In this episode, we have guest, Coleen Simmons, a business owner, business coach, and the founder of Ask Coleen, LLC. Coleen has her own company in the trucking industry with no prior knowledge and experience. She did her research and asked other people to gain knowledge about it. With Ask Coleen, LLC, she aims to assist truck drivers, owner-operators, and fleet owners with their trucking operations. Sit back, relax, and let's learn more about Coleen and Ask Coleen, LLC.
Coleen had no prior experience in the trucking industry before she started her own company. She only got the idea from her friend. She began by conducting her research and asking her friends about it. Several months later, she got her commercial driver’s permit and applied to a CDL School. After a month, she started her business. Coleen believes that it is important to learn all about the business and getting the knowledge and perspective of a driver is necessary.
Ask Coleen, LLC
Ask Coleen, LLC combines Coleen’s education experience and passion for driving and trucking business. Its goal is to help drivers, owner-operators, and fleet owners, in their trucking business. It aims to help and assist them in growing their businesses.
From Coleen’s experience on Ask Coleen, she saw that funding is one of the major challenges a trucking business encounters. Based on her personal experience, she could get funding even if she had no experience. In Ask Coleen, she can teach truckers how to get that funding.
Having a good credit score is needed in opening up a business. It isn’t necessarily needed to be perfect; it only has to be good. The higher the credit score, the better it is. Coleen didn’t have any problems purchasing trucks due to her good credit score.
What to Improve in the Trucking Industry?
From a fleet owner's perspective, Coleen sees the need to improve the payment rates from brokers and shippers. Accepting a lowball rate affects the payment rates as a whole. This is why fleet owners must stand together, resulting in brokers and shippers increasing their payments. Getting higher payment rates will result in higher rates for drivers that can promote drivers retention.
Six-Week Online Course
Coleen’s Six-Week course discusses the basics of the trucking business. It involves financing, factoring, insurance, the building of credit, and more. Due to Coleen’s personal experience, the course is expected to have a lot of knowledge, and you’ll be able to avoid the mistakes she made when she started. It meets every Monday and Thursday twice a week, from 8 to 9.
Trucking Load and Employees
Coleen’s trucking business has both CDL and Non-CDL trucks. They haul anything. They also have dump trucks that haul rocks and sand. 95% of it is composed of the truck due to a contract with a certain company.
Things that We Should Know About
In late April, Coleen will start offering boot camps every weekend. It is for the people interested in the class but doesn’t need the 6-week course. The bootcamp would tentatively be about financing. This topic would cover credit establishment and process and loans. Aside from that, it will also tackle all about marketing. There will also be about drivers for your trucking business. It’ll be all about driver retention, proper driver screening, due diligence, and background checks.
As a Marketing professional, Coleen says that early on, marketing is essential. At first, you could do your marketing, but as your company grows, you can hire someone to do it for you. Marketing helps in establishing trust with the people. You just have to be honest and be true to yourself. People can sense if you are just faking it.
Tips for Starting a Trucking Business
Coleen mentioned a few key points when starting a trucking business:
With or without trucking experience, you must be willing to learn more. You must do your due diligence and do your research.
You will need funding upon establishing your trucking business. You will need money to purchase and maintain trucks and insurance purchases.
*Anuj Agarwal - Feedspot the founder of Feedspot.com notified us that The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast has been selected by their panelist as one of the Top 25 Best Logistics Industry Podcasts on the web. Currently we're ranked #9. https://blog.feedspot.com/logistics_industry_podcasts/
Coleen Simmons is an Educator, Multi- Business Owner, Business Coach (Truckers), and founder of Ask Coleen, LLC.
Coleen loves to travel, spend time with her family, build businesses, and use her gifts to help others elevate to their next level.
She is a lifelong learner and is always researching content for her businesses, so she can show up as her best self when engaging with clients. Coleen has over 20 years of business experience. She has started several businesses in the last 20 years, and currently runs three successfully. Coleen has several degree- one of which is a Doctorate Degree with a concentration in Management. She has over 15 years of higher education experience: ten of those years in online teaching. Coleen also has her Class A CDL.
One of her three companies is a trucking company. Through her trucking business she has hauled anything from rock and sand to tires and other dry goods.