Perks for an auto transport broker ~
Hot August Nights, fast cars & good friends
All work and no play is a recipe for disaster
Sometimes for a person like me, Type A personalities, work can all but consume us. The thrill of the sale or order is all we need to fly high the whole daylong. Auto transport, dispatching or selling vitamins all give the same rush to us after helping someone get what they want.
As a business owner we have always been on top of our game, whether we felt like it or not. Putting forth our best foot and smile shows the prospective customer the heart of our company.
How then, do you get it all done successfully? How do you serve your customers, owner-operators, dispatchers while still living a happy home life? We used to ask ourselves that very question. We found a way to "balance out" as it were our life between
Give 100% focused effort while working
It is simple when you work for yourself to give it all you have. I suppose some might question that statement. However, for me…it is a no brainer. If we do not serve our prospective client, then we will not make the sale or book the order. When that happens the company makes zero dollars. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that zero dollars over time will eventually slam the door shut on the business, right.
What worked for our auto transport business from the start was to treat it just as though we had a storefront on Main Street. Set office hours helped to push me on the days I just did not feel like working. Have you ever gone to work only to feel "out there" all day long; feeling like you are off in la la land somewhere?
Our regular hours, a to-do-list and having a burning desire to make something of myself kept my focus on what I needed to do each day. Part of that focus included having conversations with other brokers in the industry. Remember, relationships are one of my deep-seated strengths and working beside my colleagues was no different. It makes sense to draw on your friend's bank of knowledge to increase your own, does it not.
Play hard, play often with friends
Back in 2008, a friend and I were talking one particularly slow day. Cathy had received an advertisement in the mail for the biggest classic car event in the western part of the U.S.A., Hot August Nights. This major event is in Reno, Nevada each year in August, thus it's name. We read the flier together and daydreamed awhile.
We talked about how cool it might be to rent a booth and promote our auto transport broker businesses. Yes, we were and still are competitors within the same industry – we are both owners of an auto transport brokerage. With literally thousands of car buffs in attendance, this would be a perfect opportunity to highlight our services. We only saw one problem, money! It was very expensive to rent to booth space, be out of
It took about a week of bantering back and forth but finally we decided to go for it. Putting our heads together, we came up with an idea to raise the money! We would solicit our preferred carriers for donations. In return, we would print their company information on our fliers, on our banner and advertise their services as our preferred drivers. It worked like a charm.
And they are off…
The day came for Cathy and me to travel to Reno. With the car loaded for bear, we set off across the Sierra Nevada mountain range excited as a pair of teenagers.
The four-hour drive whizzed by as we chatted about everything from our kids to the promotion of our businesses lying ahead. Soon we arrived at our hotel to check in. Exhausted yet excited we settled into our home away from home. Then it was off to the fairgrounds to check in and set up our booth for the first day of the car show.
We were so excited to have reserved a booth inside the air-conditioned building. The temperature in Reno during the month of August was HOT! It did not take long and between the two of us, our booth came together as we had envisioned it. Voila!
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Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner