As a savvy business owner, you know you should have a plan in place so you can make the most of your situation if unforeseen events require you to put your truck business for sale. But if you’re relying on the same 10 year exit strategy you wrote several years back, you may want to rethink your course of action. In the volatile trucking industry, just one regional, national, or international event can change everything in the blink of an eye, leaving a long-run plan null and void. Revising your exit strategy regularly may be the difference between staying in the game and watching your trucking business crumble from the sidelines.
Transportation companies that get tied up with or financially committed to very long strategic visions have no flexibility to adapt to challenges. This is exactly the scenario that Truett Cathy, founder of the popular Chick-Fil-A chain of chicken restaurants, has spent a career avoiding. Cathy has refused to settle on a strategy that requires more than a 6-month commitment. This tactic allowed him to switch tracks numerous times – from licensing his famous chicken sandwich to other restaurants to selling it in his own mall stores and, later, drive-thru restaurants – without altering his brand or reputation. The company has since launched successful billboard campaigns, introduced catering, and even begun a mobile events service. None of this would have been possible if Chick-Fil-A had held tight to a static business model.
Now, Cathy’s strategy may sound extreme to some – and transport trucks are certainly a far cry from chicken sandwiches. But the idea is the same. No matter what your industry, success requires the freedom to make strategic choices based on current events.
Updating Your Plan
You might think you’ve owned the same business all this time, but the reality is that your market, customers, and profit potential are always changing, sometimes subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly, with factors like the economy and government regulations. The business you own today will be different than the one you sell in the future. Regularly updating short-run exit strategies rather than relying on a single long-run plan ensures that you’ll always be in the right position to maximize your rewards when you put your freight brokerage business for sale. Actively revising your business plan and reviewing your finances will help you maintain an up-to-date exit plan. What else helps? Enlisting a team of experts who can offer the guidance you need to not only stay in the game, but to stay ahead.