HomeAll VideosTHESE ARE THE RISK CATEGORIES BUSINESS OWNERS NEED TO SOLVE.
THESE ARE THE RISK CATEGORIES BUSINESS OWNERS NEED TO SOLVE.
November 2, 2023
I’ve learned a lot through failure, and I plan to learn a lot more! Failure is just unavoidable sometimes. But learning from others can reduce our failure risk. Some careful planning and sometimes just plain advice from those who have been there before us are pain reducing tools!
So I’ll tell you the risk categories for my business as I see them, and how I think about each.
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They were just going to throw away all Of my intransit equipment with them so They were they were forcing me to pay This money that I didn't authorize or They were going to throw away all of my In transit stuff that customers had Already paid for I had already paid for And was in transit with them and then Build me for it too they're going to Build me for those init shipments as Well so I I don't know I mean this is I Hate doing this it's probably one of the Things that I hate most about the job Because I just don't really have control Over it we're going to take some time Talking about risk today and as my Cameraman brother just said no risk no Reward and that is not really the focus Of uh this video so much as it's more Risk mitigation or you know hedging your Bets um lowering your risk and I've Talked a lot About How your comfort level with risk should Well would and should get lower um with Time time right with experience with Doing things over and over something That seems risky in the beginning maybe Going on facing a fear of going on a Roller coaster right that's way up in The sky you only have a seat Bel or one Strap holding you in and you do it a 100 Times and you see all the other hundreds And thousands of people doing it and you
Get a comfort level it's just it's Really not that risky we're flying right All sorts of things you think of risk Generally as a monetary thing like Dealing with cash dealing with money Taking risks um but in business there Are a lot of different categories of Risk in different areas of your business And I want to go through those and tell You how I mitigate those risks and you Know I I always like to think that if I'm if I'm looking back 10 years in the Future looking back in this video That I well maybe some of my answers are The same but I would like to think that I have a totally different perspective Right that's 10 more years of Experience that some things say man Courtney you had no idea What you were talking about or that's Great to see what you learned then and You know and then where I've where I've Come to that 10year future me you know And and so this is just a a stopping or A data point along the journey you know I'm 41 almost 42 I've been self-employed For a while I've started several Businesses I've bought business and sold Business I've worked for uh big Corporations Fortune 250 corporations I've worked for small businesses I've Just had a lot of experience and that's Good and bad you know I've I've um well Working for myself has been the longest
Time I've been employed for anybody so I' I've jobbed hopped a bit and and gone Around and that's given me a lot of Different insights too uh a lot of good And and some bad and I try to capitalize On on that experience so anyway the Categories we're going to talk about Today are going to be uh in no Particular order security all right uh Labor Inventory advertising revenue streams And then shipping which is not going to Apply to a lot of you but it well maybe It will it definitely applies to me so I Want to I'll tack that one on towards The end so uh let's start with security All right and I just jot it down I just Got a I open up a when I do these videos Lots of times not lots of times Sometimes when I do these videos I open Up just an email and I jot down some Notes and I save it as a draft and so Then I just pull it up when I'm going to Do a video and go through it and so the Notes I down for security were building Website inventory and insurance so Building security actual physical Security so a year and a half ago we Bought a new building and it was empty For 3 years it was at the it was the Only business in a business park it's at The the culdesac at the end of the Business park um lot of vandalism around There a lot of trash that gets dumped on
That road even either while we were in The purchase process or right after we Signed on it you know and go out to the Property and the building before we Moved in somebody dumped a trailer load Of trash right behind it it's just there Was a homeless guy living in a shed Behind our property it we needed Security and so I I wanted to utilize The building but we had three acres and I wanted to utilize the outside storage Space as well so we put a fence up with Barb Wire on top we put uh High capacity or whatever illumination Flood lights all the way around the Building we put security cameras um like The best ones I can find a Vigilant uh Which is another story but we put those All the way around and inside as well we Have a security system out there we've Got a junkyard dog no we don't I keep Thinking we should get a junkyard dog That'd be kind of cool but uh we got a Lot of layers of security out there and These Are mostly onetime expenses right the Gate or the uh the fence has a gate Needs some power we had to run power out There for that kind of thing but that's All said and done once it's there it's a One-time expense yes maybe there's some Repairs or we have to replace something Way down the road but once it's paid for It's there um security cameras we pay to
