Let’s face it, regardless of how much planning we do, somethings just don’t go the way they are planned. A family vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare. Hosting a party can quickly become a regret once clean up begins. A little more significant than a get together with friends or a family getaway is starting your own business. Months, if not years, can be spent making plans, and waiting for everything to perfectly fall into place. Still, after all this, it’s not uncommon for things to go wrong after just a couple of years.
Researching The Wrong Areas
After spending about 14 months researching the trucking industry, I finally made the decision to start my own business. I studied a few companies that had been successful in my area. Months went into comparing their equipment and the brands they used compared to other companies that weren’t doing so well.
I was able to find out the rates they were charging customers and discovered the companies that charged the least per mile had the best results over time. Probably the most difficult research was learning the positions inside the companies other than drivers. I looked at what departments within the business the companies had who were making the most profit.
I spent time going over as many details as possible, other than budgeting my own finances. I launched my business and tapped into every means of credit that was available. The majority of the lenders I borrowed from gave me a six month grace period before the first payments were due.
I still can’t believe the amount of money I brought in those first six months. I hadn’t planned on how quickly word of mouth would travel, bringing on more business than I had initially planned for. After seeing deposit after deposit, several of my lenders showed no hesitation when it came to increasing my limit.
Digging A Hole
I didn’t spend enough time calculating how much the monthly payments were increasing between all of the loans. All I could focus on were the checks and deposits I had coming in each week. By the end of my second year in business, the frustration was more than I could bare.
Due to many bad decisions and a lack of planning ahead, I was in debt and bankruptcy appeared the only way to get ahead. During a call when I was asking a lender for a longer grace period, he mentioned that it may be in my best interest looking into a consolidation loans.
The majority of the debt I had accumulated had been through personal and business credit cards. I scheduled a meeting at my bank with a loan officer to go over my options. He showed me how I was not only failing to get ahead, I was actually digging a bigger hole with the interest I was paying.
Breathing Fresh Air
We went over the list of credit cards I had pushed to the limits and calculated how much of my payment went towards the principle of the debt compared to how much was being spent towards interest. When I compared the interest rates, I realized that I needed to increase my payments dramatically. Quickly, I started putting as much revenues as I could to pay off the debt quickly.
The next few months were not easy by any means. Money was tighter than it had been my life. But, after nine months, the work and tight spending finally started paying off. I was slowly getting my head back above water. It has been two years since that meeting at the bank and establishing a debt reduction strategy. My business is stronger than ever. And I am finally able to financially enjoy all of the hard work.
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