Are you a freight broker who feels like you’re constantly running behind? You’re not alone. Freight brokers have a lot of responsibility, and it can be tough to stay on top of everything. But there are ways to become more efficient and make the most of your time.
In order to succeed in business, you need to juggle a lot of different tasks such as: prospecting for clients, moving loads, contacting carriers, billing, invoicing, customer service, and many more.
We’re going to show you how to become the most efficient freight broker possible. In this article, we’ll teach you how to maximize your efficiency and get the most out of your time. So keep reading this article to learn 3 BIG mistakes freight brokers make and learn how to fix them!
Mistake 1 – Too much overhead
Freight brokering is a simple business that requires little beyond a computer and a phone, and can be operated from anywhere in the world. The simplicity and low investment to get started is a big reason many of us got into the fright broker business to begin with. Consider hiring agents who can work from their homes and avoid costly rent and other expenses of office space.
Mistake 2 – Placing too many eggs in one basket
Having a large and diverse customer base is essential to the long-term success and health of your freight brokerage. It is easy to take the easy route and rely on those steady customers when things are going well, but never take your eye off the big picture. No matter how busy your brokerage is, carve out a portion of time to developing new leads for shippers, carrier relationships, etc. You never know when something unexpected may happen to one of your old favorites.
Mistake 3 – Slow Billing and Invoices
Let’s face it. It won’t matter how many loads you move if you’re not collecting the money. That’s why billing and invoicing are so critical to your business staying afloat. Even though you may be focusing your time on booking new loads and finding new shippers, invoicing and collecting is the heart of your business and will keep it going strong. Slow or delayed payments can mean the difference between success or failure for many businesses.
Without timely invoicing, your receivables will lag and you may find yourself in a very unpleasant cash flow crunch. Don’t let even a day go by between the time your load is completed and the invoice is sent to the shipper. The best solution is to automate this as much as possible. A big mistake many business owners make is telling themselves they’ll just manually invoice all the customers each week or month. BAD IDEA. That’s a formula for disaster. Why? It’s too easy to get caught up with the day-to-day tasks of running your business. Then the next thing you know, you’ve forgotten to invoice clients for weeks. You need to automate, automate, automate.
Mistake 4 – Not Focusing on Your Marketing
This might sound like a strange idea, but you MUST have effective marketing. Otherwise, sooner or later, you’ll run out of customers. It’s that simple. There’s good news though. You don’t have to dedicate huge amounts of time (or any time) if you are smart about it. The best way to handle this is to automate your marketing as much as possible.
First, you’ll need a way to collect email addresses from your website and automatically put them into a system to manage them. We recommend using MailChimp.com or ConstantContact.com. Make sure on your website that you have an easy way for people to join your email list. Next, you’ll want to set up your various social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and perhaps even YouTube.
Here comes the special sauce. Hire a writer each month to create a couple of blog posts about your business. Make sure they always have a strong “call to action” to get people to contact you about freight brokering. Now here comes the magic. You can set up your blog to automatically send these blog posts to all of your social platforms and blast it to your email list.
So for example, you write a blog post about a topic that would help or interest shippers. Then you add it to your blog and “blam”. It’s automatically sent out to your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and even blasted out to your email list on MailChimp. The best part is that you’re paying someone else to write the blog posts. That means YOU didn’t really do anything and you still have time to run your business.
Mistake 5 – Not Leveraging Technology
A great way to speed up your work and get more done is to leverage technology. Good quality freight broker software (AKA. a TMS) like LoadPilot can really help you stay on top of your business and move more loads in less time.
This system does everything from load management to accounting and much more. In fact, LoadPilot makes invoicing a snap. You’ll be emailing or faxing our invoices right from your computer with just a click of the mouse. Try it out for free on our 30-day Test Drive and start watching your bottom line get better.