Have there's like some monitoring stuff That goes on with that security system Was already there but we pay for a Monthly service for that um the lights Just an electric bill you know when They're on in the evening so there's Major onetime expenses and then a little Bit of recurring costs there but Um that sucks to have to do that that Doesn't add to the I'm not providing a Value added service to my customers to My my products for doing that so that's All risk Mitigation um and in some ways you need To have these things in order to be Insurable and so that's being insurable Is a requirement to me in business and So um it's different for everybody in Every business and there's going to be Different requirements that you need to Do but that was ours for the Website okay I I we don't well for a long time we Didn't have a physical storefront and my Website was in essence my physical Storefront and so you think of a Mortgage on a building and a piece of Property well paying for the website Design and then the Website Maintenance Um as its own mortgage payment basically Although it's a big one um that's a huge Animal to to deal with and so I have Insurance actually in case my website Gets hacked and I know of others in in
The industry and and folks that I've Worked with that have had their uh Ransomware uh their website been down For months on end until they pay the Ransomware or uh a virus comes through And wipes things out there's there's Huge interruptions and and for me if my Website went down I mean it's like That's a that's one of the biggest Problems that I could think of that Could happen to my business was my Website going down and so having a good Team that's there to troubleshoot things Uh working with good web part partners With web servers and uh payment gateways And encryption companies and and Everything else on top of having Insurance for business disruption Insurance in case my website does go Down is critical to me inventory all Right so uh security for that that comes Into play with all the the levels for The building that we talked about and Then insurance for that equipment as Well so if there was a fire um or if Somebody plowed through the gate and Brought in I don't know a big Semi-trailer and loaded everything up And all the way you know something crazy Uh we have coverage for that right and So Um again all of these costs have to be Accounted for right this Is this is this is trying to run a
Business and make a profit and still Account for all of these costs and I'm Just getting started I mean it's it's Nuts to think about so the the Investment that you have to make the Bigger that you get right and this Didn't happen overnight this has been an Evolution I started as a hobby selling Tractors out of my garage and then moved Into a part-time business and got a Storage space down the road and was outs Size you know outgrew that for like two Years three years whatever it was until It was we finally moved and found a Place and and got settled in but this Didn't all happen overnight all right so I you know no matter where you're at in The stage right if you're just planning If you're if you're where I was at as a Hobby if you're where I was at as a Part-time where I was at working out a a Storage space or maybe you're Way Beyond Me right hopefully there's just a nugget Of information or maybe some reassurance Assurance is all you need um to know That you're on the right track or to Make those Wheels start churning in your Head and and taking a different Direction that's something I find Oftentimes right if I listen to a whole Book maybe there's just one idea or one Concept that I found that related to me And it makes the whole book worthwhile Listening to um because it turns my head
Into a different direction and lets me Explore a whole new Avenue or a whole New Path that either I didn't think was Worth doing or I never knew about or Whatever all right so labor let's talk About the risk involved with labor all Right and I've got the notes hiring okay Like when to hire folks redundancy Interesting one growth and then giving Up bits of control I'd like to start With giving up bits of control and so Again this being my business from the Ground up I had all the control I had Every responsibility for every decision That was made and then at the end of the Day it's my company and and at least I Like to think I still have power and Control over every decision being made But at the end of the day when you start Hiring employees you want to empower Them you you have to let go of some of That and understand that they are not You and they are never going to do Things the same way that you are even if You tell them the exact same way you got To give up some of that control and Inherently that comes with risk that They're going to know enough about your Business about how you the concept of How you want to run your business the Standards that you're looking for and Let them do it in their own way as long As the main objectives the things that
