So as you might imagine, there is a considerable amount of chatter out there about some recent, controversial events.
Many want to know what we think about the whole situation.
We’re going to give you some thoughts, but I’d like to point out our perspective on the matter first.
How We See It
eTruckBiz’s mission is to help contracted service providers / transportation companies get the most out of their investments in time, sweat and money. By definition then, some would say that we are in the contractor’s corner.
Surely we are, but, we need to make sure that the actions that we would suggest taking would be in the best interests of you & your businesses.
Threatening your customer (FXG) with adverse action if they won’t do what you want is not contained in any MBA courses that I know of.
It’s The Economy Stupid
It was announced by the government on 7/28/2022 that we are now, in fact, in a recession. Many contractors today have not seen an economy that adversely affects business levels and expenses like we are currently experiencing before. Usually, it’s just trying to deal with business growth.Today’s situation is made much worse by the runaway inflation that has not been seen in 40+ years. It is an economic perfect storm of adverse conditions. We have been signaling this since the beginning of the year with our weekly business updates. In fact, there are signs that the current downturn likely started back in the Fall and was a significant contributing factor to a disappointing peak.
We hate to say this, but these same signs are forecasting that this will be a prolonged economic downturn.
Many want to point an emotional finger of blame at FXG for what amounts to something contractors, nor FXG can control. The economy is NOT something that perpetually grows. Business is cyclical. Business conditions change. Part of running a significant business like we all do is recognizing these facts of business life and possessing the ability to adapt and control what we can control.
Is There An Easy Button?
As was pointed out in our Business Review Session on 7/26/22, an across the board settlement concession will not solve the problem, unless, it is accompanied by productivity and efficiency gains.
There are multiple other signs, as was mentioned, that indicate settlement relief is not imminent.
It is reckless and irresponsible to sow false hope that there is a pill out there to reverse the effects of an entire economy going bad.
Playing on people’s emotions is never a good thing. It’s definitely not good business.
There is a path we can take you down for correcting failing businesses. We have done this for many clients who are finding success and profitability, yes, even in this environment, by using sound operating principles. This path does not include crossing the settlement handout line.
What History Shows
Most of you know that we have a cumulative 400+ years of FXG experience.
If anyone knows where the road is likely going, it would be us. These situations have happened before. This is not the first time someone has made veiled threats about organizing independent businesses. We know, and have been in the middle of, fixing these kinds of problems for FXG.
Never has it ever ended up well for the would-be organizer.
First of all, entrepreneurs don’t play well together in the sandbox. They may verbally support each other, but…they are very independent and in the end, take independent actions.
Keep in mind that your business relationship with FXG is “contract-based”. This means that some actions that are taken could be considered violations of the operating agreement.
FXG will, ultimately, uphold the terms and conditions of your operating agreement. They will, without a doubt end a contractual relationship if they think it is necessary. Please don’t make this investment-losing mistake.
The Best Advice
We think the best thing to keep in mind here is that you have a substantial, and maybe your biggest, investment in your contracted service provider business.
It would be completely foolish to throw it all away based on following bad advice. History shows that when it really comes down to it, most will realize this and not follow others to the dumpster to throw their life’s work in and set it on fire. There will be a few, but the majority will keep a cooler head and finally subscribe to what we think the correct course of action is.
Would it be great if FXG would open up the safe and hand out a few bucks? Absolutely.
Are they going to? Absolutely not.
Even if there were something in the works to help in some way, they will not be bullied into it. I can promise you that.
We’ve been all about trying to help contractors over the last ten years. There actually are many courses of action to take to get on the profitability track. Successful CSPs & TSPs finally come to the realization that they are going to have to help themselves to pull out of the tailspin. The first step in the process is to quit trying to assign blame on the issue.
The next step is to get some help from those who have been here before. (Us)
We think the best thing you can do right now is focus on your individual business to make it the best you can. Yes, this is not going to be easy, but others are doing it.
Additionally, please keep in mind the nature of your relationship with FXG. You are a vendor to them, NOT an employee who is looking for a handout. They will be treating you as such.
Those that decide to help themselves will be the ones that make it through the forest of economic doom. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.
You’ll need this part as we all move to “Contracting 2.0”.