I have been doing a series on my journey. The years I spent at Weaver’s Chicken were very formative in my career. During my time at Weavers the business had grown from simply supplying the company stores and the fresh chicken market people, to fulfilling the needs of restaurants, rest homes, prisons, and small grocery stores.
The reason for the expansion was Weaver Foods had a really great outside sales person who had expanded the business into other areas. Our fleet grew to include:
- D500 Dodge 4 ½ skid reefer truck
- Low Cab forward eight skid reefer truck
- GMC Conventional eight skid reefer truck
- Ten skid GMD single axle reefer truck
- Freightliner Cabover tandem axle ten skid reefer truck
Business was wide open and we were growing rapidly. We bought, sold, and redistributed over stock items that were purchased from other food manufacturers. Then, one day, our outside sales person left to pursue another opportunity. Business soon started to decline because our offerings were in a constant state of change. Quite simply, our customers did not know what to order because, often times, once something was gone, it was no longer available. Our previous outside sales person did an excellent job of keeping our customers informed on what we had to offer.
In addition to driving the trucks, I also pulled orders. I knew what we had to offer and I began to inform my customers what would be available to order. However, I was never asked to do this. I did this on my own since I saw my job dwindling away to nothing. My actions of informing the customers what to order, once again, started an upward trend. Because of my success, I asked my supervisor if it would be ok to take along samples of new products. My boss agreed to my initiative and thanked me as it could bring success back to our operation.
The lesson learned is that it’s important to take initiative in your career. Don’t always wait to do something until you’ve been told. If you know what needs to be done and you have the capabilities to do it, take initiative and do it right away. After all, you are your own best advocate.