Are important align with your goals and With your character and with Your your your principles Then it's something that I still Struggle with I guess is where I'm at so I say these things out loud sometimes Just to Reiterate what I need to work on so Let's talk about hiring in general Hiring my first empy was the hardest one Um for a long time I thought I never Wanted any employees and I could have Kept my company to that size it would Have been severely limited right there's Only so much you can do with your own Time and it's the most profitable time If you know how to use it when you hire Somebody else you can make more money But it's less profitable that makes Sense it doesn't mean you shouldn't grow Right I I have now found it to be a good Responsibility To to hire folks to to provide jobs I Try to provide really good wages I try To provide really good benefits um a Really good working environment I want To be as flexible as I can I want it to Be a place that you would never want to Leave Um but it's tough right finding the Right employees is tough taking a risk Anytime you hire one is tough you never Know we've had a lot of not a lot we had A few folks come through that look great
On paper look great in interviews and You find out the first day or week that Boy that is I don't you're a really good Actor so hiring is tough I don't have a Great answer for that other than we do Seem to be getting better at it the more That we do it um each position that you Hire I feel like you need to be able to Justify their existence And that means maybe you're hiring a new Sales guy right well that's in easy one Because you can correlate increased Sales to hiring that sales guy you know But if I'm hiring um maybe just another Warehouse position that's we've already Got four guys out there packing up Shipments and I'm going to hire a fifth One well why am I doing that and so That's where it leads me Into the topic of redundancy and that's On a couple Of of fronts and so the first level of Redundancy is in case we do have to let Somebody go or somebody quits or Somebody's sick or somebody wants to go On Vacation my business can't be dead in The water and we're just not shipping Out orders because so and so isn't there That day or that week I need to have the Manpower there in order to still get the Work done customers don't care so it's It's just this crazy ju position of Customers always wanting the cheapest
Price the best value and the business Having to roll up all of these costs and Account for things and still make money I'm not wor working for free I want to Make a profit and so it's just is you Know if I hire a whole other guy just to Have him there for when things go wrong That's thousands and thousands and Thousands and thousands of dollars out Of my pocket just as my own insurance Policy for that so on the same concept I Want the redundancy because I don't want Any one person at my business to be the Only person that knows how to do Anything I want there to be a minimum of Two people that know how to do Everything everything from packing up Orders to working a forklift to um Answering a phone to printing a shipping Label To whatever it is right it it doesn't Matter what it is and for the most part We have a lot more redundancy than that But I'm just saying look at your Business if you've got one person that Knows how to do whatever it is that's a Huge business risk and so that's one of The other reasons why you know and it's Been tough to find good employees it is Getting easier through the pandemic it Was brutal to find good employees um the Market is changed in and shifting a bit So it's making that easier but um it Also helps you account for growth right
You're either growing or you're Shrinking so it you're you're just not Staying level that's impossible to do You're either getting better or you're Getting worse and if you have the Mindset you're going to get Better and even I think having that Extra employee there for example helps You plan or maybe even put pressure on Yourself to keep that growth going right And so that can be a good thing um Because you're you're you can't stay Even That's just not realistic so uh for me I'm always planning on growing okay Inventory next one all right and so we Already talked about ensuring the Inventory but I'm talking about buying Inventory I hate inventory I hate it I Love it because you got to have things To sell but I hate it tie up a lot of Money in inventory right and it's the Old 8020 rule you got 20% of the stuff That does 80% of the sales and you got 80% of the stuff that makes up 20% right And the problem is is that that's Sometimes a moving Target and for Me I have to order my seasonal equipment Way in advance and in fact we Interrupted this video to talk to one of The manufacturers because an orders got To get placed now they're already out Until March and every time I put it off Another day it affects the the arrival
Date the estimated arrival date when the Equipment comes in the Spring I have to do all of this based on What I think's going to happen next year I have to this order is probably I don't Know it's Uh about a million bucks give or take That I have To risk I'm putting risking that I'm Going to sell this stuff next year on The certain sizes the models the Configurations all that kind of thing Plan for growth plan for shrinkage I I Don't know I mean this is I hate doing Doing this it's probably one of the Things I hate most about the job because I just don't really have control over it Right I mean I can manipulate things in Some ways but at the end of the day I Don't have a ton of control and some Products sell themselves and I like to Think all my products do but from season To season the size of attachments change That people want you know like I I could Have 48 60 72 84 96 and box blades and Last year we couldn't keep enough 48s in Stock this year it was 60s and 72s in 48s we were fine on it's why what Changed from year to year so when you Have to carry all of this different Stuff it's uh it's troubling so I've Been working for myself to come up with A solution to this and it's not perfect And it's not foolproof but working with
