As you sit in your office surrounded by piles of paperwork, unread e-mails, and unanswered messages, you realize that your business is wreaking havoc on your life. Your family life and marriage are suffering. The balance between your work life and personal life is nonexistent. But worst of all, you can’t get out of this awful situation because you’ve financed and still owe more money than what your business is worth. You know that you need help, but where should you turn?
Although it’s a small comfort, it may be reassuring for you to realize that you are not alone in this situation. Many other transportation business owners (and business owners in other industries, as well) are also suffering from these same anxieties. Because there are not many “how to” explanation guides in this industry, getting in over your head and owing more money than what your company is worth is actually a very easy thing to do. However, with the right tools and methods, turning your business around and gaining a substantial amount of profit can be an achievable goal.
These three key tips may help you achieve a turn around in your transportation business:
1) Recognize that you can’t ignore the situation.
These types of situations have the potential to become very bad very quickly. It can be very easy to put yourself into a “do not respond” mode in which you cope by simply ignoring the situation and tuning out the warning signs that surround you. When you first start a business, you’re optimistic. Your future looks bright, and the possibilities are endless. However, when that business begins to fail, your emotions are severely affected, and having a failing business can negatively impact just about every aspect of your life. Often times, the business owner will analyze the factors that contributed to the failing of his business, but he will neglect to look to the future and determine what can be done to change his situation.
As with any emergency, it is always best to stay rational and calm. If you are unable to handle this sort of situation with a level head and a logical mindset, do not hesitate to seek professional help from transportation industry experts. It’s the least you can do for your friends, your family, and yourself.
2) Don’t apply a “walking” solution to a “bypass” situation.
Often times, people do not implement changes into their lifestyles until it reaches the point of no return. The same changes that may have saved your business a few years or even months ago now fall into the category of “too little too late.” The following medical analogy illustrates this point very well: A doctor tells his patient that his heart is bad and that he will die unless a bypass surgery is performed. This patient has passed far beyond the point of exercising (walking) himself back into shape. If the patient attempts to walk himself back to health instead of accepting the bypass surgery, he will probably die. Many transportation businesses are in this same situation. They have passed the point where small steps could generate the change they need, so without some extreme turnaround and change, the business is bound to fail.
Consider the following statistics, many of which could be due to transportation businesses applying a “walking” solution to a “bypass” situation:
* Within one year of opening, approximately 30 percent of transportation businesses will sell or close their doors.
* Owning a business comes with many added stresses from managing employees, equipment, and inventory. Many business owners (over 80%) are suffering under this added pressure, yet because they remain deeply in debt, they work in an extremely stressful position for only a minimum salary.
* Owning a transportation business could also take its toll on your personal life. Divorce rates seem to skyrocket among people on this career path.
Many people may wonder why so many businesses in the transportation industry struggle constantly before eventually failing completely. Perhaps the solution lies in selecting the right course of action: “walking” or “bypass.”
3) Forget how you got here.
Many owners get stuck on the “whys” and “hows” of their current situation. They fret about their mistakes and regret borrowing too much money, purchasing too large a fleet, or hiring too many employees without having enough business to support them. The factors that formed your own personal situation could be anything, but regardless of the reasons, it’s time to stop dwelling on them. Instead, change your mindset to one that focuses on the future. Doing this may just give your transportation business the chance to survive.
Many transportation business owners choose to suffer silently while their business crumbles around them. However, if you seek the professional help that your transportation business needs and choose to respond with “bypass” treatment rather than “walking” treatment, your business and family will eventually come to thank you.