Month: February 2015

Behavior in the Work Place

When it comes to business, how you react to certain situations can have a big impact in how successful your business will be (and reduce the overall stress in your life).

How one deals with stress and the problems that arise is a big factor in setting successful people apart from ones that seem to struggle (and appear to always be under more stress). Of course, successful people tend to do better at planning to keep the “fires” from flaring up, situations will arise. It’s the person that is better able to deal with stress and keep a clear head that inspires leadership, relaxes others around them, tends to inspire a more favorable outcome and finds better solutions.

Naivety is another behavior that budding entrepreneurs’ seem to fall victim to. Gaining the business knowledge to make informed decisions tends to be something that is gained with experience. The trick is gaining this experience while making a few mistakes as possible. One great tactic is to get a couple good mentors and LISTEN to what they have to say.

One challenge that many overlook is sensitivity. Being oversensitive in this day and age of so much communication being via email and text can be deadly. Many people try to read into written communication something that isn’t there. Nuances that can be conveyed via tone in a verbal conversation likely don’t come across when written. A person that tends to be oversensitive may read something that isn’t intended, react and make a rash decision.

With making sure that you keep situation in perspective, look to learn and grow as much as possible and make sure that you have a solid understand of peoples intentions you will have a good foundation in becoming a leader and build a solid business.

Retirement Fund

Whether you’re a rugged veteran or a rookie it is never too soon to start looking at your retirement plan. The earlier you start on planning, the better you will be when the checks stop rolling in. If you haven’t started one yet don’t worry it is not too late to start. As for those who have already begun it is always a good idea to get tips and suggestions when available about your finances and retirement plan. When planning your retirement funds it is always important to look at the overall goal. You don’t want to plan too short of a retirement and run out of money early and you don’t want to plan too big of one and not be able to afford it. Many people recommend looking at your finances during your career to see how you want to live after retirement. This should be done periodically due to the fact that your life style changes throughout your career. Once you have decided the life style you want after retirement you should figure out how much it will take monthly to pay for said choice. When calculating this you should keep in mind inflation over the years that you are saving. After you have determined a sum, the hard work begins. At this point you actually need to make a plan to save through whatever path you chose. This lasts the course of your career, and although that time may seem very distant, you want to be sure to position yourself early on. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when it comes to your retirement fund, the answers can only help you.

Recruitment

As a growing fleet we are constantly looking for ways to expand our business. Often times, this entails finding new drivers. We look for drivers who are hardworking and willing to stay with us as we grow as a company. The 2014 HireRight Transportation Report showed that many drivers that left their fleet, that year, left for the same reasons we see year after year. Drivers want more pay, more time at home and better benefits; but another large factor was broken recruitment promises. As a company we realize that it is also our responsibility to keep our drivers happy. We eliminate driver frustration with recruiting through the removal of a recruiter position and the addition of the Driver Developer. These personal driver trainers, help the driver learn what it takes to run a successful operation. These Driver Developers work with the driver from day one to help them transition into our company and take them all the way through orientation and post-orientation training. We are always striving to make all our drivers happy and feel at home, especially our new drivers. So, please let us know your pet peeves in the recruitment processes you’ve dealt with and any way we can better our company process as well.

Negotiations

Negotiations are an everyday task in the business as an Owner Operator. Part of what can make or break an O/O is the ability to negotiate rates. Haggling over a price can be a nightmare at times. Once the conversation about a load turns to something just about the money; you’ve most likely lost. At that point you have left money on the table and you are taking a hit to your profit. When starting negotiations you should always know your personal and your company’s strength/weaknesses. You should be able to sell yourself for the load as a service provider and justify a better price than offered. While in negotiations you should always ask a few questions to receive basic information about the load. You should always know what your cost per mile is, how long the load will take to finish, how long the dead head is for this load, and what the capacity to load availability ratio is in the delivering city. These key pieces of information will help you to decide whether or not this load is worth negotiating over. Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not this load will open any more opportunities, such as more loads with this broker or loads out of your new loactions.

Becoming an Owner Operator

Many drivers, from rookies to the veterans, are looking to become an owner operator and become the next big success story. These drivers are looking to break away from the security of being a company driver and work independently making their own money. This can be a great step for a driver, but there is a lot that goes into become a successful owner operator. Before jumping into the long process of becoming independent you should really look into your personal and professional life with great detail. There are many avenues to consider before jumping head-long into this stage of your career. In this post, we will discuss two components that are often overlooked.

This first thing to consider is the probable change in your routine. When making the jump from company driver to owner operator the first big change you will notice is in your schedule. Owner operators are not guaranteed loads on any given day of the week, meaning you may not be home in time for the weekend or special family events. You have to be ok with the fact that you will encounter some of these botched loads along the way. With the change in schedule you may have to worrying about running with tight deadlines on some loads which can lead to a lot of stress if not scheduled carefully.

The next big consideration is whether or not you are ok with paying for your own expenses. As an O/O you will be stuck with all of the costs of running your truck. This is huge for people that are new to being independent because expenses can get out of control very quickly and easily. Proper book keeping and tracking of your expenses is essential.

With these key factors in mind you can start looking into becoming an O/O further by looking into trucks to buy, licenses and insurance needed, even what companies to lease to. There is still a lot of research and planning involved in taking this next step, and we encourage you to reach out if you have questions or concerns. If this article has sparked your interest in

becoming an owner operator, please give us a call or continue reading our blog for more information.