Cousins Kay Poole and Chris Poole run a successful freight brokerage and carrier business thanks in large part to the training they received through ed2go in partnership with the University of North Florida.
Before diving into the industry, Kay didn’t have a background in logistics. But when an opportunity landed at her feet, she jumped at it. Now, she co-owns United Tribe Logistics and National Infinity Trucking with Chris. She knows she made the right career choice.
“I have to tell myself to go to sleep at night,” she said. “I love it.”
So, how did someone with no experience in the logistics go on to start a freight brokerage? It started with an online freight broker training course.
Limited Experience in the Field
Chris asked Kay to join him in his new venture.
“It was an odd start,” Kay said. “Chris was the one in logistics.”
As a a veteran truck driver, Chris previously owned a carrier business with partners. When he decided to strike out on his own, he saw a potential partner in his cousin.
Though Kay had run her own customer service business for the past eight years, she didn’t have broker authority or know the clear path to getting started. So, she agreed to take a freight broker course to understand the challenge ahead.
“I’ve seen the hustle and bustle of the industry,” Kay said, “but I truly didn’t know what it entailed.”
Freight Broker Training That Fit Their Schedule
A former student recommended ed2go to Kay and Chris. It turned out to be just the thing they needed to learn the nuances of the starting a freight brokerage.
“ed2go was different than other online courses I’ve taken,” Kay said. “I really enjoyed the way the course flowed and the material was easy to understand. There were real life examples and different learning materials that still help us operate a business. I even learned how about the marketing side of the business.”
To stay on track with her studies, Kay set a goal and made a schedule for herself.
“I was able to study when I wanted to and how I wanted to,” said Kay. “For one, I broke out the segments of the course and made my own schedule. I could easily pick up where I left off at night if I had done some during the day without worrying that I missed something.”
Kay and Chris took advantage of ed2go’s resources — they built relationships with their instructors, reached out when they needed assistance, and stuck to their schedule to finish in three months.
“There was so much I didn’t know thing about the logistics industry,” said Kay, “but I knew ed2go was my resource for success.”
Getting Started in a Tough Industry
When Kay and Chris completed their course, they officially became business partners.
Chris owned a truck, so they decided that their business would be both a brokerage and a carrier. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing even with the truck.
“We started out cold calling,” Kay said. “That was hard, but I tell everyone to take the ‘no’ because a ‘yes’ will come eventually. If someone says no, you’re just getting closer to the yes. One yes becomes two and two becomes four. You will succeed. Keep pushing forward.”
At first, they would take any business to establish a name in the industry. Kay didn’t worry how much they would earn or even where they would be carrying a load. She just wanted to get her foot in the door.
“Our first revenue was $450,” Kay said. “Baby steps! People would say, ‘Is that it?’ but I would say, ‘that’s not it, that’s our start.’ We would go back to our manual and the notes we took from the course as we started working in this business to make sure we had the terminology right and were following all the steps, and it started to pay off.”
Their next load netted them $3,000.
“We work from our homes,” Kay said. “Our expenses are around $4,700 per month, but now we’re pulling in about $25,000 a month. Look at what that first $450 check got us, because we didn’t quit!”
If you ask Kay, building a successful business is about building relationships.
Start small,” she said. “If you do one load for a company, you are building a relationship. Build the relationship and the business will grow. Focus on building the relationships versus building the business. Be honest and let people know that you’re new to the industry. They’ll help you. We got our first account with a company because people were watching who was doing load boards and reached out to us.”
Looking to the Future
With a lot of hard work and the right training, Kay and Chris found success.
They work with some of the biggest players in the logistics industry including England, Total Quality, Landstars, Coyote, and others.
Not long ago, Kay was running a load for another company and needed a refrigerated truck driver. She hired a driver from TruckStop.com, who recommended that she get in touch with a company he carried for. He made the connection and Kay ended up landing a new account.
“This client gave us dedicated lanes for refrigerated loads twice a week,” Kay said.
Breaking into the logistics industry was tough, she admits, but an online training course proved to be a vital resource to starting her journey.
Her advice to anyone looking to join the industry? Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
“I started not knowing anything about the logistics industry,” she said. “But I just knew that if I needed help, I had ed2go. Follow what the instructors tell you to do step-by-step. They’re experts and the course has everything you need to be successful in setting up your business. Was I afraid? Yes. Was I intimidated? Yes. But I did it and I’m loving it!”
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