Archive for November 29, 2010

“Auto Transporting With Patience and Love”

"Auto transporting with patience and love" has a lot to do with success in business.

When I first became an auto transporting broker it was very intense. Focused on making my home based business a success all I did was work. From the professionally developed website to the auto transport quotes, everything had to be just so.

The day started around 5 AM and ended when I couldn't see any longer. By doubling my daily vitamin regimen I stayed healthy. The fear of not having enough orders to pay the bills pushed me daily. A whole year and a half went by before I knew what happened. The first year was indeed a success; but, at what cost?

It was a good thing that my kids were grown. My husband worked long shifts at the mill on the night shift. It wouldn't have mattered if I worked at the bank or home, we never saw each other anyway. Sunday was the one day we slept in, did housework and went to church. 

Loving the "auto transport home based business" I had built had a downside. It was becoming a looming monster. From sun up to around midnight I worked trying to keep up with the demand. The money was good, but we had no time to enjoy what we were building. There had to be a balance somewhere, somehow. 

Balance found me by mistake…

With the natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, hitting the Gulf coast; balance found me. The "auto transport home based business" shifted and slowed down. I learned to enjoy the lull between phone calls. I was able to clean my office for the first time in two years. The downside of this type of balance – the checkbook was getting low.

I had never experienced this type of down turn in auto transport before. I had no idea how to adjust the way the quotes were done or the client served. Has that ever happened to you in your niche? It was quite the lesson to learn. I continued to quote the transport requests the same as I had before the hurricane. Not one order was taken for weeks. It was a very scary time in our broker business.

Then, out of the blue, my husband said, "It's nice that you are watching out for your truckers needs. But, if you have to close your doors because of your unyielding principles, what good will it do them then"?

Wow! That really took me back. He didn't know too much about the auto transport broker business, but he sure hit the nail on the head with that statement.

And so the transport quotes were adjusted to current market prices. The orders started flowing again and "auto transporting with patience and love" continued.

"Auto transporting with patience and love" birthed lessons learned…

 The first two years of building my "auto transport home based business" was full of lessons. One of the first lessons I learned was to be flexible. The marketplace will teach you what prices it can bear. Customers will share the other quotes they've received with you; letting you know if you are in the ballpark. Your preferred truckers will also let you know when you've hit a home run or struck out.

Another lesson learned early on was it's alright to stand firm on your principles. You must be honest and treat people the way you would want to be treated. But, you can not be so firm and unyielding that you shoot yourself in the foot. If you are not willing to learn, change and grow…then you and your "auto transport home based business" will eventually die. That too was a difficult lesson to learn, but one I learned well and will never forget.

So, if you are a home based business owner like me, or want to be and find it hard to find the right balance; take a tip from our story…you only live once. Relax, go with the flow and work your business like we do in our "auto transporting with patience and love".

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

P.S. Be sure to watch for our next article. The second part of "auto transporting with patience and love" is what inspired the "patience and love" part of our business.

P.S.S. Love to hear your thoughts, remember caring is sharing….leave your comments below. 

“Auto Transport Broker – Choose Wisely”

"Auto transport broker – choose wisely" or else…

Deciding which auto transport broker to use can be a daunting chore. Before becoming involved in the industry I had no idea how many companies were out there. After jumping in with both feet, I found there are hundreds of brokers scattered across the U.S.A.

It seemed like an impossibility to narrow the choice down to one. Should you choose a local company or does it really matter? Just like choosing an insurance agent there are many things to look at before deciding who to work with.

Start at the beginning…

In order to speed up the decision making process we should start at the beginning. You can find a variety of companies to give you a free quote by searching online for "auto transport". A good place to start is Google, Ask.com, or Yahoo.

By completing the online request form with your individual moving information; you can get up to 10 quotes from one request. For a valid quote you will need to provide information like the city you are moving from and moving to; the year, make and model of your car; and when you want to move.

To protect your Inbox I suggest you get a free Gmail or Yahoo email account for this information delivery. Don't worry, you can delete it later. Trust me…you'll thank me later for this savvy piece of insider information.

