The Business Of Independent Service Provider Contracting

Profitability Profile - Dawn Nyen

Posted by Ben Weil on Nov 22, 2020 4:26:43 PM

(Dawn Nyen, Courtesy of Dawn Nyen)

A co-worker recently suggested that I reach out to a customer who has an interesting history with entrepreneurship.

My conversation with Dawn Nyen developed into our most recent Success Story.  And just in case you don’t venture over to that page on our website, I’ll share one of her lessons learned in this blog post, but trust me the interview is worth the few minutes it takes to read.

Dawn’s path to becoming a FedEx Ground Contractor started in a hotel ballroom. She answered a local newspaper ad instructing people to attend a local recruiting meeting about owning a business. Dawn and her sister were the “last ones standing” in the room. Then, her sister dropped out leaving Dawn standing all alone.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Business, Investment, Metrics, contractor, Profit, leadership

Time Traps: Action & Assessment Phases

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 18, 2020 9:45:00 PM

As we’re approaching peak this year, conversations with FedEx Ground Contractors reflect a sense of urgency caused by the expected increase in package volume. From California to the east coast, everyone is feeling the pressure. Rental trucks have long been reserved by others, new trucks are scarce, the competition for finding and hiring temporary drivers is tough, and the new pre-load technology is time consuming at best.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Business Results, Business Metrics, FedEx Ground, Investment, Profit

An Organization Time Trap

Posted by Ben Weil on Oct 4, 2020 7:33:46 PM

A common thread amongst FedEx Ground Contractors is the amount of time and effort required to handle everything that’s expected to stay compliant, safe and profitable. If you’ve been tracking our blog posts about time and task management, this is the third in a series.

First, we suggested tracking where your time is spent. From there, we looked at the likelihood that working seven-days a week has resulted in losing your identity. You’re known by your job.

Now, let’s examine how to improve your working situation.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Business Results, Business Metrics, FedEx Ground, Investment, Profit

Six Reasons To Set Up Retirement Plans

Posted by Ben Weil on Sep 27, 2020 11:45:00 AM

If you’re like most FXG Contractors, you don’t spend much time thinking about your retirement. You’re caught up in the daily swarm of running your business. Tucked far away on a backburner of your brain, you understand your eventual exit will happen. Will you be ready?

Thinking about retirement isn’t enough. It’s not a plan. Developing and acting on a plan will provide certainty when the time comes to exit your business.

What’s holding you back? Maybe you don’t know where to start. Maybe you think it’s too expensive, or your company is too small.

Actually, setting up a 401(k) plan isn’t expensive nor is it difficult.

Here are six reasons why you need to set up a 401(k) retirement plan.

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Topics: Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Investment, Metrics

Tracking Financial Results Like FDX

Posted by Ben Weil on Sep 20, 2020 10:02:07 AM

Did you read FedEx’ Quarterly Results issued last week? The financial news outlets wrote absolutely glowing reviews.

Yahoo! Finance headline declared, “FedEx Corp. Reports Strong First Quarter Results” while Barron’s headline gushed, “FedEx Destroys Earnings Estimates. Things Are Getting Really Good.”

Reading further down the page you’ll find, “Operating results increased due to volume growth in...U.S. domestic residential package services, yield improvement at FedEx Ground..., and one additional operating weekday.”

Could Yahoo! Finance and Barron’s write the same headlines about your last three months? You don’t issue forecasts, but if you did - would you be blowing it out of the water, too? If not, why not?

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Business Results, Bookeeping, Business Metrics, FedEx Ground, Investment, Profit

Five Recruiting Changes to Make Before Peak

Posted by Ben Weil on Aug 30, 2020 7:42:14 AM

Let’s start today’s blog post with a multiple choice question.

What does EVERY FedEx Ground Contractor need?

a.) Qualified drivers.

b.) Available qualified drivers to replace current drivers in the future.

c.) Qualified drivers for Peak.

d.) All the above.

Answer: d.) All of the above.

If you’re covered up with spare qualified drivers, then you’re set. This business is your oyster.

If you’re not, then finding qualified drivers is by far the biggest moving component of your revenue generating machine. Here are five recruiting changes that must happen now to be successful.

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Topics: Driver Recruiting, Business Results, Management, FedEx Ground, Metrics, leadership

Have You Trapped Yourself?

Posted by Ben Weil on Aug 23, 2020 9:30:43 AM

In the last blog post about time management, I recommended tracking your tasks. Did you? If you really want to fix an issue, you follow a process.

So, if you want to improve at managing your time and tasks, you gotta start with accurate facts. It’s the first step to discovering time to do things you'd rather be doing.

Now, it’s time for the next step.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Results, Timekeeping, Management, FedEx Ground, Metrics, leadership

Time Management Is A Lie

Posted by Ben Weil on Aug 9, 2020 2:14:56 PM

Ever wished you could stop time? How about rewind time? Yep, you’ve had those thoughts. Your secret is safe with me.

The truth is our world spins around the sun in a cycle of light and dark we call days and nights. It's way beyond our control. Above our pay-grade as the saying goes. So, why do we think we can manage time?

