Preston found success as an insurance broker, but was unhappy with his work life. The constant phone calls, emails, and texts kept him distanced from his wife and their three children.
“I wanted to do something that would carry value at the end of my career. I didn’t want to walk away with nothing to show for my efforts,” Preston reflects.
One of his insurance clients bought a FedEx Ground business and moved away. The two men stayed in touch allowing Preston to learn a little while saving money to buy routes of his own.
“I’d always dreamt of being a business owner, but didn’t have a clue about what type of business to start or buy. The guaranteed weekly check was a huge draw. Plus, there’s no selling, no advertising, no collecting money from past due accounts. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it beats a lot of other options out there,” says Wengert.
He contacted Alan Callaghan who brokers FXG businesses and is affiliated with eTruckBiz. Working together, they found the right opportunity for Preston in Denver, Colorado. It was a mid-sized operation with an experienced manager located at a well-run terminal. It was just what he wanted.
The Wengert’s decided to pull up their Arizona roots and relocate to Colorado - despite a lack of logistics experience or a history of ownership. But Preston also exudes confidence and optimism that are necessary traits for success.
He’s not afraid of relying on the wisdom of others nor making decisions based on real data collected and analyzed by experts. Preston’s a big believer in following proven systems and processes to achieve outstanding results.
Three drivers left the week Preston arrived in Colorado, but he wasn’t concerned because he was prepared.
“There were 9 drivers, 1 manager, 12 trucks (including 4 unusable ones), and 3 rentals when I bought the business. Each driver was running a route and a half because there weren’t enough drivers. Fortunately, the previous owner allowed me to hire 2 new drivers before I even started,” he states.
“I was told my number one priority should be recruiting. Not only was eTruckBiz right, recruiting remains my top priority. Denver’s low unemployment rate makes hiring challenging,” he laments.
“Retention and recruiting are crucial in this business if you’re going to be successful. I meet with every qualified applicant, plus I respond to inquiries immediately which helps my rating on the job board websites,” he reports.
In addition to learning in the classroom setting, Preston worked with an eTruckBiz business coach for his first few months of ownership. They spoke weekly about priorities and what could be placed on a back burner. He understood that his focus should be on driver productivity and his own profitability as opposed to concentrating mostly on service delivery, which was one contributor to his early success.
IT'S ABOUT YOUR PRIORITIES, NOT SOMEONE ELSES
Putting the right systems in place combined with the discipline to keep them running has paid off since day one of working with eTruckBiz.
Wengert reveals, “I left for an entire week shortly after buying the business. I went back to Arizona to sell my house and help my wife pack up. Since I had the right systems in place, everything was fine when I returned. And it remains fairly smooth.”
“Today, I show up for dispatch because it’s a habit, but really my BC follows the systems and handles the daily issues. I could go home at 10am most days, but I usually interview candidates at the terminal, so I stick around a little later,” asserts Wengert.
THE BIGGEST SURPRISE
When asked about the biggest surprises of ownership, Wengert responds that he was asked to take on more, bigger opportunities.
“They just approached me about taking over a linehaul operation in addition to the eleven routes we’re running daily. Plus, they’ve identified three or four more routes for me to assume in 2020. FedEx is constantly looking to give more business to reliable contractors. There’s less risk for them and more opportunities for the people using the right systems and processes,” he notes.