As a seasoned professional I would advise you to toss out the lowest quote and the highest quote. Industry averages are almost always between the middle to mid-top quotes. You can be assured of a stress free move if your quote is properly calculated and accepted the first time through.

Price isn't most important…

In the auto transport business pricing isn't necessarily the most important factor. When you have narrowed down your decision to five or six different companies, you will want to call them. 

Listen very carefully to how the representative answers the phone. Use your gut instinct; are they polite, are they rude. The way you "feel" about your conversation can tell you a lot about the person and company on the other end of the phone.

Listen to that little voice inside of you. If it says ask more questions, then ask more questions. If it says "run"…do not wait, hang up the phone and don't call back. Remember, you are the "employer" in this transaction, you make the choice not vice versa.

In today's new economy the consumer…you…are savvy. You must be a wise consumer; look at all of the deciding factors, not just the money. Service with a smile, prompt replies to your email and phone calls can relieve a lot of stress for you.

You don't decide on the family dentist based on price do you? Shipping your car using an auto transport broker is no different.

You certainly do not need a screaming meme corralling you into a corner giving you no choice but to give up your credit card. That is a sure sign of a broker who is desperate and doesn't give customers the service they are paying for.

A big RED flag to watch for is a company who will negotiate for the lowest price or  match the competition's price. This WILL result in your vehicle sitting until the cows come home…it will not get moved. Why? Because this is an indication of the broker getting your deposit, or scheduling fee with NO intention of moving your car.

These types of brokers are notorious for "baiting and switching". This means they will tell you what you want to hear fully knowing that this price will never accomplish your goal.

Then they advertise the vehicle at the market rate and come back to you with a trucker's price. This deceptive tactic is used to skirt the issue that they lied to you. They tell you your car will be picked up, but it's going to cost you this increased rate.

So, get your ten quotes. Decide which ones you are going to throw out. Call the brokers with the middle of the road priced quotes. Then, listen very carefully. Ask questions and your little voice will direct you to the right broker for you.

Now you have some professional advice when researching auto transport and choosing wisely.

Watch for our free report coming soon, "Seven Insider Secrets To A Stress Free Auto Transport".

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

p.s. we value your opinion, please share below

“Auto Transport Is It For You?”

"Auto transport is it for you?"

Monday morning rolls around, another day at work. The boss calls you in and says he has important news for you…sit down. Fearing the worst, you ease into the chair waiting for the ball to drop.

"Our California office needs a new manager. Your qualifications are exactly what they are looking for. We would like you to relocate. Can you be ready in six weeks"?

As the room spins so does your head. What will my wife say, will my kids want to go? How do I get all of my belongings clear across country? Will the house sell that fast, oh…what about my cars?

These are all too familiar questions when making a move. Corporate relocation is all too common today. Unlike the military that provides some help with expenses, corporations leave those details up to the individual most of the time. Auto transport has become the source to many shipping problems like this.

Moving household goods…

Before I learned about the moving industry, I didn't know the difference between one type of truck and another. It didn't take long though to learn that moving companies move household goods. Those types of items are furniture, personal goods like computers, bicycles, dishes, etc.

They are able to move cars, motorcycles and pick up trucks; but, at a hefty price. The shipping time can be all over the board. The moving company can take a long time, up to a month! They also pack your belongings with other family's belongings to fill the truck.

So, you may want to reconsider shipping cars through them.

Shipping cars…

Once I started learning about shipping cars, I quickly figured out that there are different types of licenses. There are different types of trucks, trailers and what they can haul varies a lot.

The type of authority that a car hauler must have is called "FMCSA". This stands for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and it must be accompanied by the US DOT registration. This stands for US Department of Transportation. These licenses and authorities only enable the driver to transport "vehicles". 

Every day, without fail one or more customers will ask if they can pack their cars with clothes, bicycles, computers, televisions, etc. Some brokers will say sure. These brokers are not doing their job; they are also not doing their customers any favors.