A co-worker recommended a book written by Todd Duncan called Time Traps. Let me preface something right now, I haven’t read the whole book. I’ve skimmed the first few chapters. Gimme a small break, okay.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Results, Timekeeping, Management, FedEx Ground, Metrics, leadership

5 Reasons To Engineer Your Operation While Embracing DRO

Posted by Jeff Walczak on May 17, 2020 1:14:41 PM

Okay, we know what many folks are going to say. The DRO is troublesome and may not work.

While it is true that learning to use it effectively is difficult, it actually works fine. It’s the theory and engineering principals behind it that are difficult to maneuver and grasp.

The move from static route creation and management to that of a very dynamic (always changing) way of route management is now at hand. Thanks to the virus, the premature push to unprecedented levels of eCommerce, and the need for 7 day service, all are being forced to transform quicker than originally planned.

The time to embrace Dynamic Route Optimization is at hand. The fundamental culture change to Dynamic vs. Static planning is now underway.

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Results, Management, Training, Business Metrics, FedEx Ground, Business, contractor

How To Crush Your Routing Goals

Posted by Ben Weil on May 5, 2020 1:58:27 PM

Ground CSP's, generally, possess exceptional area knowledge for the areas they service. They can utilize this knowledge to plan routes and take into account all the intricacies of a particular area.

Now, however, CSP's are starting to see that the old process of developing static routes to cover a particular service area is going the way of the horse and buggy.

Routes now need to be planned dynamically. This means that with the transformation of stop characteristics (residential) along with an evolving FXG business model (heavy focus on eCommerce), route planning needs to change constantly.

In order to remain successful, today's CSP must adapt to this new demand as the business continues to change. The number of routes and the actual route "boarders" need to be engineered in such a way to be flexible based on work load characteristics. 

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Topics: Business Tools, Business Planning, Business Results, FedEx, Ground, FedEx Ground, vendor

Profitability Profile - Preston Wengert

Posted by Ben Weil on Feb 3, 2020 4:36:12 PM

HOW A COMMUNITY COLLEGE DROPOUT FOUND ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS

You think your market conditions are tough, what about Colorado? According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the Denver area's average weekly wages are $1,242. Think it's easy to find drivers? The BLS also lists the area unemployment rate at 2.4%. Way lower than the U.S. average.

What made a young guy from out of town who knew nothing about the logistics industry think that he could buy a Ground business to support his growing family? Sure he's smart, but he's so young.

"There's no selling, no advertising, no collecting money from past due accounts. I'm not saying it's easy, but it beats a lot of other options out there," Preston Wengert says.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit

Financial Health Assessment: More Important Than Service?

Posted by Jeff Walczak on Jan 27, 2020 3:52:54 PM

As of 1/10/2020, it’s a new day for FXG CSP’s.

You may recall we’ve talked about TRANSFORMING your Lifestyle Business into a 

Transportation Compan y for the past several years.

FXG's announcement of the new Financial Health Assessment added a new, critically important component for how they keep score on your business performance, and your value to them.

Engaging a third party, RapidRatings, to examine your financial health, then reporting those findings to FXG will create a measurement (number) that will become just as important as your daily service - if not more so.

As a CSP, you should understand the significance of this announcement and the reasoning behind why it will be so crucial going forward.

Let’s take a look at what is going on here...

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Topics: Business Planning, Business Results, ISP Negotiation, Business Metrics, Contract, Profit

Business Coaching Benefits CSP's

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 19, 2020 2:43:03 PM

An Extra Set of Eyes

Dustin Franz bought an RPS route twenty years ago in Pasco, WA. Today, he's a successful FXG contractor with multiple routes. He's traveled an interesting path to profitability.

Buying a route was his first time owning a business. Much of how he learned to deliver packages came from his own experiences plus talking to contractors in his terminal.

Others taught him what they had learned from their own mistakes, and they really couldn't teach him how to be more profitable any faster. It was no fault of their own. They hadn't been trained themselves.

Dustin performed some online research and determined he needed outside assistance.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit, coaching

Profitability Profile - Tracy Taylor

Posted by Ben Weil on Jan 6, 2020 1:15:00 PM


YOU CAN'T LET DRIVERS RUN YOUR BUSINESS

Business owners (CSP's) are generally likable. Drivers want to work for them. People enjoy being on their team. Nothing wrong with that. It's a good thing.

However, it's a problem when CSP's are too nice. Tracy Taylor learned that lesson early in his career as a Contractor. 

"I had 12 employees, 15 trucks and two operations hundreds of miles apart. My people needed me to make tough decisions instead of letting them manage themselves," he recalls.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit

Profitability Profile - Steve Ellis

Posted by Ben Weil on Dec 8, 2019 10:15:44 AM


RETAINING EMPLOYEES IN TIGHT LABOR MARKETS

Steve Ellis has been a contractor for almost twenty years. Many business owners who've been operating that long think their processes work because they've "always done it this way."

However, Steve's openness to studying and changing his processes make his operations exceptionally successful in a state with some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

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Topics: Business Structure, Business Tools, Business Results, Management, ISP, FedEx Ground, contractor, Profit

Independent Service Provider (ISP) Tips And Advice

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