When running a freight agency, there are seasons where you will weather storms. Whether it’s due to the national or international landscape or economy, or due to a challenge in your family or personal life, tough times happen. That’s just reality. We all face challenges and obstacles. You’ll feel the effects, and what’s taking place will shake up your routine. But with the right approach, these storms may offer an opportunity to lean into your business. Light and opportunity can be found even when things seem dim.
At Tallgrass Freight Co., our vision is to build the best freight brokerage in the country. And at the core of that vision is our excellent team of independent freight agents — all who have the perks of being their own boss, plus the joys of being part of a team.
If you think you’ve hit your limit, remember this: it’s not over yet. How you respond to a challenging season can set the stage for success through future difficulties. Here are our expert tips to thrive in difficult seasons.
Keep in touch with your clients.
First and foremost, your clients should be top of mind. Maintaining this customer service mindset is vital. Make a plan to touch base with your existing and future clients. Especially when you’re facing a rollercoaster season, a plan to connect with clients will keep you grounded — and will ensure your freight business stays strong.
Stay connected with a personal touch. Send lunch delivery to your clients’ office, or send them a gift card with a thoughtful thank you for their business. A quick email or handwritten note makes an impact too. You’ll be top of mind when their next shipment need arises . . . but even more importantly, you will have set yourself apart as someone who takes the extra step.
Be aware of changing needs — and meet them.
Continue to stay aware of the changing landscape, and how it affects your freight business. Whether the challenges you’re facing are personal or economic or international, there is always a need for product and there is always a need for freight. Now is the chance to find the need and fill it.
Look at the environment around you: What do people need? What product aisles are empty in the stores? Take that into account and contact the industries in most demand. Position yourself to be of service.
Take time to continue your education.
Use tough times to refresh yourself on how to thrive in the freight industry. Are you up to date on all policies and regulations? What are some outside factors that may start having an effect on the industry? How can you combat these? If you can get ahead of challenges, you’re much more prepared to face them head-on.
At Tallgrass, our leadership team helps agents grow their business every day. At our core, we serve agents as a valuable resource for what’s coming down the pike in the freight business and how you can take steps to grow — even during times of change. Camaraderie and community are central to education and growth.
Don’t give into distractions.
During a challenging time or season of life, it can be easy to give into distractions and slip away from your goals. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. But success happens when you change your focus, away from the difficulty and into the opportunity. Put yourself into a position of strength, facing this season head-on. Use this time to double-down on your business.
The moment you lose focus or let distractions take away from what you should be doing. When you feel yourself drifting, catch it early: rein it in, suppress it and get back on track. It’s just that simple.
If you make it a point each day to set yourself up for success, you may look back and realize that while things around you were chaotic, you thrived.
In a challenging season, navigating even one day can feel insurmountable. So shift your script to microplanning, a strategy recommended by our own founder Damon Anderson. Break your day into manageable sections that each have their own plan.
Try starting with just two hours. Plan what you’d like to accomplish in that short phase, with no breaks. You’ll be amazed what you can get done in just two hours! Fueled by all you’ve accomplished, take a break and then address your next time frame.
Work with your team.
Let’s face it: connections aren’t optional. We need a team. To really thrive, we need community. And during difficult times, it’s easy to pull away — but that’s exactly when we need to lean in most. Regardless of the challenge in front of you, depend on your team and your colleagues to help push through. Discuss your current struggles with them, ask for their advice — and listen well.Go back and make a plan to turn their guidance into action.
As the saying goes, smooth seas don’t make a strong sailor. Whether the challenges you’re facing are personal or global, your response makes all the difference — and you can thrive as a freight agent no matter the obstacles you face.
At Tallgrass, our team shares integrity, tenacity and ambition. You won’t find this anywhere else. Learn more about becoming an agent today.