, content, and supporting your business. Serving the right customer base and picking the right lanes are also items which go into the shape of your business.  Picking the right truck, trailers, and equipment for your business is all part of having a successful business.  In the end, it is all about your business.

Take care of your business so that it stays as perfectly shaped as a well-maintained tree that grows more majestic with each passing year.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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