Doesn't anybody who has authority have sales people to get work?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by FloridaDudester, May 13, 2019.

  1. FloridaDudester

    FloridaDudester Light Load Member

    227
    147
    May 13, 2019
    0
    I've owned my own business for nearly 20 years. When I started, the first several years I was the sales guy. I cold called my butt off and built a good business which still grows a little every year without ever making cold calls. I see no fundamental difference between selling office copiers or selling shipments, except for the obvious middle man brokers and load boards. On the other hand, don't they start with a broker sales person calling on shippers and then sourcing it to carriers? Yet, I hear very few people on the videos or threads talk about sales and paying a sales team to bring in shipping contracts.

    I have no dog in the hunt, yet, and maybe won't. I'm still trying to determine if investing in one truck at a time can build a successful business as an investment (I would start as a carrier). I personally have no desire to drive as it would cost me six figures to leave my office for any period of time. I'm not old, but would like to build such a business to sell it a few years later. I have to slow down at some point, but that time isn't now. An outfit like Landstar sounds fine for a single owner operator, but its not a plan to scale up.

    So, the question is really this; is there work out there to be had if sales people were calling on local places. We have a huge Amazon Prime terminal that just opened up near my business. I want to complete my research and develop a good feel before plopping down my cash even on the first Class 8 and trailer. I'm also checking insurance rates. It seems like pulling teeth in Florida even with my long time commercial insurer.
     
  2. Mike2633

    Mike2633 Road Train Member

    5,566
    18,402
    Jun 14, 2013
    At Home on The West Side
    0
    The big companies have sales forces. The LTL companies have sales guys. I think with Owner Operators the business is not set up to run like that. It's more set up as a job.

    C.L. Werner when he started he had hired drivers and he ran out and chased freight and had some sales people and they went around selling directly to shippers.
     
    speedyk Thanks this.
  3. Dino soar

    Dino soar Road Train Member

    1,313
    2,088
    Dec 8, 2017
    0
    Honestly if you're making six figures Where You Are at, you would do a lot better to just invest in real estate. Or the stock market.

    I honestly don't understand why people think Trucking is something good for investing. There are so many better ways and easier to make money. The people that really make money in this business are people that really know the industry well and basically grew it with their own two hands. Driving, saving, buying another truck, driving saving buying another truck hiring managing saving growing. All the while watching closely for the pitfalls that their experience has taught them to watch out for.

    Or other people that had millions and millions of dollars to invest and if they lost a few million, no big deal.

    And there are plenty that lose everything that they invest. That is the majority of people.

    Like I said, I don't understand why anyone would think Trucking is a good investment. It is the most highly regulated industry just about in the world, with Incredible Capital expenditures, rapidly depreciating equipment that is incredibly expensive to maintain, outrageous insurance, equally if not more outrageous DOT fines, and an industry that is extremely well-known for driver retention problems, not to mention driver theft and dealerships and repair shops that often Rob people blind, especially those that don't know better.

    Add on top of that a 90% failure rate. Why on Earth would anyone think this is a good idea for an investment?

    If this is the path you want to start with, then you probably should have five to ten million dollars and buy say ten tractor trailers and hire drivers and hire a Sales force and buy or rent a large Warehouse facility, hire mechanics, buy tools, and expensive diagnostic equipment, keep a large parts inventory, hire Dock Workers and office personnel, open up a brokerage and see if you sink or float.

    No offense, but considering starting a trucking company in Florida and thinking that Amazon is a good place to grow your business... That unfortunately says a lot.

    The craps tables have better odds for most investors of trucking.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    DougA, exhausted379, bzinger and 7 others Thank this.
  4. Mike2633

    Mike2633 Road Train Member

    5,566
    18,402
    Jun 14, 2013
    At Home on The West Side
    0
    Agree 100% it would be foolish to put all you're eggs in the Amazon basket. They pulled there $600,000,000.00 contract with XPO what makes these people think Amazon wouldn't pull throw them out like yesterdays garbage. There's a lot of here today gone tomorrow trucking companies that's for sure.
     
    bzinger, speedyk and Rideandrepair Thank this.
  5. Midwest Trucker

    Midwest Trucker Road Train Member

    1,483
    2,950
    Aug 31, 2018
    0
    I sure wouldn’t invest in more then 3 trucks and trailers. You’ll likely only have drivers for 2 anyway. Be successful at this level before you totally lose your rear.

