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Understanding Oil Contaminants

By Tom Bock

January, 2019

January is a time for reflection, resolution and planning. Take a few minutes to look back at 2018, what went right in your business and what didn’t go as planned. Ask yourself why? Was it pure luck that things went well, or did you properly plan and execute your plan? The answers should help you establish a workable plan for 2019 and help you establish New Year’s Resolutions that you can actually stick with to improve your business. Sure, you will make personal resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking or get in shape like most people but spend a little more time making business resolutions that will actually improve your business. From past experience I can tell you not to worry about the things you can’t control like will continued economic growth or if the dysfunctional government will do something to slow or stop it. Don’t spend time thinking about who will run for president in 2020 or how investigations will conclude, just concentrate on what you can control and set your plan.

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Start with the basics, what do you want your company to accomplish this year? Of course, you want to be profitable but dig deeper. Do you want to add additional trucks and drivers, update your equipment or slow down and plan for retirement? Look for items that need improvement and ways to eliminate or reduce the items that affected your operation negatively last year.

Here are a few examples of areas that can always use improvement; education you can always learn something, technology can help you save time, negotiation practices will help you secure the best possible pricing for loads and preventive maintenance will help eliminate excessive repair cost etc.

I hear it all the time I want to learn something new, but I just don’t have the time. I suggest you try audio books and listen while you drive. There are all types of topics that can help you improve your business from negotiation techniques to handling your finances. Time is money use it wisely learn something new rather than listen to the same old radio shows. 

On the technology front you can get some great information at the major truck shows throughout the year that will keep you up to date on all the latest time and money saving products available. If you have never attended a show schedule the Mid-America Truck Show 3/28-30 in Louisville or The Great American Truck Show 8/22-24 in Dallas. Those who have attended in the past almost always return after they have seen the benefits of being up to date and not staying stagnant.

Negotiation is a never-ending part of running a successful business. You need to deal with people every day and learning how to properly negotiate will protect you from making bad agreements and help you to secure fair and reasonable ones. Take the time to improve your negotiation skills.

One of the biggest drains on net income is maintenance expenses and no matter what you do you can’t eliminate them. A good preventive maintenance program that includes periodic inspection, review and adjustment will save you $$$ in the long run. Make sure you include oil sampling of engine, transmission and differentials in your plan. The oil sample results will help you identify potential problems and allow for corrective measures before you break down on the side of the road. Remember a dollar spent on prevention will save you hundreds in the end.

Review 2018 successes and failures, set goals and make a plan for 2019, follow the plan and you will surely have a Happy, Prosperous and Successful New Year.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this column, please email me at: tbock@horizoncp.biz.