Whenever I hear those words from someone talking to me about becoming a broker in the freight transportation industry, I worry.
Yes, I understand that we are in business to ‘make a buck.’ But you shouldn’t be in business JUST to make a buck.
When I hear these words, they come off a bit glib, as if the person decided today they were going to become a Freight Broker. Just today, while yesterday they were thinking of being a Stock Broker…anyway to make some money. While I applaud the ambition, I question the motive.
I guess I feel that way because I speak to so many other Freight Brokers who are professional in every sense of the word. They may have had some experience in the industry, may have run their own small trucking operation, or worked as an agent for someon_e else before heading out on their own.
A lot of folks who are interested in the business are attracted to sites where they can find loads and become what I would call ‘transaction specialists’ – matching any particular ‘load’ with a particular ‘carrier.’
But the professionals know that success and longevity in the business rests upon the ability to create long term mutually beneficial relationships. They make themselves a ‘hub of reliability,’ providing both their customers and their vendors with solid, consistent service. They may also offer advice and insight to their customers.
Freight brokerage software should support the ‘professionals’ in the industry. It should allow them to track the details and particulars of their relationships with their customers and with their vendors. Good Freight Brokerage software should provide a mechanism for transacting with all of their stakeholders and give them the ability to invoice and pay appropriately and consistently. Loyalty is essential to success.
There is no quick trip to success in the freight brokerage industry. You have to put the hours and effort into becoming a reliable resource to your customers. You have to have a focus on the long term and be willing to work through the inevitable ‘ups and downs’ of a dynamic and ever-changing industry.
In building a brokerage of substance and of quality, money becomes the byproduct of your success.
You can find a parallel in the world of professional sports. You often hear coaches or managers of the professional sports teams talk about the players ‘having fun again.’ Playing a sport for ‘fun’ is pure joy, playing it solely for money is a miserable existence.
Knowing this, I hope that someone phones me one day and says:
“I am interested in your Freight Broker Software, I heard I could build a great business in this industry.”
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