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5 Signs It's Time to Start Your Own Freight Agency
This content was originally published on Entrepreneur.com.
Anyone can start a business but it takes a true entrepreneur to run a successful, profitable company – especially in the competitive transportation and logistics industry. But how do you know if it’s the right time in your career to make the leap to start your own freight agency? Independent Landstar Agent Mike McSwain reflects on his decision to transition into entrepreneurship after working for other companies in the transportation and logistics industry for more than 30 years. Since opening his independent Landstar agency seven years ago, he has grown his company’s annual revenue to nearly $29 million.
You have an entrepreneurial spirit.
“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I always had that spirit, but the companies I worked with didn't offer a viable outlet.” – Mike McSwain
If you find yourself complacent at work but are hungry for more, it’s time to feed your entrepreneurial spirit and explore the opportunities fitting to your expertise. There’s never a wrong time to plan for your future and advance your career.
You have limited opportunities with your current employer.
“I started seeing my professional friends being released from their high level positions, in some cases with no or very little notice. I didn't want to wait for that to happen to me, too, so although very nervous about making a change at this stage of my life, I wanted something I had more control over. – Mike McSwain
Whether the company you’re working for is going through restructuring, you feel like you’ve moved up the ladder as high as you can, or you have no interest in growing with your current employer, you’re in a stagnant place and are likely ready for something new. Certainly entrepreneurship is a challenge. However, the support of the right transportation provider to align your business with can be the first step on the path to running a successful operation.
You want your independence but would still like a support network.
“One great thing about being an independent Landstar agent is that no one dictates your revenue levels. You do what you’re comfortable doing and what you’re comfortable investing in doing. All the while, we get the support we need from Landstar.” – Mike McSwain
Landstar gives entrepreneurs the flexibility to run their businesses with independence but operate with confidence by leaning on the support of the Landstar network. Members of the Landstar network – employees, independent capacity providers and sales agents - have a vested interest in providing the best transportation solutions.
You want to build a multi-generational business.
“Starting my independent Landstar agency was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and my family. My daughters left their careers in banking and nursing to launch their logistics careers at my agency.” – Mike McSwain
If a part of you has always wanted to build something that you could pass on to your children, opening up an independent freight agency may be your opportunity to do that. Not only will this set up your family for the future, but it gives you additional motivation to focus on the sustainability of the company.
You’re ready to take your career to the next level.
“After discussions with other agent-based companies, Landstar was head and shoulders above the rest. There isn’t another company with this scope, at this size, that allows agents to control their own destinies.” – Mike McSwain
Independent freight agents are on their own, but never alone. The Landstar business model was built to help entrepreneurs flourish while maintaining their freedom as a business owner.
For more information about joining the Landstar network as an independent freight agent, visit landstar.com.
More about Mike McSwain: Mike McSwain opened his independent Landstar agency, McSwain Worldwide, in 2012 with one employee and now has 20 employees. His office is based in Fernandina Beach, Florida, and has experienced revenue growth each year since 2012.