Lessons Learned from Our Company Leading Logistics Experience
No one works for free. Yet, in multiple industries, many people do not work out of a passion for number crunching, dollar counting and fiduciary manipulation. There are specific skills required for managing your books, and these can often be daunting for people who have entered to earn money, yet also want to do so because they are passionate about the nature of their work. Hence there are many businesses in the field of transportation that excel in the delivery, but lack some of the financial acumen needed to comfortably earn. Don’t be one of them.
Balancing the books
The first and most basic skill goes back to the basics of addition and subtraction taught in school. Any logistics company will have a multitude of tasks at hand, ranging from work managing itineraries and orders to the details of keeping track of customers and clients. The weight and intricacy of this work, especially as a business grows, can lead to messy or neglected financial books. Even if you hire an accountant, it is important to take responsibility for the skills needed to balance costs versus expenses across the full range of your business activities.
Risk haunts all business ventures – but it needn’t be such a terror. In fact, for a logistics company, as for any other company, the evaluation of risk is a measure of future potential. Managing risk does not only mean reducing the chances of financial loss but also looking ahead to options for gain. To know how to evaluate risks in your market helps you direct your business.
Planning for growth
There is always a need to plan for growth in a logistics company. But a growth plan is not merely ambitions and dreams, it construes the capacity to weigh up assets against debts and project earnings – ultimately it is a financial skill. The ability to draw an accurate picture of just how you can spend and save for future growth is crucial to any business. This skill involves taming mere wishes with the cold hard numbers of what you expend and what you can borrow.
Debt is a necessary part of good business, but it has also rightly earned its reputation for being dangerous. A solid financial skill is being able to evaluate the many offers for credit made to a logistics company then carefully deciding which can be used for the greatest gain and the simplest pay off. Well-managed debt and solvency gives an organisation the chance to expand, but also prevents them being slaves to interest payments.
Most people do fairly well at measuring the cash they have in hand, but the assets you have in your company often present a more tangible value. Knowing how to borrow against these assets, insure them, chart their value and buy and sell assets in general may not seem to be the bread and butter of transportation work. But it does assure you the means of protecting the heart of your finances against economic upheaval.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub and logistics company for trading haulage work in the express freight industry. Over 2,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.
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