Manufacturers to try to um sort of do an On Demand right and sometimes they have Certain high volume products at the Manufacturers facilities that they have In stock and when you guys plac orders Or when customers Place orders we can Just send the order into the Factory and Then ship it right to you and then a lot Of other ones are going to have pretty Quick lead times you know two three Weeks sometimes one two weeks sometimes Four weeks in the pandemic things were 3 Four five 6 months at certain points Most things are not that long anymore There's certain products that still are Um and so that's becoming more Attainable to do that with the right Manufacturers the agricultural industry In general is very old school it's like A lot of it's stuck in the 1950s and 60s Kind of like the show Madmen I don't get It and those are the companies where When I said you either you're either Growing or you're or you're dying those Are the companies that are in my opinion Going to be dying unless they change It's just a archaic way of doing Business and they need to be able to Change with the times Or I'm going to leave them in the dust Um so that's an aspect of risk that Again a business business owner carries And you need to figure out a solution to Manage and that's how I'm trying to
Manage and get around that that risky Area there next topic all right revenue Streams a little bit of diversification If you only have one way that you Generate income that is a huge business Risk and that would keep me awake at Night if uh there's only one way that I Made money because not only is that my Income and my business and reflective of All the time and the years and the hours That I put into it it's also all my Employees right I have a Responsibility to get them a paycheck Week in and week out forever they have Families they have their own bills they Have life they have everything else Going on and so I take that Responsibility seriously and so I want To mitigate that risk and you should too And even if you're not looking at it as Risk mitigation you should look at it as Growth Opportunity because times always change All right and what's good now may be Good in the future but it may na be and You really don't have a way to know that Predictions are only predictions they Are not guarantees and so if you can Have different Avenues Of uh creating income uh creating Revenue for your business then you're Better off right I use attachments as One I actually started off selling just Tractors that was my Revenue stream when
I was back when I was a hobby in a Part-time business but then folks wanted Attachments and so I got into offering Attachments as well as tractors and so That's two different revenue streams Right that you have one bucket selling a Tractor you have another ET selling Attachments when somebody buys both Fantastic um but there two different Markets because you have folks that are Shopping for tractors and then you have A huge pool of folks out there that Already have tractors and need different Attachments for new projects or tasks That they have to do around their house So that's two different Avenues there And then I have companies that I work With that I don't want to carry their Products I already have enough as it is And we do affiliate relationships or Partnerships where you can use a Discount code I don't I don't have to Worry about stacking all the 500 things that they sell you can go Right to their website that's already Set up and laid out and has the pricing And everything else and I can still Advertise it like I'm selling the Product like I something I physically Carry but it's just you deal directly With them and and some of these Products I I know enough to be dangerous But I don't know the products in and out Like the back of my hand and Summit
Hydraulics is a good example I can Explain Hydraulics to you but knowing Every fitting and and every way Everywhere to plug something in not an Electrical side of things or whatever it Is and how to make it all work you're Much better off going right to the Source the company that made designed Manufactures these Hydraulics Solutions Than going through me and so that's like A perfect example of where I can still Advertise and show you guys about it um Because that's kind of my Niche is Showing all these folks things that are Hopefully helpful and handy and uh and Productive and then you can buy it Through their site save some money with A discount code I can still get a Commission off of it that way and then If you need the support you can talk Directly to the source which is your Best way to get information and support So um you know affiliate stuff uh uh Tractors tractor attachments uh Sponsorships with rimgard we're Sponsored by rimguard um used to be with Bora and you know we mix things up over Time right and that's another good Revenue stream there they just all kind Of build up right so that's not saying All these things necessarily apply right To your business but you need to look For those different buckets or those Different
