What’s a girl to do?
GG—Fuel prices are high, insurance is out of control and companies want to pay us less to move more freight in less time. I’m 57-years-old, and I’m tired. Owner-operators like me have been nickeled and dimed until we’re forced to make a choice: stay, break even, lose money or leave.
Should I team with someone to get more miles and options? Should I just say enough, and go home and lick my wounds? What’s a girl to do?
Tanya Z., Arizona
First of all, this isn’t a girl issue, Tanya. It is an industry-wide issue, and not gender-specific.
Tanya, take an honest look at your business and ask yourself:
1. Do your customers think you’re different? If not, then lowering prices is your only advantage, and a bad one at that.
2. Do you know how you’ve helped your customers solve their business problems and help achieve their goals? If not, then you are merely a transactional necessity that will be easily replaced.
3. Have you worked with trade experts in the trucking industry?
There are professionals who can help you with financial, marketing, sales and pricing models. Know when your expertise ends and when it’s time to bring in outside assistance.
4. Have you looked into securing a small or minority-owned business status? That would be a key differentiator for many companies that sell to the government.
Go ahead, toss in the keys, hand in your CDL, buy a La-Z-Boy® and take that for a spin around the neighborhood. Or take a step back, analyze your business and figure out a way to make it work.
You can e-mail Golden Girl at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your letter to Over the Road Magazine, P.O. Box 549, Roswell, GA 30077-0549.