There are a lot of adjustments to transitioning from a freight broker to a freight broker agent, but one that doesn’t get talked about enough is adapting to the life of a home business owner. We’ve offered resources for how to write a business plan, file your taxes, and even estimate what you might make, but what about your day-to-day. Millions of people have gotten their first real taste of working from home since the beginning of the pandemic, and while many have enjoyed it, there have been struggles. When you become a freight broker agent, you may need to adjust to both working from home and running your own business. Working from home already involves potentially handling a new set of distractions; what do you do when you’re now the person in charge of holding yourself accountable for your work as well?
Let’s start with the good news: you obviously wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t worth it for you. Starting your own freight broker agency and working from home means no more daily commute, setting your own goals, priorities, and hours, and huge earning potential. Partnering with a company like LDI means doing all of that while still having a major infrastructure supporting you, taking away a major risk factor in starting a business and allowing you to focus on sales and customer service.
If you are focused and dedicated, working from home can be perfect for you. Depending on your commute now, eliminating it could mean working more hours while still having more personal time. Being your own boss and making your schedule offers flexibility for items in your personal life as well. Long term, being able to sell your book of business or hire a manager to run day to day operations can be a great way to ensure a good retirement. All the challenges you may face working from home and running your own business are a risk with a potentially fantastic payoff.
Balancing Work and Family
Now, this obviously isn’t going to apply to everyone, but plenty of you have a spouse and children. As soon as you start a business working from home, you’re going to find that you’re walking a fine line. Not only are you facing the challenge of your family potentially distracting you from work, it’s important not to let work distract you from your family. The two need to be kept in the balance that works best for you and your family, and that’s all the more difficult because working from home intermingles them more than any other setup. We talked about managing expectations in our blog on communication, and this might be a good time to put those practices to use with both your clients and your family. However you plan to balance responding to your clients and spending time with your family, everyone needs to be on the same page.
One of the big fears in working from home with a family is that your kids or pets will interrupt during an important meeting, but this is one concern you probably don’t need to lose sleep over. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen countless incidents of Zoom meetings being awkwardly interrupted. As a reminder, the reason we’ve seen most of those things is because no one was upset and the videos were lighthearted, entertaining glimpses into very understandable situations. It’s important to keep a quiet, focused workspace for meetings and all the rest of your work, but don’t panic if there’s an interruption. Our society is finding working from home more and more commonplace, even admirable, and as long as it doesn’t derail your call completely or happen all the time, you’ll be able to recover easily and maybe even enjoy a moment of levity.
Office spaces are frequently designed specifically to be drab, uninteresting facilities with very little to distract you from your work. Your home probably isn’t designed that way. Even more important than cubicle walls and ergonomic desks though, offices have other people in them. Most professionals aren’t being forced to stay on task by a manager monitoring their behavior, but there’s always that little bit of pressure that comes from the fact that the person in the next office over is working hard as well. A little bit of competitive spirit goes a long way in the office, and for that matter so does worrying that you’re being judged if you go get coffee too many times.
Working from home, none of that is a factor, so you have to make sure that you’re self-motivated. We discussed setting annual goals and breaking them down into smaller goals in our blog on sales goals, and having a daily goal is a good way to make sure your motivation stays high. You wouldn’t be in a position to start your agency without being motivated, but even the most driven person has lulls, and needs to employ tricks to keep pushing through those long days. The worst times can be when you haven’t landed a new customer in a while and you’ve heard more “no” answers than you’re used to, so remember not to get discouraged.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
The great thing about starting a Freight Broker Agency is how much of the work you’ve already done if you’re in the freight industry, and how much is already done for you if you join a company like LDI. Looking at this list of 10 Tasks to Do Before Starting Your Home Business, step ones and two are picking a product or service and learning the market. If you’re a freight broker, you’ve already done that. You know that your experience is critical in getting off on the right foot, and your existing contacts will be a great source of leads as you start out. Step three is making sure you can do the tasks that need to be done, and so much of that is handled by LDI’s support team, 90,000+ carrier network, and TMS.