Streams maybe it's slow in one category Because of a seasonal thing or uh maybe You're backordered can't get supply or For a variety of reasons and when one's Down maybe another one's picking up or At least helping you stay above water Right so that's a very important thing That no matter what your business is Even if it's even if it's a service Business you can still diversify revenue Streams in a service business too it Doesn't have to be physical inventory All right this one Advertising that is a risk that Um you got to you got to put the money Out there so I mean there's yes there's Free ways to advertise and I would Encourage anybody to take advantage of Social media uh that's I actually didn't Start out on YouTube because I was Advertising or wanting to advertise I Started out on YouTube Because frankly I was tired of answering The same question over and over and over And over and so um I started making Videos on how to do certain things or What certain things are or whatever just Common topics that came up that people Asked and so I had a nice complete clear Video that encompassed all the Information that I wanted to share and I Could just send a video link and say hey Here's a here's a great thorough answer Here's this should be everything you
Need to know instead of having to type Out a draw out email or have a Conversation where I can't remember half The things I said yesterday so I mean It's way easier to have a a reference a Permanent reference there um that you Can just go back to and check time and Time again saves me a lot of time again Getting back to the there's only so much Time in the day and Then that just kind of evolved into a Whole marketing Thing my first like 200 videos or Something you couldn't even see my face On camera part of that cuz I was holding It and two I didn't think anybody want To see my face they probably still don't And three I didn't have you know I I Started using a tripod and getting my Face on there uh somebody recommended I Do that And then it just kind of evolved so had No no clear path that was going to be a Um an advertising method but that's one Of the cheapest ways that you can do it And you're going to have to find what Sticks and what clicks for you could be YouTube could be Facebook could be Instagram could be whatever um the other Platforms don't work nearly as well for Me as uh Facebook does and YouTube So the other ways are paid advertising Right Facebook ads Google ads YouTube Ads print ads all sorts of ways to pay
Right and there are for me ways that are Way better than other ways and uh a lot Of that's trial and error you got to Spend some money for a certain amount of Time and find out if it's working for You or not and then you can always dial It back in but that is a risk that You're taking you have to have this is Where like a budget number for your Advertising spend comes into play so you Can have kind of your your Staples of What you know you're going to spend Money on and then you have a little bit Of that leftover stuff where you can go Experim And see if there's any of these other Avenues or any other methods of getting The word out there about your product if Any of those work and then that's how You can explore and expand and really uh Push those limits then if you do find Some new way to adver advertise and and Collect eyeballs to your website or to Your business all right final one for You those of you in the shipping world That you have to deal with ups with FedEx with LTL Freight with Freight Haulers well I deal with all the above All right we send a lot of stuff UPS Ground a ton of stuff we send a lot of Stuff LTL Freight like the semi trucks You know where you put stuff on a pallet And they're delivering things all over The place and then we sell or sell a lot
Of things a hot shot right whether That's uh could be tractors or it could Be oversized pieces of equipment Generally speaking if it's something is 8ot or longer in a certain dimension in The width of the length then we're going To put that on a hot shot there's Sometimes certain routes certain Carriers that will take uh pieces of Equipment that are 8ot they charge a big Oversized charge to do so um so we'll Weigh those pros and cons and sometimes Still send them on a hot shot trailer Versus LTL Freight but shipping is a big risk and Unsurprisingly I have a whole separate Insurance po policy just for Freight and So again this cost has to be accounted For every you know when you see the Price of a product on my website I'm doing things the right way I guess Is what I'm trying to say I am I am not Going to be a fly by night I'm not going To be a Leia hanging out to dry type of Dealer right I mean I I try to partner With good manufacturers I try to partner With good Freight Carriers I try To have good employees I want to do Things the right way I want to be you Know I want to treat you how I want to Be treated and so part of that is also Is having all the the reassurance behind The scenes to be able to do that um and So that's where that comes into play too
