It took me years of performing local moves before I decided to start hauling long distance. We would get calls every day from customers that wanted to use us to move them long distance. You know what we said? “I’m sorry but we only perform local moves” and then we would recommend them to one of the major van lines.
Was I tempted to put some long distance trucks on the road? Of course, I was! But I was not ready yet and I was focused on mastering my local business.
By focusing on my local business, it allowed me to keep improving my processes. Every day there was something that I noticed that could be tweaked or done better. So I kept tightening it up until there wasn’t much left to tighten up. If you want your company to run like a well-oiled machine, that’s what you need to do too.
I eventually got into long distance moving, but not until I had mastered my local business. There is plenty of money to be made in local moves without ever sending a truck out of state!
Too often companies overlook the details of their business and focus only on the “big picture”. Always having the big picture in mind is important for growth, but not at the expense of overlooking the details. When you start to tighten up the details, you’ll be amazed how much better your business starts to run. You’ll also start to see a natural increase in profit too.
A quick way to stress yourself out and go out of business at the same time is to be a Jack of all trades, master of none. Before you expand in any scenario whether it’s a new division of business or a new location, ask yourself one question:
Have I mastered my current business?
Expanding won’t solve your money problems, mastering your current business will.
Take a step back and look at areas of your business that you have not yet mastered. Now go master those areas, then plan your expansion.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode.]
Hey my friend, it’s Louis Massaro, author of 10 Rules of a Profitable Moving Company and founder of Moving Mastery. Today, I wanna talk about rule number five of 10 Rules of a Profitable Moving Company which is: Master what’s in front of you. This is such an important topic that I know a lot of people are struggling with. What does that mean? What does master what’s in front of you mean? Well recently, I was working with someone who was looking for different ways to grow their business and they wanted to become more profitable, they wanna make more money. It’s like the whole American dream. Everybody wants to make more money which is fine, that’s why you’re in business, but the dollars are in the details.
So, master what’s in front of you means before you… This person I was working with wanted to start interstate, they wanted to start long distance moving and they were only currently doing locals. But they didn’t really master their local yet and there were so much room for improvement with their local business and so many areas to tweak to become more profitable with their local business. So I said, “Why go and buy a truck for a long distance and try to do more?” And that’s the trap that a lot of us fall into which is we think that more means more money or more means more profit. And it’s not always the case because as you get into different lines of business, as you take on more responsibilities, there’s a lot that goes into that.
And when I started, I only did local moves, we had calls coming in every day for long distance. My major advertising source was Yellow Pages. I couldn’t decide whether I gotta call for a local move or a long distance move, I just got calls from people looking for movers. And there was some temptation there, I was like, “Wow, I’m getting all these calls already.” This is the logic that I know a lot of people go with and this is what pushes them into doing something they might not be ready for yet. So with me, it was like, “Wow, we’re already getting the calls, why not just get some trucks and put them on the road and start doing long distance?” And I knew, that wasn’t the right move yet. Because I didn’t master my local business, I still had things to tweak and improve and processes to put in place, it was not a fine-tuned machine like I later made it.
So master what’s in front of you. Don’t look at the next thing and the next thing and say, “Well, maybe I can get into a different business. The moving business, I’m not making enough money here.” You’re not? Do you feel that you’ve mastered the business? Do you feel that you’ve done everything you can to take the trucks you have, the office, the warehouse, the staff, whatever, or if it’s just you. Have you done everything you can to maximize what you have? And you’ve done that and you still aren’t making money? Well, how is that possible if there’s other people in the business making money? How is it possible that there’s people that are becoming millionaires in this business and you wanna go get into a different business or you feel that you need to get into a different line of work?
I’m not saying any of this to discourage anybody from moving forward, I’m saying this for everybody, all of us, me. I grew pretty quickly myself. I grew probably faster than I should have with opening up all my locations. And I was kind of mastering it along the way and it was tough, but the one thing that I was very happy that I did was I focused on mastering the local before I got into long distance. We get calls every day and we just recommend them to one of the van lines. “Sorry, we only perform local moves, call this van line or call that van line.” And that’s what we did because if you don’t focus on what you have in front of you and make sure that you have it under control, going into a different line of the business or a different business is only gonna distract you even further. Don’t be a jack of all trades. If you’re jack of all trades, you’re not gonna be profitable.
You have to focus in on what it is you’re doing now, make that the best you can, tighten that up, become more profitable in that area, use these 10 Rules of a Profitable Moving Company. If you’re not, if you didn’t download the book, the e-book of my website, and you’re not looking at all 10 rules and say, “Am I doing all of these right now in my business?” do that. More isn’t always better. The next thing isn’t always better. It’s not always greener. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. So mastering what’s in front of you is so, so important. What is it you need to learn? Where are you struggling? You have to look at where you’re struggling.
When I started, I didn’t know what I was doing. I would just look at the areas where I was struggling and then I looked for resources and ways to improve in those areas. So where is it you’re having trouble? Is it sales? Is it customer service? Is it leadership and management? Are you having a tough time managing your crews? Is it the marketing? Is it just business processing, getting everything in a nice system that’s organized, that works consistently? Figure out where you can improve on what’s in front of you before you go to the next thing. Because when you go to the next thing, I hate to tell you, you’re gonna have the same frustrations, you’re gonna have the same problems you’re having now.
Even if you decide, “I don’t wanna be in this business anymore, I wanna go do a different business,” master it first, then go and get into another business. Business is business. It’s not a matter of the moving business versus whatever other business. The principles are still the same. So focus on what’s in front of you, master what’s in front of you, learn what you need to learn, take online courses, read books, speak to people, do some research. Do what you need you need to do to master what’s there because that’s where the profits are. If you try to go into something else, you’re gonna have to spend money to get into something else. Look around and say, “What do I have now? What is everything that I have that I could work with now? How can I tighten this up? How can I make this better? How could I make this more profitable? Who do I need to hire? Who do I need to fire? What do I need to learn?”
Again, I’m a big proponent of learning. I believe learners are earners. I feel that that’s what made me successful, is that early on, I figured out what it is I was struggling with and I went and learned how to overcome it. It doesn’t just happen, nobody is just born with the ability to master business. You don’t need to go to business school to do it, you just need to be able to look and sit back and look at your situation and say, “What do I need to get better at? What do I need to improve? What do I need to master that’s already here in front of me?” Make that list, take out a piece of paper, make the list of what you need to master, go master it and then decide if you want to get into this or you want to get into that.
But I can tell you, if you master what’s in front of you, your confidence is gonna go through the roof and you’re gonna be more profitable. And then if you decide to get into something else, you’re doing it because it’s the right decision and it’s a calculated decision and not that you’re just reaching for something different. So follow this rule, it will help you become more profitable, it will help you focus in on the different areas and the details of your business where you can make more money and I’ll see you next time. Profit in business, thrive in life, have a good one.