You see, the drivers can be ticketed for having personal items in the vehicles. When the trucks enter the inspection stations Highway Patrol inspectors have the legal right to search each vehicle. If they find any personal goods, they have the right to remove the items and confiscate them or ticket the driver.

Which broker would you want to work with?

Now, you've accepted the assignment. You have six weeks to sell the house, pack up your family and get to California for that new job assignment. Are you going to handle all of these details solo or are you going to find an auto transport broker to help you?

If you've chosen a broker, which one did you choose? Was it the broker who told you what you want to hear? They allowed you to pack the car to the roof;  and gave you bottom price. If that officer goes through your car during an inspection; what condition will your personal items arrive?

Now that you know a little more, makes you wonder what headaches are coming your way during the trip, doesn't it?

If you've chosen the broker who gave you all of the details, won't it make your life easier? What if they took the time to explain how auto transport works. If they explained how the law works you would feel better about the move, wouldn't you?

With everything you have on your mind during a time like this; do you really want to worry about your car? Choose a qualified broker you can count on. How?

Watch for our next article "Auto Transport Broker – Choose Wisely"

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

p.s. sharing is caring, we'd love to hear your comments, leave them below…

Auto Transport – Turn What You Are Passionate About Into A Healthy Profit

 

Auto transport – turn what you are passionate about into a healthy profit

Ever noticed that profits come easier and faster when you love what you do? That is exactly what has become crystal clear in the past few weeks. It was this revelation that caused gears to shift and a re-examination of our motives to occur.

You see, working an auto transport business is sort of like buying a new car. Have you ever noticed that once you start driving your new car all of a sudden you see dozens of the same model, maybe even the same color. Isn't that just a little bit weird? Really though, it's just that now you are more aware of the same color, make and model car as what you are driving.
 
It's the same way for sharing what you are passionate about and turning that passion into profits. If you talk about auto transport and healthy living daily and it flows naturally, then you can tie in how you do what you do easily. Make sense?

 

If you seriously want to gather the health tips of an auto transport broker, keep reading…
 
Immersed in the lingo of an auto transport broker…
 
From as early as 6 am each day the spoken language in the office switches from what we call normal English to "trucker-ese". Being an auto transport broker and dispatcher has a language all it's own. Gone are the days of words like "10-4 good buddy"; yet other slang terms still remain, like "refer", "car hauler" and hot shot.
 
There are parts of the business the broker really likes and others that they could leave in a second. You can probably guess that the part they love is working with people like you. Talking with you, getting to know you and what they can do to help you, that is just the best.
 
The part that isn't so great is when they get an angry truck driver yelling at them. There are lots of brokers and drivers out there who could use a dose of personal growth training or two. We'd even give them free training on how to treat customers; which includes other brokers and drivers.
 
Auto transport brokers need vitamins too…

Then it dawned on us that everyone, including auto transport brokers need vitamins too. It didn't register though that another broker could help them in their day to day jobs. There isn't a day goes by that they don't talk with someone who is sick. Whether it's hacking and coughing with the flu, a cold or allergies; they sound terrible and should be home in bed. What is it like where you work? Bet you see the same thing, don't you?
 
The problem is that in this industry there are no benefits. Each broker is on commission only and in order to eat they have to show up and work. We do our best to share our story with them; how we've stayed healthy. In six years we've missed one day of work, and we work six days a week!
 
Not changing careers, but direction with clear focus…
 
Although we are changing direction, we haven't changed careers. Our hope is that by reaching out to everyone in all sorts of jobs, more can be helped to be healthier. If you know of someone who works in a job that doesn't have benefits, share this story.
 
If each one of us helps just one person stay well this winter season imagine how much happier we all will be! If you know any auto transport brokers out there looking for another broker to talk with, tell them what you've read here. All of us can use a new friend, right?


Have an awesome week, make a new friend, and remember to smile…you'll burn calories and make someone's day, too!
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
p.s. sharing is caring…leave your comments below