    Better yet buy ONE truck and trailer and find success with that first. If you can’t make money with one truck, you sure as hell cant make money with more then one.

    That’s one common misconception is that oh I can’t make it with one truck but if I just buy more I’ll be ok! LOL WRONG!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  6. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

    3,982
    4,041
    Aug 8, 2015
    0
    During the race to the bottom 10 yrs ago, I heard so many horror stories. The worst was a Young Woman who along with an advisor, “invested” a nice inheritance,Bought a bunch of Trucks and Trailers. 40 or so, lost everything quick, and killed herself. Trucking is a high overhead service industry. Not an Good investment tool. Passive investment is the way to go, if you have cash to invest. Even Trucking stocks, are bad, too easy to close shop, leaving you hanging.Theres been a few that built up Companies, and sold out to the megas for a nice sum.Their mainly buying for the Contracts, to expand quickly. Possible, but highly unlikely.
     
    Mike2633 Thanks this.
  7. flatbeb mac

    flatbeb mac Medium Load Member

    505
    737
    Aug 16, 2015
    0
    if you don't have the capacity to fulfill their needs would you be of any real value to a shipper? 1-3 trucks wouldn't do much =S
     
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  8. jwp1

    jwp1 Light Load Member

    66
    49
    Dec 18, 2008
    greenville sc
    0
     
  9. FloridaDudester

    FloridaDudester Light Load Member

    227
    147
    May 13, 2019
    0
    Dino Soar,

    I appreciate your candor. I'm seeing a pattern in the answers and yours stands out a highly credible opinion. I didn't mean to imply that Amazon was something to hang a hat on, but its sheer size looked like one possibility. Your comments and others who seem to have lots of exposure and experience, along with my other research, are starting to sink in and turn my head the other way. On the other hand, there is a lot of information saying there is a shortage of truckers. Is that propaganda put out by the carriers to get drivers they can feed off of?

    Owning and renting Real Estate has been good to me at about 14% annual return, with a small group of guys who help me make the fixer uppers reallly nice for renters. I also won't lose my ### if I get to where I'm tired and don't want to rent. I have the asset to sell at a premium for long term capital gains. Trucking, you just have equipment that is depreciating and worn out, if there are no stream of income that someone will buy.

    I suppose I've got it easy in my business which I built to a nice recurring revenue just by taking care of customers and being here for nearly 20 years fixing their equipment and leasing them new when it wears out. Still there is something about trucking that looks like opportunity beneath all the failures, sad stories and losses.

    For what its worth, your writing and others I see today, is cause for me to reevaluate what I have and what I really want in my future. Trucking might no be in it. A huge 180 turn from what I was feeling. Nonetheless, I will put all of these learned opinions into my data bank along with everything else and we'll see. For now, I read on and talk to existing customers which are in the hundreds, not thousands. Net income, shy of $180K
     
  10. FloridaDudester

    FloridaDudester Light Load Member

    227
    147
    May 13, 2019
    0
    I just mentioned Amazon as I was shocked to see it, having heard it was there. Albeit, I didn't now about XPO. It looked like varied trucks at their place. Really, I would look more to my own current customers, some are commercial Civil contractors, some are small manufacturers, and a variety of other shippers and mostly non shippers to network with. My own industry, the copier / printer / MFP business is no different. It's competitive as heck. The large get larger and the smaller, like my own company, Digicor, inc. is one of the last small businesses like a fly on the ### of the industry in terms of visibility outside of my own warehouse / office. Yet, there is still always opportunity for one more who has the right stuff. That's positive thinking. Actually, I'm going to stick out my business and not stick my neck out far into trucking. Just get my feet wet if I decide to go that way. It's different if you can afford the investment versus guys who either go all in, or can't pay for a rig when they start. Thanks for your reply. Every answer helps.
     
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  • Draft saved Draft deleted