CANADIAN BIG WHEELS
Surrey company talks about how they became one of the top 500 Businesses nationwide
Centurion Trucking owners Harpreet Kalsi (l) and Daman Grewal named BC's top trucking company.
BC GOVERNMENT CAUCUSóVOICE FILE PHOTO
anadian Business and Macleanís today ranked Centurion Trucking No. 131 on the 30th annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canadaís Fastest-Growing Companies. As per the rankings in the Transportation and Logistics Industry in BC, Centurion takes 1st Place. Centurion Trucking made the 2018 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 670%. As the readers of the Valley Voice News, I would like to share with you 3 strategies on how we accelerated our growth.
1.) Donít be scared to go all in. I found my opportunity to become an owner in Centurion Trucking in 2012. Prior to this I had already spent 15 years in the trucking industry learning all aspects of the business and saving all my pennies in the meantime. Not too many people realize that the journey to success lies well before the actual opportunity, and has a lot to do with the preparation. So once, I had the opportunity to go all in, I did.
Being in my mid 30ís I figured this would be one of my last opportunities to take risks. I had a wife, a mortgage, and a kid I had to worry about, and I knew how much time and financial resources the trucking industry could take. So I had no choice, but to think forward and knew I couldnít mess this opportunity up.
So in the beginning of the business I did everything I could, whether it was going door to door to do sales, to picking up drivers from the airport to help them with accommodations, and even giving them furniture from my own house to help them get started.
I drove trucks in from Colorado, picked up and delivered shipments, and would do minor repairs myself, just so we could keep both our drivers and customers happy. The long hours didnít bother me, and my mindset was to do everything possible to make sure I give the company the best chance to stand on its feet.
2) Build a Team There is only so much one person can do in a business that has multiple moving parts. From the beginning I had a partner who was given an equity stake in the business and was paid a salary for his hard work. He also happened to be the original owner of the business. However, he was unsuccessful in his attempts to grow the business on his own. When I approached him to grow the business, with him being the main operator of the business, he happily agreed. Since both of us did everything we could to get the business off the ground and brought different skill sets to the table, the partnership worked out great.
The main take away lesson here is, as an individual (or with the wrong team) the company didnít grow and was a one truck operation for years. As soon as we paired up and shared our skills together, the growth had started. From there we added to the team with skilled drivers, skilled office employees, and built good relationships that contributed to the growth of the company.
3) Donít become an Entrepreneur for the Money. From years of experience I was told many times that Greed and Dishonesty were the two main killers of any business. Also, being in business I knew that if I were to take any money out of the business, I would reduce the ability of the business to grow. During the first three years of the business, I didnít take a single pay check from the company and decided to reinvest 100% back into the company. The reason again to reinvest everything back into the company is because we wanted to ensure we had the best equipment (trucks and trailers) to do the job, the best drivers, the best employees to give the business the best chance to succeed.
The first few years are crucial to the success of the business. All it takes is a few major repairs on poor equipment, a bad driver, or even one major cargo claim to put a trucking company out of business. Itís a big numbers game in the beginning and having a long-term approach to realize the payouts will come in the future, is the mentality new businesses have to take in order to be successful. Most businesses take 4-5 years before you start seeing any returns, and depending on your growth strategy those returns can become much slower when youíre heavily investing back into the business to keep growing. Iíve seen many businesses fail due to poor planning and drained bank accounts.
We contribute much of our growth to the reinvestment we have done with only spending monies that were vital to the operation of safe vehicles so we could focus on drivers and our customers.
In conclusion, building a business usually involves lots of long hours and sacrifices to be successful. Have a long-term vision with passion for what you do, and then work hard to make it happen.
The road will have lots of ups and downs along the way, but if you keep course and remember why you started the business in the first place, you will succeed. Be sure you know your costs and have enough saved to get you through the growing pains of the business.
Even if you donít have any resources to do the business, remember what Tony Robbins says, ďItís not the Resources, but resourcefulness that ultimately makes the difference.Ē Which essentially mean, you donít need lots of capital to start a business, you just need the right resources. I hope this article helps all of you current and future entrepreneurs in your journey to success. My best wishes to all of you.
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