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introduction to freight brokering

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Freight Brokering: a Family Business Opportunity

Depending upon your particular personal situation, you may be sitting on a gold mine of wealth – right inside your family. Freight brokering is an ideal family-type business that can be started from a home office, or elsewhere, and even passed on from generation to generation.

Here are several tips to consider that may help you pull your family together on your venture. Some of these tips may be obvious but it doesn’t hurt to take go over these again to give some food for thought.

For sure, some families are just not cut out to work together. There is no sense in trying to put people together if they are not compatible.

These tips are for families that may work well together and are open to creating something that is different in scope outside the family. If you have very young children, you may have to wait. If your children are older, they may be ready to be nurtured. For sure, if children are in grade school or high school, this may be the ideal ages to get them involved especially if they express an interest in doing so. Let’s get started now.

Start Simple – if your children are in grade school, explain to them in general terms what a freight broker is, what they do and how they help both shippers and motor carriers. You, of course, as a professional could go into a lot of detail – but starting out, keep it simple.

Ask them occasionally if they have questions. They may not any. They may not have grasp enough idea of what brokering is and questions may be hard to formulate for them. Give them little projects starting out without overwhelming them.

Initial Little Projects – here are several ideas for simple projects to get them started.

  • Let them file papers for loads that have been completed. As they get more familiar with some of them (the invoices, bills of lading, confirmations, FMCSA grant letters, etc.), they may come up with questions.
  • Let them fax or email the set-up packages to shippers and carriers. Let them take incoming faxes and staple them together before filing. Don’t expect them to do jobs like YOU would do them. If you can “control” yourself, teach them WHAT to do more so than HOW to do it.
  • Show them a couple of logistics related websites, especially if there are good photos that help reinforce understanding about the industry. Let them surf the Internet for transportation-related websites.
  • As they get older, let them reconcile bank statements or create invoices and check payments. Hey, at some point, why not let them make collection calls if this is necessary.
  • Let them search the Internet for potential customers, let them compile a list of company names and phone numbers, let them actually make phone calls to identify shippers who use freight brokers.
  • As they mature in knowledge and skills, let them handle some loads by themselves – especially if they have found the load on their own.
  • As you are working with your children, teach them by example, one step at a time. Give them projects, show them what the end goal is and let them make mistakes or ask “dumb” questions.

Don’t spend a lot of time trying to explain the entire process early on – just work one task at a time. At some point, they will put the whole picture together themselves based upon your guidance and in ways that make sense to them. They may become your best creative resources.

Family businesses are REAL businesses often times making REAL good money while keeping the family in tact. Guess what? YOU can do it too! The opportunity is there but it does require action. Want to be knocking out over $500 million a year? Read this short article: Families in Logistics

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