But we've gone through a lot of freight Carriers over the years I've learned a Lot of lessons had a lot Of bad things that have gone on um that Are big costs that I had to eat you know And and one of them I'm going to put This out there um just because I think It's worth warning you folks about but Years ago I worked with a company called Central Transport they have a yellow uh Color scheme just plain yellow on their Trucks they're based out of Detroit I Think it is super cheap they're about The cheapest freight company that's out There in the Industry and now I had dealt with Freight companies working for other Businesses never with with this company In particular seems to be sort of common Place in the industry which I think is Kind of Um misleading but this company Apparently is known for doing this so They're dirt cheap and then what they Try to do is get you on all sorts of Other Charges later on and so I had uh I was Doing decent amount of business back Back then I don't know this was this was Years ago I can't remember the year Exactly I had roughly $50,000 worth of Shipments that were in transport to Various locations all right with within The central transport system going all
Over the country different hubs Different terminals blah blah blah blah Blah and I received a bill from them for I can't remember if it was 12 Grand if It was 15 grand 20 grand it was Somewhere in there just let's just say 15,000 ,000 with a long long long long long List pages long list of liftgate charges For all these customers and I started Going through it I was like number one What what is this about why are these Only liftgate charges and then I started Going through the list and looking at The first name and going back to their Order and they didn't order a liftgate And going to the next one and they Didn't order a liftgate but there were All these H1 or $150 liftgate charges or Whatever the heck it was that were on There that people didn't authorize and So I I call Central transfer I'm like This is a mistake I None of these I Didn't put these I didn't request Liftgates on these Bill waiting I mean Here's copies right here no lift gates Requested customers didn't pay for it so Yeah well we called the customer and We're going to arrange delivery and we Just asked them if they want to liftgate Said okay and if they say yes we bill You and I said how can you guys do that I said oh you know look in your contract Here blah blah blah blah blah somewhere
Buried in some vague line where it's Like it doesn't say if a customer wants To lift gate we're going to bill you for It it's like you authorize Central Transport you know to have your first Child if they want it I mean it was Basically some stupid vague language Like that and that's what they were Hanging their hats on I said I'm not Paying this I didn't authorize any of These these customers didn't pay for it And these charges were the were like From the last six months all right so a Huge chunk of time like you expect me to Go to hundreds of customers here And request to be paid reimbursed for Something that you did tell them there Was a cost associated with and you're Just billing me for it and they said Yeah I said I'm not paying that and they Said well you know I mean you got to get Escalated blah blah blah so I went Through layer after layer after Layer they eventually told me that if I Don't pay the bill by this date whatever The heck it was they are taking all of My in transit shipments and taking to it Basically the junkard and they're Throwing them away they were just going To throw away all of my in transit Equipment with them so they were they They were forcing me to pay this money That I didn't authorize or they were Going to throw away all of my intr stuff
That customers had already paid for I Had already paid for and was in transit With them and then bill me for it too They were going to bill me for those in Transit shipments as well So I learned a lesson there Which I don't know you know you always You can't blame anybody but yourself I Don't even looking back on it I don't Know how I would have known to to come Up with a scenario like that like in my Head if I was doing risk mitigation Planning like okay what would happen if Such and such happened how would I even Dream up a scenario Of okay you Central Transport are going To what are you going to do you're going To go ask customers if they want to lift Gate and then bill me for it I mean I Don't know how I would even have known That so that was a expensive business Lesson of you know I don't know 15 grand Or whatever it was plus or minus that uh I got to learn and I have taken that With me in the future and I cross Reference everything right away as soon As I get a bill and see me I have my and My new language now is that I do not Authorize any additional charges right So I've I've mitigated that risk in the Future but there's certain things that You just really you don't know until you Find out and sometimes it's too late and Sometimes you realize there's other
Companies out there that aren't going to Do business the right way and Central Transport's one of them I would Encourage all of you to never do Business with them don't work for their Company um it is a shady unethical way Of doing business and I learned pretty Good lesson there so folks there's a Look at risk in different areas of Business hopefully there was something Here that was helpful for you no matter What stage of business you're in and if There's other areas I'm sure there's Other areas you got some helpful advice Leave some comments down below and You're not helping just me but there's a Lot of folks that watch these videos and Read through the comments and look for That encouragement and and insight so Please share it if you have the Knowledge to share and if you're looking For a tractor or tractor attachments Well that's what we do here so go to Good Works TR r.com see what we have to Offer we ship Nationwide I want to thank You for taking time out of your day to Stop by and until next time stay safe We'll see you Soon Oh